MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III won praise from Philippine bishops for speaking out against a Senate bill that would provide contraceptives to Filipino families.
Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), and CBCP Episcopal Commission for Family and Life chairman Bishop Gabriel Reyes said they admire Sotto for his "turno on en contra" speech against the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.
In his speech, Sotto blamed contraceptives for the death of his son 37 years ago. He said his son was born with a weak heart, which a Makati Medical Center doctor supposedly blamed on contraceptives taken by Sotto’s wife.
Sen. Pia Cayetano sympathized with Sotto but said there is no evidence that shows a link between contraceptive use and heart conditions of children. She also noted that contraceptives are supposed to be used with doctors' advice, and not just given out.
Bishop Reyes said the CBCP plans to set up guidelines for voters detailing the good and bad qualities of candidates in the 2013 elections.
He said one quality of a good candidate would be a “pro-life” stand. However, he said a candidate who is against the RH Bill but is a murderer should not be voted into office.
The bishop questioned reports that said 90 percent of Filipinos support the RH Bill when RH Bill supporters could not mount their own street rally.
Guests at the CBCP Forum agreed that upholding public morality is important. The guests include former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, former Senator Francisco Tatad and Atty. Romulo Macalintal. -- Report by Zyann Ambrosio, ABS-CBN News