No Need To Talk To Bishops – Palace

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang has closed the doors on any possibility for a dialogue between President Benigno S. Aquino III and Roman Catholic bishops to settle their conflicting stands on the controversial responsible parenthood bill.

There will be no more dialogue as the President has already made up his mind in supporting the responsible parenthood bill despite the strong opposition by the prelates, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

"At this point, the President has made his position known. The President's five-point position was already put in the draft proposed to LEDAC (Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council)," Valte said in a Palace press briefing.

President Aquino recently declared that he is a "pro-life" advocate as he endorsed the responsible parenthood bill that seeks to improve the plight of the Filipino people. Aquino likewise urged Congress to make a decision on the responsible parenthood bill "once and for all" following months of deliberations.

The Palace previously held a series of dialogues with some Catholic bishops to listen to their opposition to the reproductive health measure, mainly its provision on artificial contraception. Some of the concerns of the bishops were reportedly taken into consideration in the Palace version of the RH bill.

On the eve of the planned major rally by the Catholic Church against the reproductive health bill, Valte maintained that the administration is "pro-life" just like everyone else.

"I think we would go out on a limb as to say that everybody is for responsible parenthood. As the President said earlier, we are all pro-life," she said. She also made clear that the President opposes abortion, a policy included in his five-point policy on responsible parenthood.

She said she was uncertain if the President will monitor Saturday's rally against reproductive health bill since he is busy checking the condition of the people in flooded areas in the country. But Valte assured that the police will ensure peace and order during the massive protest action initiated by the Catholic Church this weekend.

The anti-reproductive health prayer rally will be held at the EDSA Shrine in Mandaluyong ahead of the scheduled plenary session on the bill next week at the House of Representatives.

Father Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP-ECFL), said people should wear red today as a sign of their opposition to the RH bill.

"We appeal to the people to wear red today, and on Tuesday, even if they won't be in Edsa for the prayer rally," he said in an interview.

The color red for the Catholic Church, Castro said symbolizes not only the blood of Jesus Christ but also the martyrs who died for their faith.

"This will also symbolize the blood of the innocent babies killed in the womb of their mothers, and the blood of mothers who died of childbirth," he said.

The CBCP official, meantime, warned that today's gathering at EDSA Shrine is just the beginning as they are holding different protest activities until August 7, the day when lawmakers vote on whether to continue or not the period of debates on the RH Bill.

"This is just the beginning. Let us keep watch of the voting that will transpire on August 7," Castro said.

Asked who among the country's lawmakers that they expect to attend the event, he said they are not expecting any since they did not issue a formal invitation.

"We didn't issue a formal invitation to the political personalities. It's an open invitation to all anti-RH congressmen and senators. If they would come we would acknowledge them, but they won't be allowed to deliver speeches," said Castro.

"We would keep this prayer power rally as prayerful as possible," he added.

Set to join the Edsa Shrine activity which will start at 1 p.m. are delegations from the Archdioceses of Manila, Lipa (Batangas) and San Fernando (Pampanga), Dioceses of Antipolo, Parañaque, Cubao, Novaliches, Kalookan, Pasig, Tarlac, Malolos (Bulacan), Sorsogon, and Balanga (Bataan).

Simultaneous prayer rallies will also be held in the Archdiocese of Cebu, Jaro, (Iloilo), Davao, Legaspi City, Lucena, Tacloban, Roxas City, Borongan (Samar), Cagayan de Oro, Baguio City and Dagupan City.

In Cebu, Archbishop and CBCP President Jose Palma called on his flock in the province to join a parallel "Solidarity March and Mass for Life against RH Bill" that will be held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral at 5:30 p.m. today (Saturday).

The Cebu activities coincide with the Prayer Power Rally against the RH Bill that will be held at the EDSA Shrine at around the same time.

"Prayer March with candles will start 5:30 p.m. at Fuente Osmeña and highlight with Mass at 7 p.m. at the Metropolitan Cebu Cathedral. I will be with you in this show of faith," he said.

Archbishop Palma said they will use the rally to defend the sanctity of life and family. -with reports from Leslie Ann G. Aquino and Mars W. Mosqueda Jr.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia executes foreign drug convicts, defying global anger
    Indonesia executes foreign drug convicts, defying global anger

    Indonesia on Wednesday executed seven foreign drug convicts including two Australians by firing squad despite a storm of international anger, reports said, but a Filipina was spared at the 11th hour. Authorities put the seven plus a local man to death after midnight (1700 GMT Tuesday) on a high-security prison island in central Indonesia. Eight convicts -- two Australians, one from Brazil and four from Africa, as well as the Indonesian -- were put to death on Nusakambangan Island, MetroTV and …

  • Philippine woman drug convict execution delayed
    Philippine woman drug convict execution delayed

    CILICAP, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's attorney general says the execution has been delayed of a woman Philippine convict, one of nine people who had been due to face a firing squad. …

  • Mother of Filipina spared Indonesia execution hails 'miracle': radio
    Mother of Filipina spared Indonesia execution hails 'miracle': radio

    The mother of a Filipina drug convict reprieved at the 11th hour after facing execution in Indonesia told Philippine radio Wednesday: "Miracles do come true". Mary Jane Veloso was spared after someone suspected of recruiting her and tricking her into carrying drugs to Indonesia turned herself in to authorities in the Philippines, MetroTV and the Jakarta Post reported in Indonesia. "We are relieved that the execution of Mary Jane Veloso was not carried out tonight," said spokesman Charles …

  • Indonesia's attorney general says female Philippines drug convict spared from execution

    CILACAP, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's attorney general says female Philippines drug convict spared from execution. …

  • Indonesia delays execution of Filipina drug convict
    Indonesia delays execution of Filipina drug convict

    The execution of a Filipina drug convict by an Indonesian firing squad was delayed at the last minute after one of her recruiters surrendered to police in the Philippines, the attorney general's spokesman said on Wednesday. "The execution of Mary Jane (Veloso) has been postponed because there was a request from the Philippine president related to a perpetrator suspected of human trafficking who surrendered herself in the Philippines," said Tony Spontana, spokesman for the attorney general. …

  • Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather
    Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather

    Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao is confident he can beat American arch-rival Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday with the power of God, after abandoning a life he said was packed with sin condemning him to hell. Pacquiao is in top form both in mind and spirit after he traded his boozing, gambling and womanising ways for a devout life of prayer, his spiritual adviser, Jeric Soriano, told AFP in a recent Manila interview. Except the world got to him," Soriano said of Pacquiao's …

  • Mary Jane, family say last goodbyes
    Mary Jane, family say last goodbyes

    Filipino death convict Mary Jane Veloso and her family went to mass yesterday morning, had lunch and bade each other tearful goodbyes. Veloso admonished her family not to do anything that would damage relations between the Philippines and Indonesia, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). They were her family in the past five years,” the Philippine embassy in Indonesia said. Her family, while they hoped for a miracle, seemed to be resigned to her fate. …

  • Heat index to reach 40ºC this week
    Heat index to reach 40ºC this week

    Take precautions against heat cramps and exhaustion as the heat index is expected to reach above 40 degrees Celsius later this week, the state weather bureau advised people in Metro Manila and in Laoag and Tuguegarao cities in Northern Luzon yesterday. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the heat index is expected to hit 40.2 degrees Celsius in Metro Manila and 40.7 degrees and 40.2 degrees in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte and Tuguegarao …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options