Playing safe?-A A +A
Sunday, August 5, 2012
I CAN’T understand the stand of Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) on the reproductive health (RH) bill. I thought he would be firm in his decision, whether the issue is popular or not. But now it seems he is being indecisive. He is like his political rival, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama. Osmeña said he fully supports the bill and he will campaign for it. Not even the threat of the Roman Catholic Church to blacklist politicians who support the bill can cow him.
But he will abstain from tomorrow’s voting in the House of Representatives. He said he acceded to the request of his ally, former north district representative Raul del Mar, not to vote for the bill’s passage. Del Mar and his daughter Cutie, the incumbent north district representative, adhere to the church’s stand on the matter.
Tomas said he didn’t want to destroy his political alliance and friendship with del Mar. Do political alliance and friendship have anything to do with one’s principle?
The issue is not political. So any politician should stand by his or her principle whether this is acceptable or not by certain quarters. What kind of legislator is Tomas if his decision on crucial matters is being influenced by somebody else? If that is the case, Tomas is like a robot. What is the use of saying he is pro-RH bill if he won’t even vote on the issue. His media pronouncements that he supports the bill are moot.
Is Tomas playing safe because he is afraid of a political backlash in next year’s election? I am not saying Tomas is afraid of del Mar. But the former congressman has clout in the north district. Tomas is afraid voters there might reject him because he and the del Mars don’t share the same view on the issue.
Tomas’s indecisiveness is dangerous. I am afraid he will also be influenced by his friends in the businessmen sector. Consider this: If there’s an economic legislation pending in Congress and his friends from the business sector like SM Prime Holdings and Filinvest will “request” Tomas not to support the bill because it will hurt their business interest, will Tomas accommodate them even though in his own opinion it’s a good legislation? Is there a case of “you scratch my back and I will scratch your back” in Congress?
I think del Mar will understand if Tomas explains his stand on the RH bill to him.
Being an honorable and respectable person, del Mar will also understand and respect Tomas’s stand. But in the first place, Tomas should not have publicly revealed his stand on the RH bill. Atras-abante naman hinoon siya ani. Mora man og natakdan na hinoon ni Mayor Mike Rama nga pa-paling-paling usahay.
So the Catholic Church flexed its muscles last Saturday with activities showing its strong opposition to the RH bill. Here in Cebu, an estimated 60,000 persons joined the prayer march from Fuente Rotunda to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral where a mass was held. The same activity was simultaneously held in key cities in the country and in the National Capital Region.
Were the church-sponsored activities enough to antagonize politicians who support the bill? Maybe. Some politicians who sponsored the bill have even withdrawn their support for it after church officials threatened them with blacklisting in next year’s elections. It’s unfortunate the church is politicizing the issue.
For the church, the bill is anti-life because it promotes the artificial method of family planning. As far as the church is concerned, taking contraceptives is abortion.
Sus, abortion ba uroy nga wala pa man gani na mahimugso ang bata. Prevention, dili abortion. Pero nganong lalisan pa man god ni? Nganong dili man lang nato tugutan ang magti-ayon kung unsang matang sa family planning ang sagupon. Hala, kamong mga ginikanan nga daghan og anak nga dili na makabuhi, ihatag ninyo ngadto sa taga simbahan.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 06, 2012.