MANILA, NOVEMBER 26, 2012 (PHILSTAR) An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged yesterday the faithful to use the “Catholic vote” to choose pro-life candidates in the May 2013 senatorial and local elections.

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, former vice chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said it is high time that Filipinos exercise their religious beliefs in rejecting candidates who are not following the Church’s teachings.

“If there is a candidate who does not follow Church teachings, we should reject this candidate. We must use the Catholic vote and show them what the real Catholic is. There are fake Catholics here, they are the ones ruling in our country,” the prelate said in Filipino.

Proponents of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill, including Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, believe there is no such thing as a “Catholic vote.”

“We can only stop ethnic cleansing, contraceptive mentality, immorality, increasing number of broken families, and promiscuity if we vote for candidates who love life,” Arguelles said.

Arguelles also said the “ethnic cleansing” being promoted by some officials can be countered via a Catholic vote.Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 “They are doing ethnic cleansing that’s why they are pushing (RH) bill in our country. They want to eliminate us,” the prelate said.

The RH bill, which promotes both the artificial and natural methods of family planning, is still pending in both houses of Congress.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are in their respective periods of amendment for the controversial RH bill. The CBCP earlier said it will endorse candidates who are pro-life.

In an interview with dzRB, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the State does not meddle in those kinds of things and they are not in a position to comment.

The Catholic Church has maintained a hardline stance to oppose the RH bill.

Last September, CPCP-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life chairman Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes said that the Church remains firm in its stand that all the provisions in both Senate Bill 2865 and HB 4244 or the Reproductive Health and Responsible Parenthood Development bill are against natural moral law.

“We already gave the amendments to the congressman who are agreeing to the position of the Church. The amendments that we are going to give should not include provisions of the Senate bill and the Congress bill that are against natural moral law,” he said.

The Church, Reyes said, will not go into any compromise regarding the provisions.

Reyes said the country should not listen to what the United Nations dictates – which is to legalize abortion and control the country’s population.

A house divided

Arguelles also revealed that opposition to the controversial RH Health bill is the reason why several lawmakers have been skipping plenary sessions in the past days.

“They don’t want to vote against life. They don’t want the RH bill to be rammed down their and our throats, especially by foreign powers out to eliminate our nation and our race,” he said, adding that foreign powers and the rich people want to impose the RH bill to eliminate the poor and the weak.

“They pretend to think of the poor but they are against the poor,” Arguelles said.

“Let us open our eyes. The Philippines does not need this law. The enemies of our country do,” the prelate said.

Arguelles that said instead of allocating funds for RH Bill, the Philippine government should increase investment in the education sector and provide more jobs to Filipinos.

The RH bill has stalled at the House plenary for almost four months after the lower chamber decided to end debates on the proposed measure last August. The Senate has already begun introducing amendments to its version of the RH bill.

The Lower House, however, has failed to tackle amendments due to privilege speeches by lawmakers opposing the measure, and due to the lack of quorum.

Last week, the lower chamber adjourned for three straight days due to lack of quorum.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved