MANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has asked its flock to not vote for politicians supporting the reproductive health (RH) bill.
The RH bill's sponsors, however, shrugged off the statement and questioned the pro-life groups seeking for party-list seats in Congress.
The sponsors and the authors of the RH bill held a meeting Tuesday afternoon to strategize on the passage of the bill, which is still being interpellated in its second reading.
They are hoping that the debates on the bill can begin after the impeachment trial is over, which they feel their opponents are taking advantage of.
"We suspect that it is being delayed, but we think there is still time," said Rep. Luz Ilagan of the Gabriela Women's Party.
In an interview, CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma issued an appeal to voters to withdraw support for politicans who are in favor of the RH bill.
In the report, he questioned the moral values of people who support the bill, which he says is "anti-life."
Pro-RH bill lwmakers, however, aren't worried by Palma's statements.
"Alam po namang natin na maraming nananalo na politiko na pro-RH," said Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin.
"Sa pananaw ko po, hindi mo maganda ang nanakot, kasi parang sinasabi na parang nadidiktahan ang legislator," she added.
A number of pro-RH bill congressmen, in turn, are questioning the intentions of some pro-life partylist groups that have expressed plans to run for a seat in congress.
They want the Commission on Elections to scrutinize the application of these groups for accreditation in proving that they represent a marginalized sector.
The sponsors of the bill are hoping that they can put the bill to a vote in August, just before congressmen prepare for their own campaigns for the 2013 elections. - ANC