Sen. Arroyo cites gov’t, Church compromise over past controversial issues



Senator Joker Arroyo is at a loss why the Aquino administration and the Catholic hierarchy continue to quarrel over the reproductive health bill when the government and the Church leadership struck a compromise over two controversial issues in the past.

The first one was in 1938 when then President Manuel L. Quezon vetoed a bill, approved by the then unicameral National Assembly, on religious instruction in the country’s public schools.

“A heated debate between Quezon and Church followed. The  public joined the debate, zeroing in on the separation of Church and State. The National Assembly did not meet to override the presidential veto,” Arroyo said in a statement.

He said that 18 years later during the Magsaysay presidency in 1956, Senators Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel introduced in the Senate a measure mandating the reading of national hero Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo” in all the country’s schools.

“The Catholic Church opposed it and the controversy was heated and nationwide. The Church insisted that some passages in Rizal’s novels were derogatory to the Church and to make it required reading would be unfair,” Arroyo said.

He said a compromise was reached after weeks of heated debate.

“Among others, the unexpurgated version of Noli and Fili, which contain critical essays against the Church would not be required reading in the elementary and secondary schools. The original text will be taught in the college level,” Arroyo said.

He said that in the first two controversies, “it looks like the Church lost in the religious instruction bill in 1938.

“It was a tie on the Noli-Fili controversy,” Arroyo said.

After 56 years

“Now comes the RH bill, the third one after 56 years. It is just as heated and acrimonious as the religious instruction and the Noli-Fili bills. But the period of debates in the RH bill is a lot longer,” Arroyo said.

“It’s some wonder why the RH bill cannot be resolved amicably by the contending parties like the Noli-Fili,” he added.  Norman Bordadora

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  • Alex

    but unlike the he noli-fili and the required religious instruction in public schools, lives are at stake in this RH Bill, so some people need to stand firm and not give in to the pressure of the church.

  • RealityCheckX

    This is a mistake. Look how all Europe,  Japan and authoritarian Singapore ultimately regretted their declining population growth rates. Besides, teaching abstinence until marriage works better than the contraceptive mentality masquerading as “reproductive health”.

  • scconcern

    that is why we pinoy is divided because of the so called compromise between chruch and state, among elitist lawyers on court cases and plutocrats on goverment contracts, etc.
    finish the RH BILL thru vote, no more debate..5years+ na ito. if congress is in dileman or lost about deciding on RH BILL, let just put this in plebecites…one line ito sa balota…pabor ba kayo sa RH BILL????
    Bottom line bakit laging pinag-awayan…pera o boto.

  • andrew lim

    Why the need for a compromise?  The Catholic church should not be a factor in state matters. It is just one religion out of many. Why?

  • bgcorg

    The State cannot claim victory all the time.  We are talking here of a fundamental moral issue that touches the very core of Catholic Church teaching: the sanctity of human life at any stage.  Hence, it is central to Catholic teaching, practice and life that “openness to life” is respected.  In other words, as Humanae Vitae, bolstered by subsequent apostolic pronouncements, artificial contraception is not acceptable and neither is abortion, sins against the integrity of the human body, eugenics, euthanasia.  We love life and abhor death.  We have two basic instincts: self and race preservation.  The state was made for man, not the other way around.  The great holocaust is still fresh in our mind, perpetrated by Hitler on a people.  The state should rather help its current constituents to become full human persons in a climae of equal opportunities and social justice.  No to the rh bill!

    • Cherry_Bee

      how ironic that you bring up the Holocaust… the Catholic Church at that time continued to support the Nazi regime despite evidence of concentration and death camps all over Europe and openly systematic religious persecution of the Jews. Like the Crusades, these instances in history are precisely the reasons why the enlightened world has learned not to allow religious beliefs to influence public policy… Because policy should be for the good of the public as a whole, not just for a “chosen people” of a certain faith.

    • motorcyclemama

       Sanctity of human life at ANY stage? Governor General Bustamante, you may come out now!

  • akongednamzug

    Ako rin ay “at a loss” kung bakit si Senator Arroyo ay nagtataka sa kasalukuyang alitan ng pamahalaan at simbahan. Pero para sa akin, ang laki ng pagkakaiba ng maraming bagay nuong 1938,1956 at saka ngayon. Only one thing is contant, ang panghihimasok ng simbahan sa mga kaganapan na dapat ang pamahalaan lamang ang may pakialam.

  • Fulpol

    the former is “saving the face of the Church”..

    the latter, anti-RH Bill is “saving lives”…

    • Jose Rizal

      Good job, bro!
      100%  agree!

    • motorcyclemama

       What lives?

