‘Team Patay’ shouldn’t whine-A A +A
Thursday, February 28, 2013
WHEN the Catholic Church hierarchy registered its opposition to the reproductive health bill then pending in Congress, lawmakers pushing for its passage brushed aside, at certain times ridiculed, the supposedly non-existent “Catholic vote.”
It is therefore amusing how pro-RH politicians and groups are now complaining about a move that bishops, priests and the Catholic laity were expected, or were even challenged to do, going to the May elections.
The Diocese of Bacolod started last week what may well be payback time for the Catholic Church against the RH proponents. I actually like the creativity, simple as it may look. A tarpaulin was hung at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City with a “Team Patay” and “Team Buhay” listing. Under “Team Buhay” were the senatorial bets that the diocese is supporting, obviously for being anti-RH. Those it is opposing were placed in the “Team Patay” list.
“Patay” in Cebuano has two meanings depending on pronunciation and use. “Patay” means death or the dead. “Patay,” pronounced “pa-tay” means, loosely, a killing spree. I don’t know what shades of meaning the word “patay” have in Ilongo, but I think Bacolod priests in this case to mean the passive, “death.” Team Patay. Team Death.
I don’t therefore find anything objectionable or un-Christian about the “Team Patay” label. Instead, it sums up what the Catholic Church hierarchy has been saying about the RH bill (now Republic Act No. 10354 or the “responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012). That it promotes a “culture of death.”
What is sad for me is that two of my favorite senatoriables, Teddy Casiño and Risa Hontiveros (staunch RH proponents all), are in the “Team Patay” list. The others in the list are Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Juan Edgardo Angara and Jack Enrile. Also listed were party-list groups Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Anak Pawis and Akbayan.
Worse, Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)–Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said in a Sun.Star Cebu report that the Archdiocese of Lipa and the Dioceses of Tarlac, Borongan, and Sorsogon are set to make a similar move. Now, that’s something.
But again, pro-RH politicians who are running either for reelection or for other elective posts available in the country in the May polls, have been amply warned about the “consequences” of their stance.
I don’t even think the campaign against them would be limited to the hanging of tarpaulins. I take it that Church-mandated and Church-allied organizations are currently drawing their own plans against known RH proponents. Their strength nationwide (they are in every parish) could not be underestimated---if they move as one.
Of course, if the pro-RH politicians really believe in their claim that a “Catholic vote” is non-existent, then they shouldn’t worry. If you look at the senatoriables in the “Team Patay” list, they are among the strongest bets per Pulse Asia and Social Weather Station surveys. So they may still win, although we do not know what will happen from now until May, which is more than two months away.
As they say, you reap what you sow. I am not saying that what pro-RH politicians did, which was to push for the passage of the RH law, was bad. What I am pointing out is that since they couldn’t say they weren’t warned, then they should stop the whining against the Church’s move.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 01, 2013.