Some Catholic Bishops Quietly Support RH Law – Ex-DOH Chief Romualdez

By: Sammy F. Martin, Philippines News Agency
April 7, 2013 11:37 AM

Senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros is among those that the Catholics for Reproductive Health (CARH) support in the coming elections. FILE PHOTO

MANILA – Catholic bishops who are not giving their opinion whether or not they favor the Reproductive Health Law are actually silently supporting the law, said former health secretary Alberto Romualdez.

Romualdez, chairman of Catholics for Reproductive Health (CARH), refused to name names but claimed these bishops are the silent movers in disseminating information on the RH Law.

“I think no one yet has come up to tell the public that they support RH Law which is contrary to the official position of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP),” Romualdez told reporters in a press conference in Quezon City.

He said that not all Catholics follow what the church says as he accused anti-RH Law movers of deliberately spreading false information about the law.

“I challenge them to reveal where they get their statistics. If they want to use statistics it should reflect and match the true picture and not twisted information and facts,” Romualdez said during the press briefing.

The health secretary during Joseph Estrada’s presidency said that women should be given the choice. He said prelates must not dictate what method women should use in family planning.

He said that if the misinformed women get pregnant, the church usually does not support them.

When asked if his group is supporting any candidate, Romualdez quickly nodded his head, “Yes, the candidates called by the anti-RH as Team Patay.”

Candidates of Team Patay are Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, former Akbayan Partylist Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, and former Senator Jamby Madrigal.

Bicbic Chua, executive director of CARH, said that Catholic bishops are reminded to be faithful to their mission as shepherds of the flock and not to engage in partisan politics especially in endorsing or maligning candidates.

She said CARH calls on church leaders to “become like responsible parents who equip their children with the necessary tools for critical thinking and responsible living and when the times comes, also take comfort in the knowledge that these capacities will enable them to make the right decision.”

Chua said CARH asserts that while demanding blind obedience is the most convenient way to make people follow their wishes, the anti-RH bishops must trust and respect the people’s choice and capacity to think and act for their own benefit and for the common good.

“That is the hallmark of steward leadership and this is what the good bishops should be demonstrating,” she stressed.

To guide the electorate on who to vote for, CARH came out with a “SINCERE” set of standards which stand for:

S –Social Justice

I – Integrity

N – Nationalist

C – Conscience

E – Equity and equality

R – Responsible Rights

E – Empowerment



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