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Don’t underestimate us – bishops

MANILA, Nov. 27, 2012— Some Catholic bishops sent a powerful message to their critics who are pushing the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill: Do not underestimate us.

Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad said the birth control measure is a serious issue that must be dealt with by the Church by campaigning against those who are favoring the bill.

“If the bishops are really determined to campaign against those who are pro-RH bill, I think we can come up with a Catholic vote,” Jumoad said.

The bishop said it is the Church’s moral responsibility to uphold the sanctity of life and they will do efforts to reject or derail the passage of the RH bill even if it means pushing for a Catholic vote.

“If it’s about the doctrine of the Church then we have to stand by it,” said Jumoad.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a staunch supporter of the RH bill, yesterday downplayed the bishops’ call for Catholic voters to reject candidates who are not following the Church’s teachings.

Santiago claimed that the so-called Catholic vote is nothing but a “political myth” but warned that for the Church to push for it is “unconstitutional”.

But Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said that whether there is a Catholic vote or not, what is certain is they will intensify their campaign against the bill and its proponents and supporters.

“What they think of a myth today may be a reality tomorrow,” Arguelles said. “We are trying to encourage the good Catholics and there already those who are responding to our call.”

In South Cotabato, Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said efforts are also underway in his diocese to campaign against pro-RH bill bets.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes also said they are intensifying their voters’ education campaign particularly against the RH bill, corruption and other issues. (CBCPNews)