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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Catholics in Pampanga vow to gather 1M signatures vs RH bill

Well, because they heard about the RH advocates' move to gather 1M signatures in support of the RH Bill, they, too, would like to gather the same. Well well well... COPYCATS!

By Tonette Orejas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:19:00 09/09/2008

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines—All 91 parishes under the Archdiocese of San Fernando buckled down to work on Tuesday, in gathering at least a million signatures from Catholics in Pampanga against the proposed Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008.

The signature drive rolled a day after Archbishop Paciano Aniceto launched it during the 52nd canonical coronation anniversary of the Virgen delos Remedios, the patroness of the province.

"Let's fight the culture of death, the anti-life conspiracy. [Let us] oppose the reproductive health bill," Aniceto, 71, told some 30,000 devotees who gathered for a Mass on the open field of the Villa del Sol here.

"We have given out the forms. We will gather at least one million signatures against the RH bill," he told reporters at the close of the event.

Aniceto said the RH bill, which he said promoted the use of modern contraceptives, was part of a global conspiracy against life. The Catholic Church accepts only the natural form of planning in population management and considers abortion a mortal sin. The RH bill does not contain any provision allowing abortion but Catholic bishops fear that the measure would lay the groundwork for the legalization of abortion in the country.

"The conspiracy is not only in the Philippines; it involves the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), affluent nations, NGOs (nongovernment organizations) in America with business interest here whose purpose is to generate profits for their pharmaceutical industry,” Aniceto said in a mix of Filipino and English.

“It is not the health or dignity of the family that is being defended here. It is greed and profit motive that is the main goal of this conspiracy against life," Aniceto said.

For lack of time, he said he did not read the manifestoes from the Family Life Forum chapters in Bicol, Cebu and Mindanao that earlier expressed support for the effort of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines' commission on family and life to have the RH bill rejected in Congress.

The signature campaign in Pampanga will be completed in two months, according to Aniceto, chair of the CBCP commission.

At the event's venue, parish pastoral councils hung about 20 streamers that either condemned the RH bill or asked Catholics to protect the sanctity of lives and families.

"Ito ay isang pagpapahayag ng aming paniniwala bilang miyembro ng Archdiocese of San Fernando na kami'y tutol sa RH bill dahil hindi nito ginagalang ang sagradong origin, kahulugan, valor ng buhay ng pamilya lalo na mga babae at mga anak (We, as members of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, are doing this to show that we oppose the RH bill because this does not respect the sacred origin, meaning and value of life of families, especially of mothers and their children)," Aniceto said.

He said the launch was timed with the anniversary of the coronation of the patroness, she being the mother of life.

"Mama Mary gave life to the light, the way and truth, who is Jesus Christ," he said.
He said he already gave up hopes for dialogues with the author of the bill, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, adding the latter had issued statements expressing his position to push the measure into law.

"For the Church, there is no compromise for morality and the Ten Commandments. The Fifth Commandment is, 'Thou shall not kill,'" he said.

In July, Aniceto asked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to clarify her position on the RH bill.

Lagman said Arroyo should respect the decision couples would make on which family planning method to use.