Conscience votes-A A +A
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
FOR a quirky twist of fate, the San Sebastián Cathedral find itself lumped with some senatoriables it called members of Team Patay—those senators who voted into law the RH bill.
In his Twitter account, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. warned “@risahontiveros, @EdwardHagedorn, @teddycasino & @sonnyangara of our notices to remove your ILLEGAL posters/propaganda.”
Team PNoy senatorial candidates Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros-Baraquel and Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara voted in favor of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. The Comelec referred to SECTION 6 of the Comelec Resolution 9615, the implementing rules for the Fair Elections Act, campaign posters of any material should not be bigger than 2 feet by 3 feet.
On the other hand, Bishop Vicente Navarra confirmed he received a notice from the Comelec requesting the Diocese to take down the poster. “They said that the size of the poster with the names is not within the specifications of the Comelec. They said that within 3 days, we will have to change that,” Navarra told the online news outlet, the Rappler.
The Diocese seems to have gone overboard by naming names in the tarp poster posted in front of the Cathedral. The names to vote for or to reject in the Team Patay/Buhay list could be construed as an “election campaign” or “partisan political activity,” defined in its Section 1 of the Resolution “as an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office.”
I attended Holy Mass yesterday at the Cathedral, with Bishop Navarra as the main celebrant. Thank God, references on the RH issue were more subdued, avoiding names of candidates. I look that as a way forward to the impasse on pro versus anti-RH divide.
As a human defender, I put premium on defending the right to life of those who are already born and the unborn. Even among the pro-RH senators, many if not all assert the right of choice stops where the right to the life of the unborn is to be terminated by abortion.
Going beyond personalities, to use or not to use contraceptives goes much deeper, it goes straight to the freedom of conscience.
During my second year high school days, our Religion subject dealt with Church history. We tackled the differences between Catholic and Calvinist theology. The Catholic Church disagrees with John Calvin who interpreted Scriptures along God’s plan to condemn those who will suffer eternal damnation and who will be saved.
Thus I find frightening the call of our local Church that tells the faithful whom to vote for, especially based on reproductive issues alone. That’s not my idea of a conscience vote.
But since we’re dealing with the right to life, there’s more to it than the RH issue. Other equally important issues that our lawmakers should deal with are climate change. The Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2nd Edition reveals that climate change has already held back global development and inaction is a leading global cause of death. Harm is most acute for poor and vulnerable groups but no country is spared either the costs of inaction or the benefits of an alternative path.
Backed by high-level and technical panels, the new Monitor estimates human and economic impacts of climate change and the carbon economy for 184 countries in 2010 and 2030, across 34 indicators such as drought, floods, landslides, in short, the kind of disasters that the Philippines has been experiencing lately.
More than 100 million people could die by 2030 from the impact of climate change without an immediate shift in the global consumption and production. Of those deaths, 90 percent would be from developing countries.
As such, climate change concerns have crossed from an ecological to a fundamental human rights issue. Clearly, climate change should be a major electoral plank for any conscience vote on the right to life.
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 26, 2013.