An act of God? Bishop sees tragedies amid RH talks

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Dec 06 2012 12:56 PM | Updated as of Dec 07 2012 06:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Is it coincidence or an act of God? According to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, tragedy always seems to happen whenever the controversial Reproductive Health bill is being discussed in Congress.

“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.

Pabillo is referring to the lawmakers’ recent discussions both at the House of Representatives and Senate in connection with the passage of the reproductive health (RH) bill.

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.”

President Benigno Aquino III met with his allies on Monday and said they should already vote on the highly divisive measure.

Pabillo said tragedies happen whenever lawmakers push for the RH bill. 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.

Pabillo also hit lawmakers for not being transparent in their voting for the amendments to the bill.

“Hindi nagkakaisa sa nominal voting para magpakilala sila at ano ang kanilang paninindigan sa RH na siyang gustong malaman ng taong-bayan,” he said.

Despite Aquino’s call, the lower House adjourned anew and decided to resume discussions in the next few days.