Pacquiao frowns on civil disobedience vs RH bill

He may be against the reproductive health (RH) bill but Filipino boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao is not keen on supporting civil disobedience calls by pro-life groups.

Pacquiao, who had lunch with Catholic bishops in Manila on Tuesday, said the government will end up the biggest loser if people will decide not to pay their taxes as a way of opposing the bill.

"Kung hindi tayo magbabayad ng tax kawawa ang gobyerno lalo. Magbayad tayo ng tax," said Pacquiao, who aside from being a lawmaker is an eight-division world champion and the first boxer in history to win 10 world titles. Pacquiao is also the highest paid athlete in the world.

Pacquiao had lunch with officials of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in Manila's Intramuros district on Tuesday noon.

After the lunch-meeting, Pacquiao vowed to explain to the public his stance against the RH bill, which the Catholic Church opposes for having provisions that promote artificial contraception.

Under the official teachings of the Catholic Church, only natural means of family planning are accepted.

No official stance on civil disobedience

Meanwhile, CBCP President Nereo Odchimar clarified that the CBCP does not have any official stance on civil disobedience.

"If there are voices advocating civil disobedience, it did not come from the collective decision of the CBCP," he said.

Odchimar said even if the RH bill is passed into law, the Church will continue to speak against it.

"The passage of the (bill into) law will not deter us from speaking the truth. Hindi namin gagawing dahilan para huminto sa aming advocacy," Odchimar said.

"There are issues that are non-negotiable. We have the teachings of the Church to follow and uphold," he added.

Opposing the RH bill, not Aquino

Pacquiao pointed out that he is against the RH bill but not against the Aquino administration.

"Hindi nangngahulugan kinokontra ko ang administrasyon o kinokontra ko siya (Just because I am against the RH bill does not mean I am against him or his administration)," Pacquiao said.

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, a Catholic, has repeatedly pointed out that he is for the RH bill or the responsible parenthood (RP) bill.

Aquino has also said he is willing to be "excommunicated" for opposing the stance of the Catholic Church on the RH or RP bill. - VVP, GMA News