Our Filipino Brothers and Sisters:
The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights (Art. II, Section 11). The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception (Art. II, Section 12).
We begin by citing the Philippine Constitution. We do so because we intend to write you on the basis of the fundamental ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people and not on the basis of specifically Catholic religious teachings.
We are at a crossroads as a nation. Before us are several versions of a proposed bill, the Reproductive Health bill or sanitized as a Responsible Parenthood bill. This proposed bill in all its versions calls us to make a moral choice: to choose life or to choose death.
At the outset we thank the government for affording us an opportunity to express our views in friendly dialogue. Sadly our dialogue has simply revealed how far apart our respective positions are. Therefore, instead of building false hopes, we wish at the present time to draw up clearly what we object to and what we stand for.
Moral Choices at the Crossroads — at EDSA I and Now
Twenty five years ago in 1986 we Catholic Bishops made a prophetic moral judgment on political leadership. With this prophetic declaration we believe that we somehow significantly helped open the door for EDSA I and a window of political integrity.
Today we come to a new national crossroads and we now have to make All the essay a similar moral choice. Our President rallied the country with the election cry, “Kung walang corrupt walang mahirap.” As religious leaders we believe that there is a greater form of corruption, namely, moral corruption which is really the root of all corruption. On the present issue, it would be morally corrupt to disregard the moral implications of the RH bill.
This is our unanimous collective moral judgment: We strongly reject the RH bill.
Commonly Shared Human and Cultural Values – Two Fundamental Principles
Far from being simply a Catholic Purchase Discount Medication! purchase Nexium 40 Mg. Cheapest Rates, Nexium Buy In Canada. issue, the RH bill is a major attack on authentic human values and on Filipino cultural values regarding human life that all of us have cherished since time immemorial.
Simply stated the RH Bill does not respect moral sense that is central to Filipino cultures. It is the product of the spirit of this world, a secularist, materialistic spirit that considers morality as a set of teachings from which one can choose, according to the spirit of the age. Some it accepts, others it does not accept. Unfortunately, we see the subtle spread of this post-modern spirit in our own Filipino society.
Our position stands firmly on two of the core principles commonly shared by all who believe in God:
(1) Human life is the most sacred physical gift with which God, the author of life, endows a human being. Placing artificial obstacles to prevent human life from being formed and being born most certainly contradicts this fundamental truth of human life. In the light of the widespread influence of the post-modern spirit in our world, we consider this position as nothing less than prophetic. As religious leaders we must proclaim this truth fearlessly in season and out of season.
(2) It is parents, cooperating with God, who bring children into the world. It is also they who have the primary inalienable right and responsibility to nurture them, care for them, and educate them that they might grow as mature persons according to the will of the Creator.
What We Specifically Object to in the RH Bill
Advocates contend that the RH bill promotes reproductive health. The RH Bill certainly does not. It does not protect the health of the sacred human life that is being formed or born. The very name “contraceptive” already reveals the anti-life nature of the means that the RH bill promotes. These artificial means are fatal to human life, either preventing it from fruition or actually destroying it. Moreover, scientists have known for a long time that contraceptives may cause cancer. Contraceptives are hazardous to a woman’s health.
Advocates also say that the RH bill will reduce abortion rates. But many scientific analysts themselves wonder why prevalent contraceptive use sometimes raises the abortion rate. In truth, contraceptives provide a false sense of security that takes away the inhibition to sexual activity. Scientists have noted numerous cases of contraceptive failure. Abortion is resorted to, an act that all religious traditions would judge as sinful. “Safe sex” to diminish abortion rate is false propaganda.
Advocates moreover say that the RH bill will prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. This goes against the grain of many available scientific data. In some countries where condom use is prevalent, HIV/ AIDS continues to spread. Condoms provide a false security that strongly entices individuals towards increased sexual activity, increasing likewise the incidence of HIV/AIDS. “Safe sex” to prevent HIV /AIDS is false propaganda.
Advocates also assert that the RH Bill empowers women with ownership of their own bodies. This is in line with the post-modern spirit declaring that women have power over their own bodies without the dictation of any religion. How misguided this so-called “new truth” is! For, indeed, as created by God our bodies are given to us to keep and nourish. We are stewards of our own bodies and we must follow God’s will on this matter according to an informed and right conscience. Such a conscience must certainly be enlightened and guided by religious and moral teachings provided by various religious and cultural traditions regarding the fundamental dignity and worth of human life.
