Team RH to counter Team Patay campaign-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
REPRODUCTIVE Health advocates are ready to exchange blows with the influential Roman Catholic Church bishops, who started placing Team Patay tarps and posters in their dioceses.
The Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which notified the Diocese of Bacolod asking it to remove the oversized Team Patay and Team Buhay tarpaulin posted on the façade San Sebastian Cathedral.
The tarpaulin, which is beyond the prescribed size of campaign materials allowed by Comelec, lists names of senators and party-lists groups backed the recently enacted reproductive health bill.
Senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros, in an interview Saturday afternoon, said while she respects the views of the bishops, the tarpaulins bearing the list of Team Patay and Team Buhay candidates “is not part of voter’s education as this should be non-partisan.”
“To say na iboto nyo ang mga ito at ang mga ito hindi iboto, is plain and simple electoral campaigning at kapag ganoon ay pumailalim sa electoral campaign rules and procedures,” she said.
The former Akbayan party-list representative said that since the TRO was issued, the churches have continued posting the posters.
According to Hontiveros, they will accept this “only if it means they are killing poverty and corruption.”
“If they claim na Team Buhay sila, ano ang binubuhay nila? Binubuhay nila ang maternal mortality rate at binubuhay nila ang mga couples who face unplanned pregnancies and illness or death due to complications that can be preventable,” she said.
The misinformation, she said, should not be left hanging. She stressed they have organized a Team RH which will put up its own pro-RH tarps, yellow and purple ribbons and other pro-RH collaterals to be mounted in cities where Team patay tarps are seen in anti-RH dioceses.
“We will go around the country to launch the Team RH drive, and yes we will go to Bacolod city,” she promised.
She also said they will explain to the people that the RH bill was enacted to protect lives. She added when bishops posed the issue of the bill as pro-abortion this alone she said is part of the smear campaign and misinformation thrown against them by the anti-RH groups.
The Philippine Legislative Committee on Population and Development, in a press statement, said they will also launch the Purple Vote in the campaign trail to encourage the public to vote for Pro-RH candidates running for national or local posts in the mid-term elections in May.
“They will be wearing purple shirts with the words ‘Purple Voter Ako’ and will be giving out purple ballots to the voters on the street,” the PLCPD said.
The Purple Vote campaigners are composed of individuals and organizations under the umbrella of the Purple Ribbon campaign movement with its lead convener former Department of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dr. Esperanza Cabral.
She will be joined by Dr. Junice Melgar of Likhaan; Beth Angsioco of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, Rom Dongeto of PLCPD and representatives from different organizations including the Interfaith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood, the Filipino Free Thinkers, Partido ng Mangagawa, Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan, the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network, Catholics for RH and other civil society organizations.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 21, 2013.