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By Conrado de Quiros
The efforts of the diocese in Bacolod to malign the senators who voted for the Reproductive Health bill have taken a bit of a comical turn. As most everyone knows by now, a month or so ago the San Sebastian Church in Bacolod City hung a tarpaulin on walls putting two groups of senators under the headings “Team Patay” and “Team Buhay.” After the Commission on Elections remonstrated with it for violating election rules on the size of posters—this one went well past the norm—the diocese decided to cut it in half though one still coming after the other, thereby emphasizing the divide all the more.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
Does the Commission on Elections have the power to order churches to take down posters hanging on church walls expressing their views about the Reproductive Health Law and senatorial preferences? The Bacolod diocese says no, and other dioceses are threatening to follow. I too would say no.
By Marilene Perez
Cheese corn—it’s one of the comfort foods that a typical University of the Philippines student like me, or maybe even people not in UP, can relate to. I think no one can resist boiled corn kernels in a soup oozing with melted margarine and cheese powder. Om nom nom, indeed. But to be honest, I kind of don’t want to see the cheese corn vendor anymore.
Amando Doronila, in his Dec. 21 column, referred to the failure of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to sway the vote of Congress against the reproductive health bill, despite extensive mobilizations, as a debacle.
By Conrado de Quiros
Smarting from losing the reproductive-health vote in Congress, the bishops and their anti-RH allies lashed at Sonny Belmonte last week for suggesting divorce was next in line. What actually happened was that the Speaker was asked in an interview if divorce was in the offing, and he answered that it would have to wait till the next Congress. But, he added, better if even now it was already being discussed, “mabuti na rin ’yung pinag-uusapan.” The anti-RH camp was pissed.
By Rina Jimenez-David
It’s still the season for giving thanks, for acknowledging people who, in the year about to pass and way before now, have been “giving” us gifts—not just material items, but gifts of time and understanding, gifts of courage and steadfastness, gifts of sympathy and common cause, gifts of sharing and championing our advocacies.
By John Nery
A loyal Catholic, I thought I proved my loyalty by supporting the controversial reproductive health law. In the wake of its contentious, historic passage, I am moved to consider what, from a layman’s perspective, the Church hierarchy in the Philippines might do to recover its position of influence. (Having thrilled to the sound of the [...]
By Amando Doronila
President Aquino appears uncertain of his clout in winning control of an ungovernable Senate in the 2013 midterm elections as he faces a grass-roots backlash from the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy over the passage in Congress of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill.
By Solita Collas-Monsod
The pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) titled “Contraception Is Corruption: Seeking Light and Guidance on the RH Bill,” which was read in churches last Dec. 16, raises more questions than it answers.
By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Billboards from hell have been this column’s objects of ire for the longest time. But as they say, if you can’t lick them, you might as well join them. Anti-billboard advocates might as well put up their own to replace some of the unsightly and distracting ads that obstruct our view of the sky.
To mobilize the opposition to the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill on the eve of two more crucial votes in Congress, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a strongly worded pastoral letter on Saturday. Sadly, the statement—written by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, and read in churches on Sunday—was based on a lie.
By Vicente Rafael
I spent over 11 hours at the House of Representatives with my friend Lila to watch lawmakers deliberate and finally vote on the reproductive health bill on second reading. The RH debate has been unusual in that it suggests how familial, regional and class interests are at times trumped by what Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello calls “values.” Anti-RH lawmakers announced their opposition to the bill, for example, as a matter of conscience or faith. They painted paranoid visions of contraception as leading to corruption and abortion. Reproductive health as population control assures nothing less than a coming Filipino holocaust. This sort of hyperbolic and extremist discourse coming from leaders of the anti-RH camp has led to the demonization of pro-RH supporters.