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Happy 2013!

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Allow me and my wife Naomi to greet everyone a happy and a prosperous new year as we usher in 2013 with so much hope and optimism in economic, social, political and religious matters.

I am praying that the assault on families will stop considering that the Reproductive Health bill has been passed. I was informed that other controversial bills are being planned like one seeking to legalize divorce and same-sex marriage.

I also pray that the gains of the Aquino administration will be sustained so that benefits trickle down to the masses. I also pray that there will be less people living in poverty.

I pray that there would be less partisan politics in the year 2013 though this is asking for the moon during an election year.

I also pray that many people, especially businessmen and politicians, return to God and prayer , and make Him the center of their lives.

Finally I pray for everyone to be happy and to have a peaceful year.

* * *

Last Sunday supporters of suspended governor Gwen Garcia held a rally at the Capitol grounds. The police estimated a crowd of about 1,000 000 converged to show their unwavering support.

In her speech, she repeated her position that the attempt to remove her was a “power grab” and that she wouldn not leave her office.

I think the Aquino administration is in a quandary on how to end the impasse and deal with Garcia especially with her strong resolve not to leave the Capitol.

Will she be bodily removed by the police? This would be an unpopular and may trigger violence from Garcia supporters.

Let Garcia seek legal remedies available to her and let the court finally decide on the controversy over her six-month preventive suspension.

I believe that both Garcia and Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale are reasonable politicians who place the safety and interest of the people above their own. Let us continue to pray that the conflict will come to a peaceful end. This should be handled carefully. If not, it may lead to violence which nobody wants.

* * *

The only negative thing about the suspension of Governor Gwen is the timing as articulated by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and Archbishop Jose Palma.

The timing was very unchristian because Cebuanos celebrate Christmas with joy and happiness with our families.

The suspension could have been timed after the Christmas season to avoid negative reactions.

Apparently the accusation that politics is behind the suspension seems to stick because of the timing. It was also a cruel and sad time for partisan politics to play as seen in the visit of Bando Osmeña – Pundok Kauswagan stalwarts to the Capitol office of the acting vice governor on her first day.

* * *

I think the silence that accompanied the signing of the RH bill into law was intentional in order not to insult once more Catholic priests and the legislation’s opponents.

It was a reconciliatory gesture on the part of the President but was instead attacked by some sectors as deceptive. They asked why it was hidden from the public.

The way I look at it, Congress may have passed the RH bill into law but in the final analysis , the choice of whether to use contraceptives or not is between God and family members.

There may be an RH law but if a couple refuses to avail of government-supplied contraceptives, it would still be ineffective.

The Catholic Church need not worry. The effectiveness of the RH law hinges on the belief and conviction of the faithful.


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