MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang denies waging war against the Catholic Church when President Aquino pushed for the passage of the Responsible Parenthood bill during his State of the Nation Address.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Palace has taken into consideration the concerns of the Catholic bishops in drafting its version of the bill, including removing the advise for couples to limit their children to two and changing the appropriate age for sex education.
“They have been fully aware of the position taken and we have actually cooperated, we have actually taken into consideration some of the concerns that they raised. So I’d like to assure Bishop [Ramon] Arguelles that there is no war between government and the Church. There is, however, a war against poverty,” he said.
Lacierda was reacting to a reported statement of Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles that the President declared an “open war” against the Catholic Church when he endorsed the bill during his SONA.
“Last year we filed the Responsible Parenthood Bill. Where is the war? In fact, we have a good relationship with the bishops… Prior to presentation, we had several meetings with—and we’ve informed you—we had several meetings with the bishops. They had raised some concerns. Those concerns were taken into consideration," he said.