This is a guest post from Raymond.
I haven’t really signed off 100% on the RH Bill in its present form since I am still seeking some clarifications on certain details of the bill, particularly its penal ramifications. But going through my daily route in Pasig and Mandaluyong areas teeming with informal settlers, seeing the sea of idle humanity converge on what seems to be public roads doubling as playgrounds, I am actually leaning towards supporting the bill. Support at least for its wisdom and intention to educate and foster responsible parenthood.
But what I don’t subscribe to is some RH bill proponents attacking anti RH bill sectors particularly the Roman Catholic Church, not really based on the merits of a sound argument (i.e. scientific facts, statistics, etc.), but rather on trivial issues. They push for the RH bill by citing instances of bishops and priests fathering children left and right, cases of child molestation and homosexual encounters, taking money from gambling, etc. Glossing on the apparent unholiness of certain individuals belonging to the holy orders, using it to discredit the institution as a whole, and ultimately making a push for the RH bill is not an argument at all.
What does Bishop Yalung’s having a child (or children?) have to do in underscoring the positive points and fortifying arguments for the RH bill?!
Any institution, be it the state, the Church, your school, your fraternity, or whatever, will have its bad eggs once in a while. Giving credit where credit is due, these anti RH bill sectors, including and most especially the Roman Catholic Church, have done their fair share in nation building. Their schools (albeit at an exhorbitant cost) educate and instill / reinforce values that seem to be so hard to pound on to children given the present internet generation. They run orphanages to shelter neglected children (neglected even by the state’s DSWD), not a few perhaps conceived unplanned due to defective condoms, missed pills, etc. Priests and nuns were at the frontline of EDSA 1986. They keep vigil when necessary in guarding our ballots. Should Article II, Section 6 also been chorused during these times?
It shapes and sends out mission volunteers to far flung areas to do socio-civic and religious works. Mission volunteers like Richie Fernando, SJ who got himself killed in Cambodia back in 1996 at the age of 26 because some whacko decided to throw a grenade to a school full of handicapped children. He instictively jumped onto the grenade just before it went off, effectively using his body to shield the handicapped children from the deadly blast. People like Richie comprise and live by the ideals of the Church that I belong to. And this Church is not as one dimensional, closed minded, selfish and evil as practically everyone fully supporting the RH bill, more prominently the nation’s favorite tour guide now, perceive and paint it to be. The Church is NOT the Pope, Cardinals and Bishops alone!
Let me be clear with you on this, I will be with you when you grill the Church heirarchy as to why it continues to sweep its mess under the rug, keeping skeletons in its closet, to the tune of millions of dollars in parishioner contributions (when for one, it could have been used to fund scholars to go through their education), then coming right back at you, high and mighty, with threats of excommunication.
But to sell the RH bill on the strength alone of Bishop Bacani having sexually harassed his secretary is like declaring Lebron James is a better baller than Kobe Bryant simply because the latter is a rapist.
Let’s stick to the relevant facts, stats and figures like maternal deaths comprising 11% of all deaths in women aged 15 – 49, 33% of births in the country being unplanned, the definition of conception, abortifacients, etc. Let our resolution of issues pertaining to national interest not be be guided by how Lolit Solis, Cristy Fermin, Showbiz News Ngayon, etc. go about whetting Inday’s appetite for the latest chismis. (This is why I am against these types of TV shows because they insult the gullible population’s intelligence rather than allow it to be put to good use.)
PNoy was already catapulted to the presidency mainly because the demise of his mom couldn’t have come at a more opportune time; isn’t it about time we, as a nation, act and argue rationally? More rational than Bishop Odchimar irresponsibly brandishing excommunication as a proximate possibility or Carlos Celdran dressing up as Rizal, and with a Damaso placard to boot.
It’s the least we could do as we project our population to reach 94.3 million by the year’s end, 141 million come 2040, and with no definite and sustainable program as to how we are going to harness this ballooning population to make it the nation’s foremost asset instead of it being its most burdensome liability.
Let those papaya-skipping priests deal with paternity and penitentiary accordingly – with or without the RH bill.