|Edwin Lacierda and Broderick Pabillo
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Friday urged a Catholic bishop to pray for those still missing after typhoon Pablo instead of blaming the disaster on the Reproductive Health Bill.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda gave the message to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo after the latter noted that tragedy always seems to strike everytime Congress talks about the RH bill.
"I would like to invite Bishop Pabillo to join hands with us to pray for a successful search for those who are still missing and to pray for the people who perished in the tragedy. Now is the time for the good bishop to show God's compassion and not speak of the wrath of God," he said.
He added: "To quote Abe Lincoln: 'With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,' the President has called on all of us to 'bind the nation's wounds' brought about by the ravages of Typhoon Pablo."
Pabillo earlier noted that the latest tragedy to hit the country again coincided with deliberations on the controversial measure.
“Ewan ko lang kung yan ay coincidence lang o dahil nga may pinapasabi ang Diyos sa atin na kapag iyan ay pinag-uusapan ng matindi ay parang may mensahe na nangyayari na maraming kahirapan na nagaganap sa atin," Pabillo said in an interview with Radio Veritas.
He said the underlying message should be understood especially since “lalo’t ayaw natin na ang panukala ay madaliin at palihim na iginagapang para makalusot.”
The death toll from typhoon “Pablo” is already at 325 on Thursday. At least 379 are still missing and 411 more injured.
Last August, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines called for a truce in the fight for the RH Bill after heavy rains and floods affected various parts of the country.
Father Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family Life, stopped short of linking the "habagat" phenomenon to the RH bill but noted: “Although we would not give other meaning to it, nonetheless God speaks through his creation as well. Nature tells us to respect the natural course of things.”
He said nothing happens by accident. “Di ko alam bakit ganito, wala namang bagyo.”