CBCP President to lawmakers: Obey God rather than men
MANILA, Philippines - Advocates against the reproductive health (RH) bill have pushed for an “Occupy Batasan now” amid rumors that lawmakers will railroad the measure even before the scheduled voting on Wednesday.
In an interview with Radio Veritas, Pro-life Philippines President Eric Manalang and Sangguniang Laiko President Aurora Santiago said pro-life advocates should already start trooping to the Batasan complex as early as now.
“This is another people power for us. Araw ito ng people power para sa kasagraduhan ng buhay at pamilya,” the two said.
Santiago added they don’t want the Lower House to pull a fast one on them.
“We request all the Council of the Ladies…Couples for Christ, El Shaddai, Knights of Columbus, BMI, lahat-lahat…mga members na galing sa ibat-ibang archdioceses at dioceses, mga national organizations… ngayon po ay makakatanggap kayo ng calls from our office, kung maari hindi lang bukas, ngayon ay magsipunta kayo sa Batasan,” she said.
They expect to convene around 4:00 p.m. later
Law based on ethics
This will be ahead of the prayer rally scheduled tomorrow, December 12.
The anti-RH bill supporters will unite in a holy mass at noontime tomorrow before they will troop to the Batasang Pambansa.
Amid all these, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma issued a "message" to the lawmakers who will deliberate on the measure. The message is dated December 12.
Palma said: “Our society needs law to unite rather than divide. We need law to affirm and protect the truth about the dignity of the human person, who has been created in the very image of God; the sanctity of the family, the basic social unit which even our Constitution recognizes as the foundation of the nation; and the inviolability of the social institution of marriage, which the Constitution likewise recognizes as the foundation of the family.”
He reminded them that when a law will come under suspicion, people will revolt. He said the law will be questioned especially if it becomes a “product of despotism, of an arrogance that is clothed in the garments of a law by those who have the power to do so.”
Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, Palma said laws will always be questioned based on ethics.
“Amidst the many voices trying to influence the outcome of your deliberations, I call upon you in the words our Lord first said to Abraham, ‘Do not be afraid!’ Listen to what God is saying; ‘obey God rather than men,’” he added.
Meanwhile, devotees of the Black Nazarene will join the prayer vigil and rally.
Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, the rector of the Quiapo Church, said 20 buses from the parish will be joining the trip to Batasan complex, and more will be going by foot.
He said he will also be sending a contingent this afternoon to monitor the situation at the House of Representatives.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) executive secretary Melvin Castro earlier said the religious’ presence there is “a sentiment presented by the anti-RH legislators because they said they need moral, spiritual, and physical presence of the bishops.”