MANILA - Contrary to the belief of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the so-called "Catholic vote" wants the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill passed into law, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said.
In a statement, Lagman told his colleagues with the same advocacy not to fear the “Catholic vote” because it has no empirical basis.
“Fear has always been used by the clergy as an instrument of repression and reprisal like fear of eternal damnation, fear of excommunication, fear of offending religious ministers, fear of contraceptives as abortifacients and carcinogenic, and fear of a demographic winter,” he said.
In fact, he said the so-called “Catholic vote” is for the passage of the bill.
Lagman cited the October 16, 2008 survey of the Social Weather Stations, which showed that 71% of Catholics are for the bill.
Another survey last March 2010 showed that among voters, “most will vote for pro-RH bill candidates” with 38% of Filipino voters choosing to vote for candidates who support the RH bill; only 6% said they will not vote for candidates supportive of the measure.
He also took note of the support from faculty members of leading Catholic universities like Ateneo and De La Salle.
“Fear is bankrupt of reason and should not be allowed to deter legislation and policy-making…Priests at the local parishes do not articulate with the same ferocity anti-RH tirades of some bishops because they are more aware of the ill-effects of the population problem on their parishioners,” Lagman said.
In an interview with Radio Veritas on Sunday, CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life Vice Chairman and Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said it is high time that Filipinos use their religious beliefs in rejecting
candidates who do not follow the Church’s teachings.
He said elective officials have long been snubbing the so-called “Catholic vote” which, he believes, is still a force to be reckoned with.