    • calipso_2100
  • ever green

    eh bakit nga kailangan makipag-compromise sa simbahan????? ano ang pinagkaiba ngayon sa panahon ng espanyol kung ganun???? paano na ang mga muslim, buddhist at iba pang mga religion dito??? bakit kasi hinahayaang maki-alam ang simbahan sa gobyerno??? Hindi naman nagbabayad ng buwis ang mga iyan e bakit sila pinakikinggan???? 

  • virgoyap

    Yes, I still remembered this two heated issues when I was young especially the Noli and Fili bill. Both of these bills was passed and became a law. And the controversy was gone. The same is true with the RH bill once it will be passed and become a law controversy and divisiveness will also be gone and will go forward smoothly.


      I agree with you. As soon as the Bill is passed the controversy will stopped and the church will continue their merry ways. The RH Bill is a sensible law meant to help the poor women of the Philippines which have been neglected for so long. The opposition to the RH Bill are based on lies, deceit and conspiracy theories advance by religious individuals who have no alterantive solution to the seeming and obvious suffering of the women of the Philippines for so long. Most of them poor women are made as second class citizens to be enslaved and abused. Just look at the domestic workers and the amount of prostitution rampant in our midst.

  • Jose Rizal

    There a HUGE DIFFERENCE between the Noli-Fili issue vis-a-vis the RH Bill because the former is SOMEWHAT A DEFENSE MECHANISM OF THE CHURCH HEIRARCHY (in the Phil) over the books’ criticism on the priests and hierarchy during the Spanish occupation.  While the RH Bill and it’s resultant funding of condoms and pills, interspersed with sex education (it has been there in some private schools —mine was then entitled POPULATION EDUCATION).
    These are 2 different things…and I don’t agree with Sen. Arroyo on it.  Hey, FREE CONDOMS & PILLS, ANYONE?  

  • Jose Rizal

    We are not anymore haunted by that “conquestadores” years and that immature “prayle”.  However, the forgotten “prayles” that JPR mentioned (with utmost respect) were the GomBurZa, i.e. JPR is not against the Catholic Church doctrine, but, against the HYPOCRISY on some of HER members (w/c is true to every organizations, religious or otherwise)…
    I never thought Senator Joker Arroyo would say it…but still, I have that UTMOST RESPECT to HIM.  But he’s wrong at this time. 

  • kilabot

    church or no church there should be no compromise. kill the bill.

    the rhbill is like a bad compromise, somebody pulling a fast one on another.

    No to rhbill.
    No to perversion.

  • mangtom

    You moderators have no guts. You block posting of anti-Catholic statements. You are cowards.


    SA mga girlie mentality ng mga naka-sayang puti, basta’t hindi makakabuti sa TNL na samahan nilang marupok pa sa papel de hapon, AGAINST THE WILL of god kahit na kumikinang ito sa katotohanan.  Gusto ng mga phoneys, itago sa puting tabing ang lahat ng masasama tungkol sa samahan nilang RCCh para hindi sila masira sa madlang pipol at hindi din masira ang kanilang kutis kamatis.

    Nung ngang HS kami noon, yang mga TNL na OP hindi kami pinayagang basahin ang Noli at Fili under pain of expulsion from school. Yon pala, sila ang main target ng sinulat ni JPR at binulatlat ang tunay na kulay ng mga Damasos.  That’s a microcosm of the stand of the RCCh.  Pagmasdan ngayon, lahat ng mga kababuyang ginagawa o nagawa ng mga kabaro nila ay TINATAGO o INA-AREGLO para hindi na kumalat pa ng malawakan at malaman ng karamihan ang mga :magic” na nangyayari sa loob ng mga convento at kwarto ng mga TNL na anong mga yan!

    Paaong hindi tatagal ang debate sa usaping yan, e, ang dami palang bakla at mga pusong mamon sa mga tumatalakay na ang tingin sa mga naka-sayang puti ay yong mga nanay at Mother Superiors nila noon.  Lilider-lider, tapos mga duwag naman…..isang tingin..o ngiti lang ng mga TNL na naka-sayng puti, nalulusaw na sa takot.  Tama ba, Serge O?

  • artz555

    With due respect to the Senator, I believe people should not revive the controversies of what happened in in 1938, and then in 1956, which happened during different times in PH’s  history, and these incidents corresponding repercussions, or immediate  affects on the Philippines economy and future, then, and now in 2012. Unless, this is just one of the delaying tactics of the anti-RH people.

    The first incident concerning the ‘ Separation of Church and State issue ‘  which happened in 1938 decided whether to include religious instruction in public schools, as approved by Congress, but was vetoed by Pres. Quezon. The other involved the issue of whether to include the readings of the novels of Rizal, the Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo, in schools which the church objected because some of its’ passages maybe derogatory to the Church. A compromise was reached wherein a different version was taught in the elementary schools with deletions, but the original version was to be taught in college.

