BISHOP: OVERPOPULATION GOOD FOR FILIPINOS / RH BILL: 'HIGHLY DISHONORABLY' DONE - BISHOP



[PHOTO - Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet.]

NAGA CITY, DECEMBER 31, 2012 (INQUIRER) By Jonas Cabiles Soltes Inquirer Southern Luzon - Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet, the capital of Camarines Norte, believes overpopulation has been advantageous to the Philippines and to the world because it has increased the number of overseas workers and migrants who could send remittances back home while taking care of ageing people abroad and spreading the Christian faith.

Contrary to the aims of the reproductive health (RH) bill, Garcera said the huge Philippine population could be part of “God’s plan for Filipinos to be caregivers to ageing nations whose populations had become stagnant.”

He also said many Filipino women would make “good wives” for foreigners in countries that have low population growth.

Garcera said many countries such as Germany and the United States had a stable but ageing population that would need people to take care of them, and that purpose could be served by Filipinos.

“Filipinos have a big mission to the world. Every Filipino child born is a blessing to the world. Let’s look at the increase in our population in a more comprehensive sense,” the 53-year-old prelate told the Inquirer in an interview at an orphanage in this city that he visited on Thursday.

In light of the Christian faith, Garcera said, the big number of Filipinos should not be seen as a problem but as an opportunity to help other people in the world.

“Filipinos have a duty to take care of them,” he said.

He said that the overpopulation that breeds poverty was not a problem because poverty itself was not a problem.

He said poverty even brought people “closer” to God and was instrumental in realizing God’s plan for Filipinos to take care of other nationalities by inducing migration and working abroad.

Economically, he said, the country also benefits from the “mission” because the migrants and overseas Filipino workers send back money from working as caregivers.

“When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance. Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living,” he said.

In fact, he said, poor people were more willing to help compared to the rich. Hence, a poor person was not a problem, he said.

“We should stop looking at poor people as a problem,” he added.

He said the diaspora of Filipinos was also a way to spread the Christian faith.

“There was this story of a babysitter in Dubai who started singing the Ama Namin (Our Father) as a lullaby to the Arab baby she was caring for. The Islamic parents of the child found the song too good that they started learning it, without knowing that it was a Christian prayer,” he said.

He said there would come a time when nations that have decreasing populations would rely on the care of Filipinos.

He said the problem in the country was neither overpopulation nor poverty but corruption and the unequal distribution of wealth.

He admitted though that not all provisions of the RH bill were bad, but he also believed there were some proponents and supporters of the bill who “were against human nature and against what God wants.”

Catholic leaders vow to ensure defeat of LP candidates in 2013 polls over RH law By Philip C. Tubeza Philippine Daily Inquirer


[PHOTO -President Aquino: Bishop: ‘Highly dishonorable’. FILE PHOTO]

MANILA, Philippines—Catholic leaders lambasted on Saturday the “secrecy” that shrouded President Aquino’s signing of the reproductive health (RH) bill into law and vowed to “exhaust all legal remedies” to have it repealed.

Dr. Ricardo Boncan, spokesman of the Catholic Vote Philippines alliance, said it was “highly dishonorable” for the President to sign the law on December 21 in secret and away from media spotlight.

“We find the non-publicized signing of the RH bill into law by President Aquino to be highly dishonorable and unprincipled matter because he did it right after stating that he was in no hurry to sign the bill before Christmas,” Boncan said.

“This, to us, has been the hallmark of his presidency, deception and dictatorial,” he added.

Catholic Vote Philippines is the alliance of lay Catholic groups that have vowed to oust pro-RH politicians in the 2013 elections.

“We will exhaust all legal remedies to fight this unjust, unethical and anti-poor and anti-life law,” Boncan said.

Catholic lawyers are preparing to question the constitutionality of the law before the Supreme Court.

“The last recourse would be the Supreme Court,” said Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, a former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

“But we need to know what amendments were introduced and further study the new form of the approved law. (It’s) time to move on. The future will tell where wisdom has been,” he added.

Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said the Church’s fight against the “culture of death” would continue even as Malacañang called for reconciliation.

“That the RH bill was signed into law in the cover of darkness and secrecy, only the President knows. If such signing did not merit media and public attention, it only goes to show that such law is not meritorious at all,” Castro said.

“The fight against the Culture of Death goes on. We can only lament that this was their gift to the Lord and to the Filipino people during Christmas season,” he added.

Sorsogon bishop Arturo Bastes blasted the President for “planting a moral time-bomb” when he signed the RH bill into law.

“Indeed, P-Noy will be known as the RH president, which is not a title of honor. His conscience will be bothering him day and night because he has planted a moral time bomb in our Catholic country,” said Bastes.

“Our opposition to that immoral law will persist,” he added.

Boncan said the drop in the President’s approval ratings was due to his “lack of vision” and his “wrong priorities.”

“Instead of the RH bill, the FOI (freedom of Information) bill and the anti-dynasty bills should have been given priority,” he said.

“It will definitely affect his (Liberal Party) candidates and Catholic Vote Philippines will not make people forget this come election time,” Boncan added.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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