Foes vow to undo RH Law, campaign against backersBy Carla Gomez
BACOLOD CITY—A group that includes members of the clergy led by Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra will launch a campaign against the Reproductive Health (RH) Law that will include a call to vote against legislators who backed the controversial legislation.
The province-wide campaign initiated by the Citizens’ Alliance for Protection of Human Life (CAPH-Life) will kick off with a Mass at 10 a.m. Sunday at San Sebastian Cathedral as the Diocese of Bacolod marks the Feast of St. Sebastian.
In a press conference held at the Bishop’s House on Friday, Diocese of Bacolod Vicar General Louie Galbines read the CAPH-Life’s anti-RH law manifesto being circulated throughout the province for signatures.
In the manifesto, the CAPH-Life members said they believed it was their moral duty to oppose, or undo the RH law, by lawful and peaceful means under the Biblical maxim, “We must obey God, rather than men.”
They said they would also oppose several bills in the pipeline that were of the same spirit and orientation as the RH bill, citing the divorce, same sex-marriage, legalization of prostitution and death with dignity or “mercy killing” bills.
“We shall fight to protect and preserve human life, especially of the unborn at conception, as well as the family, marriage, faith and morals of the people against all malicious and sneak attacks such as this RH law,” the manifesto said.
The manifesto was signed by Navarra, CAPH-Life chair Lyndon Caña, vice chair Modesto Sa-onoy, members of the clergy, lay leaders and private individuals.
Caña, a Protestant, said that aside from a massive signature and education drive against the RH law, those in power would also be made to feel the opposition of the people through their votes in the May elections.
Sa-onoy said they would ask people not to vote for senatorial candidates, Negros legislators and party list groups that voted to pass the RH bill.
Call to reject Negros solons
He said they would call on voters to reject the Negros representatives who voted for the RH bill—Julio Ledesma IV (1st district) Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (3rd district), Alejandro Mirasol (5th district) and Mercedes Alvarez (6th district).
Sa-onoy said 67 parishes and chaplaincies were supporting their campaign. “We hope to secure 1,000 votes per parish and chaplaincy for a total of 67,000 against those who supported the RH law,” he added.
Msgr. Felix Pasquin, rector of the San Sebastian Cathedral, said that on Sunday, a big billboard in front of the cathedral would bear the message, “Ibasura ang (Junk the) RH Law,” with the Biblical passage, “We must obey God rather than men.”
After the 10 a.m. Mass, a red flag, symbolizing the struggle against insidious attacks on the morals of the people, will be brought to cathedral altar for a final blessing, Pasquin said.
This would kick off a massive drive in the towns and cities of Negros Occidental against the RH law, he added.
Expected at the launch are former Sen. Francisco Tatad, Pro-Life Philippines president Eric Manalang, Lito David of Ang Prolife party-list, JC de los Reyes and Jo Imbong, executive secretary of the legal division of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Pasquin said.