Quantcast
Latest Stories

Bishop backs rally vs RH law

By ,

BACOLOD CITY—“God knows we just do our part.”

That was Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra’s answer when asked on Sunday whether the crowd of 6,000 at the Church-led rally against the reproductive health (RH) law on Saturday represented the Catholic vote in the city.

Bacolod has a population of 511,820 (as of May 1, 2010, the most recent figure from the National Statistical Coordinating Board). The 6,000 who came to the rally held at Bacolod Public Plaza represented only 1.2 percent of the city’s total population.

But Navarra said everybody was happy with the turnout, the remainder after another 6,000 gave up when heavy rain poured on the march to the rally after 1 p.m.

The Diocese of Bacolod led the rally to guide voters in choosing candidates from two groups of politicians seeking election or reelection to the Senate in May’s midterm elections.

The Church has dubbed the two groups “Team Patay” (Death), for the reelectionists who voted for the RH bill in the 15th Congress, and “Team Buhay” (Life), for those who opposed the bill that would require, among other things, state-sponsored contraception and sex education in elementary and high schools.

Leading the opposition to the RH law, which has been temporarily halted by the Supreme Court, the Church urges voters to elect only candidates who fought the bill in Congress or in the streets during the divisive debate that ran for 10 years.

Certified by President Aquino as urgent legislation, the RH bill cleared the two houses of Congress late last year. Aquino quietly signed it into law on Dec. 21.

In Negros Occidental, the Church-endorsed candidates on Team Buhay include reelectionist Sen. Gregorio Honasan, Zambales Rep. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay, and Ang Kapatiran senatorial candidates John Carlos “JC” de los Reyes and Rizalito David.

All four spoke at the Bacolod rally.

The other candidates on the Church’s Team Buhay are reelectionist Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Representatives Jose Victor Ejercito Estrada and Cynthia Villar.

No official claim

The Church makes no official claims about the existence of a Catholic vote in the Philippines, but organizations affiliated with the Church warn politicians who voted for the RH bill of a backlash at the polls in May.

Msgr. Meliton Oso, director of the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center, said on Sunday that while he was not sure whether there was a Catholic vote, the stand of the Catholic Church against the RH law would definitely have an impact on how Catholics would vote.

The Jaro Archdiocese, however, will not tell its followers how to vote, Oso said.

“We respect the choice of voters and we as priests cannot dictate whom they should or should not vote,” Oso said.

But the Church, he said, has laid down criteria to guide voters in choosing candidates: lifestyle, track record, identity of backers, previous electoral record, and integrity.

Catholic lay groups promote those criteria while campaigning for candidates who oppose the RH law.

Through a movement they call “Solidarity Vote,” the lay groups urge voters not to elect candidates who voted for passage of the RH bill in the House and in the Senate.

Not only about RH

 

Independent senatorial candidate Teodoro Casiño is concerned that the elections have been reduced to a battle between opponents and supporters of the RH law.

On Sunday, Casiño urged the Church to “teach the faithful to be more discerning” in setting standards for legislators.

“Why choose a candidate on the basis of (opposition to the) RH law when a senator has a lot of other things to do in the Senate?” he asked during a break in his campaign in Pampanga.

But Archbishop Paciano Aniceto of San Fernando, Pampanga, said the Church was flexing its “pastoral muscle” to bring about good government.

“Like at Edsa (the 1986 People Power Revolution), [the Church] wants to put Christ in every area of life, in culture, education and politics. Christ is the first standard of [the Church’s] engagement in the world,” Aniceto said.

Beyond 2013

The engagement goes beyond May’s midterm elections and runs through the 2016 presidential election, for which various Catholic groups are even now preparing to carry on their fight against the RH law.

Representative Magsayay said many Catholic voters had learned the importance of electing candidates who share their values after the RH bill passed into law.

According to Magsaysay, a candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), many Catholics were “mobilized for action” when lawmakers approved the reproductive health law.

“They began to realize that the kind of leaders they elect will affect their religious faith. If Congress will pass bills that are against the teachings of the Catholic Church, their fellow Catholics will be affected. So this time, they want to make sure that they elect senators, congressmen, governors and mayors who are prolife, pro-Catholic teachings,” she told reporters in Legazpi City on Sunday.

Prolife president

She said this action would extend all the way to the next election in 2016.

“They will want to elect a prolife, Catholic president in 2016, because they already saw the effect of somebody who does not have a high regard for the Catholic faith,” she said.

President Aquino backed the RH bill and personally appealed to his allies in Congress to vote for the bill despite opposition from the Catholic Church.

Magsaysay said the continued assertion by many politicians that there is no Catholic vote has challenged Catholics to show their strength.

“Let’s put it this way. In the past, the Catholic laity was always passive when it comes to elections. But because of what they did in the last RH bill deliberations, and the way the administration bashed the Catholic Church, of course the lay organizations of the Catholic Church were the ones most offended by that action. You can’t blame them if they want to be proactive now in this election,” she said.

Show of force

The Diocese of Lucena tried to stage a “show of force” at a religious convention on Saturday. About 8,000 people attended the Munting Sambayanang Kristiano (Little Christian Nation) convention, 3.2 percent of Lucena’s total population of 246,392.—With reports from Leila Salaverria in Legazpi City and Tonette Orejas and Armand Galang, Inquirer Central Luzon


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Catholic Church , Elections , Philippines , rally , Religion , RH law , Vicente Navarra




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement