20,000 join rally vs RH bill

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011


ABOUT 20,000 members of religious groups, academe and civic-oriented organizations joined in the interfaith rally against the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill Tuesday at the Bacolod City Public Plaza.

The RH bill, or "The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011” is a consolidation of six RH bills proposed in Congress.

Women’s party-list group Gabriela is one of the proponents of the bill, which is set to be debated in the plenary session in Congress next month.

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The Citizens Alliance for the Protection of Human Life (CAPHL) stiffly opposed the passage of the bill, which it dubbed as “anti life.”

CAPHL, which spearheaded the rally, is headed by Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra as honorary chairman Bishop Vicente Navarra and by former Bacolod councilor Lyndon Caña as chairman.

Bacolod City officials led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson also joined the rally.

Bacolod lone district Representative Anthony Golez, a medical practitioner himself who earlier declared his opposition to the RH bill, was also present to indicate his support to the cause.

Golez said that RH bill opponents presently lack the numbers to defeat the passage of the bill but he disclosed that many of his colleagues at the Lower House already declared their withdrawal of support for the bill.

He added he hoped more congressman will declare their position to go against the measure and, hopefully, they will come up with the right arguments against RH bill when it is debated in the plenary session.

Golez stressed that the RH Bill destroys the sanctity of life and, with the use of contraceptive methods, which the bill promotes, it violates the freedom of the unborn to be born.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, director of AIDS Free Philippines and Human Life International, said the issue of population boils down to a matter of good governance.

More people and more jobs will work well for the economy, he pointed out.

The proponents of the bill claim that poverty is caused by over-population and that RH bill is the ultimate solution to that problem, Bullecer added.

The program was capped with the burning of a giant effigy of the RH bill in the center of the plaza.

CAPHL stated that the protest action is just the beginning of the group’s continuous campaign against the RH Bill.

It condemned the bill as anti-life and as a measure, which attacks the moral values of the Filipino people.

Father Greg Patiño, CAPHL secretary general, stressed that the group is currently gathering signatures for a manifesto against the passage of the RH bill.

The manifesto will be forwarded to members of the House of Representatives, the Senate and Malacañang to make the government officials realize the indignation of Negrenses against the bill.

He also appealed to the Negros lawmakers to support the opposition on the controversial bill. (Jell T. Lanes)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 23, 2011.

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