THE Catholic Bishops' of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life's (CBCP-ECFL) asked the public not to support candidates who are promoting the use of birth control.

The group's 20-page guidelines underscored the Catholic Church's position on "family and life issues."

"It would not be morally permissible to vote candidates who support anti-family policies, including reproductive health, or any other moral evil such as abortion, divorce, assisted suicide and euthanasia," the catechism for the 2010 election read.

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The guideline was formed during the national gathering of the CBCP-ECFL's directors and lay coordinators last November 30 in Antipolo City.

It was formally released to the public only this week since it needs to get the approval of CBCP President Bishop Nereo Odchimar.

Fr. Melvin Castro, ECFL executive secretary, explained the initiative was aimed at ensuring the voters would choose the "right candidates" who will lead the country.

However, he clarified the catechism for the 2010 polls was made only to serve as a guide for the faithful and a mandatory course of action.

Castro also reminded the public that when casting their votes, they must consider social interest over self-interest and decide guided by moral principles.

With the release of the "catechism" the candidacy of several presidential aspirants candidates who are supporters of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill might be affected.

Among them is Liberal Party's standard-bearer Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III who is a supporter of population control.

Aquino is a consistent frontrunner in presidential surveys.

Another supporter of population control is Gilbert Teodoro, the administration candidate, who said he would not back down birth control, adding that it's the government's duty to educate the couples on family planning.

Likewise, former president Joseph Estrada has expressed approval on the measure, which seeks to promote artificial family planning.

On the other hand, the other presidentiables who are likely to get the support of advocates against population control are Councilor John Carlos (JC) de los Reyes, Senator Manuel Villar and Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

For Senator Richard Gordon and environmentalist Nicanor Perlas, they question some provisions of the controversial measure, which according to the proponents will address the issue of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, malnutrition, unemployment and poverty.

Aside from promoting artificial family planning, RH bill will also include sex education for students and advice on artificial contraception, which the church considers as immoral. (FP/Sunnex)