CBCP ready to bring RH battle to courts

by Ira Pedrasa, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at May 11 2011 06:08 PM | Updated as of May 12 2011 03:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is ready to take the Reproductive Health Bill all the way to the courts.

A day after it pulled out of talks on a possible bill that would replace the more controversial one in Congress, the CBCP said it “will continue in its present track based on and consistent with [a previous pastoral letter], which is rejecting the bill in its entirety.”

CBCP lawyer Jo Imbong told ANC that besides mass actions against the administration’s agenda, “there’s also a legal action to be taken in the event of a passage.”

She said the legal action is still being studied at the moment. “There are many variables there. We still do not know what the final form of this piece of legislation will be in the event of its passage. We're just thinking way, way beyond…”

She noted only that the Constitution is grounded on “moral principles.”

On Tuesday, CBCP officials personally delivered a letter to Malacañang informing it of its decision they will no longer be involved in discussions.

It said President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s recent speech supporting the Reproductive Health Bill at the risk of excommunication was the last straw.

“In the first place, the spirit of that dialogue was for an exchange of views and the CBCP had already expressed its views directly to the Executive branch…The CBCP had made it clear that they are objecting to the administrative agenda embodied in that bill because it fosters an attitude that is hostile to life, to new life as a matter of fact…,” Imbong added.

She does not think this will alienate the Church from the public.

“As a matter of fact, the church has to stand on its views. It will continue to participate in the public square, it will speak the language of the public square,” she said