    The 1938 and 1956 issues actually just involved topics or subjects that should be included in schools at that time. It may have been very important at that time, but the issues’ immediate effects on the PH’s economy and future ( if the issues had even real affects on the PH economy or not ) may not have been felt until after students graduate in maybe 10 or 15 years from the passage of both bills.

    But the RH bill’s effects maybe more immediate ( not 10 or 15 years from now ), and it’s impact to the PH economy maybe much bigger than those other issues just revived. The RH bill, whether it goes through or not, would not only affect the PH over-all economy immediately and afterwards,, but it would also determine the conditions of how the Filipino people will live in the very immediate future, and far into to the future.

    The RH bill’s passage will save the PH government much needed funds, which would have been used take care of more and more poor people for food, education, housing, jobs, etc. for years and years to come, without RH. And those savings could be used by the government in more nation building, thereby lifting the living standards of all Filipinos, who would by then be enjoying higher per capita GDPs in the very immediate future.

    Pass the RH bill now.

  • Mang Teban

    There is no compromise over the issue of contraception which is an affront on the Catholic faith. More specifically, it is on the matter of the Divine Order that human life existence is from God. Thus, an attempt by man to deny the birth of a human life inside the womb is a defiance of the natural order of things in procreation where God himself is the cause of creation of the distinct human individual using man and woman as instruments to sexually reproduce. When God designed human bodies and the reproductive system, He made sure that the married couple can enjoy sex without fear of pregnancy through the natural cycle of the woman who becomes infertile at a precise moment over a span of time without any aid of man-made artificial substances in the pill or contraceptive contraptions like the IUD and condoms. The RH bill once again runs against God’s design of natural infertility for the woman.

    The RH bill proponents keep insisting on separation of Church and State. The reverse is true. And, the real situation is that the State has been violating the Church’s rights to defend her faith and, instead,bamboozle the Church with preposterous provisions on “safe and satisfying sex life” and providing an opening in subtle wordings for clinical abortions. Since when can the State dictate a standard of sex lifestyle to its citizens? The State is introducing a culture of promiscuity which has never been part of the Filipino culture and way of life.

    So, Senator Joker Arroyo, if there was indeed a compromise by the Church and State on Rizal’s novels and religious instruction in the past, this time the compromise on contraception is not possible. Contraception is against God’s plan of procreation. I suggest that you try again with your subtle suggestions that the Church should soften on the RH bill. RH is the wrong prescription to solve hunger and poverty in this country. Please push for legislation to create more jobs, build modest and affordable housing for the poor, strengthen consumerism and control Big Business from manipulating the market and prices of consumer goods, encourage livelihood and entrepreneurship to lessen dependence on fixed employment, and other economic programs to enhance living standards and NOT on this bill that is destructive and out-of-touch with reality. RH laws in other countries, including the United States of America, hastened moral decay in their societies. The American Supreme Court is now facing a difficult case to decide if it should allow same-gender marriages and it all started with this so-called freedom of choice with a more apt name – SAFE SEX WITH ANYONE ANYTIME. This is a vicious cycle of a deterioration of social and family values bound to occur with the “impending passage of the RH bill in Congress”. If you don’t believe this, try asking your relatives living in foreign countries what legalized contraception did to increase the number of dysfunctional families.

    • mon key

      not all Filipinos are catholic. not all believe a god exists. why is the catholic church imposing it’s beliefs on ALL Filipinos. the catholic church has been, is and will always be an obstacle to the real awakening to Filipinos because, as has been written by Rizal – Padre Damaso pa rin ang simbahang katoliko!

    • tamumd

      Mang Teban is talking god-like if he is “god” himself. lol. Glad you agreed we shouldn’t bother about any compromise. Completely… 100% with you on that. Heck why would the state/government bother consulting a religion about its laws? After all the catholic church is not the only religion in the country. What made it so special all these years? Forget about them. They’re not part of the government.

      • IanAlera

        Replying to tamumd

        Your stupid comment is a representation of your worthless mindset.

    • Guest

       Mangmang Tebobo

  • blainz

    What a joke. Sen. Arroyo should ask why the Catholic Church is essentially co-legislating with elected representatives while other religions have no equivalent say. It’s against the law for the state to favor any particular religion in its deliberations yet time and again, we see the prelates brandishing their Catholicism as if they were the only voice worth hearing among people of faith. The senator should provide a constitutional reason why the CBCP is so privileged.

    Religion provides no moral ascendancy when debating matters outside theology. That senators and trolls alike continue to be in thrall of the hypocritical church is a mark of shame on the political maturity of the Filipinos.

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