Advocates also say that the RH bill is necessary to stop overpopulation and to escape from poverty. Our own government statistical office has concluded that there is no overpopulation in the Philippines but only the over-concentration of population in a number of urban centers. Despite other findings to the contrary, we must also consider the findings of a significant group of renowned economic scholars, including economic Nobel laureates, who have found no direct correlation between population and poverty. In fact, many Filipino scholars have concluded that population is not the cause of our poverty. The causes of our poverty are: flawed philosophies of development, misguided economic policies, greed, corruption, social inequities, lack of access to education, poor economic and social services, poor infrastructures, etc. World organizations estimate that in our country more than P400 billion pesos are lost yearly to corruption. The conclusion is unavoidable: for our country to escape from poverty, we have to address the real causes of poverty and not population.
In the light of the above, we express our clear objections:
1. We object to the non-consideration of moral principles, the bedrock of law, in legislative discussions of bills that are intended for the good of individuals and for the common good.
2. We are against the anti-life, anti-natal and contraceptive mentality that is reflected in media and in some proposed legislative bills.
3. We object strongly to efforts at railroading the passage of the RH bill.
4. We denounce the over-all trajectory of the RH bill towards population control.
5. We denounce the use of public funds for contraceptives and sterilization.
6. We condemn compulsory sex education that would effectively let parents abdicate their primary role of educating their own children, especially in an area of life – sexuality – which is a sacred gift of God.
What We Stand For
On this matter of proposed RH bills, these are our firm convictions:
1. We are deeply concerned about the plight of the many poor, especially of suffering women, who are struggling for a better life and who must seek it outside of our country, or have recourse to a livelihood less than decent.
2. We are pro-life. We must defend human life from the moment of conception or fertilization up to its natural end.
3. We believe in the responsible and natural regulation of births through Natural Family Planning for which character building is necessary which involves sacrifice, discipline and respect for the dignity of the spouse.
4. We believe that we are only stewards of our own bodies. Responsibility over our own bodies must follow the will of God who speaks to us through conscience.
5. We hold that on the choices related to the RH bill, conscience must not only be informed but most of all rightly guided through the teachings of one’s faith.
6. We believe in the freedom of religion and the right of conscientious objection in matters that are contrary to one’s faith. The sanctions and penalties embodied in the proposed RH bill are one more reason for us to denounce it.
As religious leaders we have deeply and prayerfully reflected on this burning issue. We have unanimously made the moral judgment – to reject the RH agenda and to choose life.
1. We call for a fundamental transformation of our attitudes and behavior towards all human life especially the most defenseless, namely, human life being formed or being conceived. The cheapness with which many seem to consider human life is a great bane to our religious-oriented nation.
2. We call upon our legislators to consider the RH bill in the light of the God-given dignity and worth of human life and, therefore, to shelve it completely as contrary to our ideals and aspirations as a people. We thank our legislators who have filed bills to defend human life from the moment of conception and call upon all other legislators to join their ranks.
3. We thank the great multitude of lay people all over the country, and particularly the dedicated groups who made their presence felt in the halls of Congress, to defend and promote our position. We call upon other lay people and adherents of other religions to join the advocacy to defend and promote our commonly shared ideals and aspirations.
4. We call on our government to address effectively the real causes of poverty such as corruption, lack of social and economic services, lack of access to education and the benefits of development, social inequities.
5. We call for the establishment of more hospitals and clinics in the rural areas, the deployment of more health personnel to provide more access to health services, the building of more schools, the provision of more aid to the poor for education, and the building of more and better infrastructures necessary for development.
6. We echo the challenge we prophetically uttered 25 years ago at EDSA I and call upon all people of good will who share our conviction: “…let us pray together, reason together, decide together, act together, always to the end that the truth prevail” over the many threats to human life and to our shared human and cultural values.
We commend our efforts against the RH bill (or the Responsible Parenthood bill – its new name) to the blessing of our almighty and loving God, from whom all life comes and for whom it is destined.
For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
+NEREO P. ODCHIMAR, D.D.
Bishop of Tandag
January 30, 2011
PANGASINAN FREE TRANSLATION
Panpili na Bilay, Pan-sumlang ed RH Bill
Agagi mi ran Filipino:
Papablien na Estado so dignidad na balangakey a too tan gagarantiyaan to so nagnap ya respeto parad say kanepegan na too. (Art. II, Section 11). Bibirbiren na Estado so kasantosay bilay na pamilya tan iyagel to tan pabiskegen toy pamilya a sikatoy basic autonomous social institution. Pare-parehoy pangiyagel toy bilay na ina tan say bilay na saray ag ni-nianak manlapud conception. (Art II. Section 12
Igapo mid panbitlay Constitution na Pilipinas. Ginawa mi ya lapud labay min sulaten kayo unong ed say “fundamental ideals” tan saray pirpirawat na amin a Filipino, aliwan unong ed bangat na Katoliko labat.
Wala tayod nasangaan na bilay tayo ya sakey a nasyon. Walad arap tayo so nanduroman versions na ipapalapag ya bill, say Reproductive Health Bill odino samay pianbalingit ya Responsible Parenthood bill. Sayan proposed bill ed saray nanduroman versions to so manatawag ed sikatayo ya manggawa na moral ya panag-pili: pilien so bilay odino pilien so patey.
Diad gapoy-gapo, misalamat kamid say gobiyerno diad inpangiter dad sikatayo na pankanawnawa ya mangipalapag na kanunotan tayo diad maong ya pitotongtong. Makapaermen balet, ya diad sayan dialogue, pinmaway no panon ya araldawi la so balang positions mi. Sirin imbes na maniiter na palson ilalo, labay mi ed sarayan panaon ya ipalapag min malinew no anto ra so objections mi tan anto so position mi.
Nansangaan na Panamilin Moral – Diad EDSA I tan Natan
Nen 1986, duamplo tan liman taon lay dinmalan, sikamin Catholic Bishops so nanggaway prophetic moral judgment ed say political leadership. Diad sayan prophetic declaration manisia kami ya baleg so nitulong mid inpangilukas na puwerta para EDSA 1 tan say pangilukas na bintana para political integrity.
Natan wala ti lad balon nasangaan na dalan na bansa tayo tan nepeg tayo natan a manggaway ag-niduman moral choice. Binangon na presidente tayo so bansa tayo na say salita to nen election, “Kung walang corrupt walang mahirap.” Lapud sikami mangi-uulo na relihiyon, manisia kami ya wala ni so mas alabas ya klase na corruption, a tatawagey moral corruption a sikatoy twan lamot na amin ya corruption. Diad sayan issue natan, sakey ya morally corrupt soa kipapasen tayo, no ag tayo asikasoen so moral implications na RH bill.
Saray Human tan Cultural Values ya Pananabangan tayo – Dwaran Fundamental Principles
Aliwa labat la yan sakey ya Catholic issue, say RH Bill et sakey yan ambelat ya pakaderal ed say tuan values na too tan diad values na kulturay Pilipino nipaakar ed say bilay na too ya pabpablien tayon amin nanlapu lad gapo-gapo.
Diad mainomay ya panangibaga, say RH Bill et ag to iiter so respeto o kagalangan so moral sense a sikatoy walad utel na kulturay Pilipino. Sikato yay bunga na ispiritu diad sayan mundo, sakey a secular, materioson panagnunot a mangipapalapag ya say moralidad et sakey a bangat ya nayarin panpilian, unong ed say ispirituy panaon. Saray arum ya bangat et awaten da, saray arum met balet et iwaklit da. Makapaermen balet ta, nanenengneng mi so in-inot ya itatayak na sayan post-modern spirit diad dili Filipino society.
Say aalageyan min malet et say duara ed saray prinsipyo ya pinanabangan na amin iray mananisia ed Dios:
(1)Say sankamasagradoan ya langkap ya pisikal et say bilay na too, a sikatoy inpangaro na Dios, a nan-lapuan na bilay na amin, ed saray totoo. Say pangusar na artificial iran antokaman pian ag natuloy so ilesa tan pangiyanak na bilay na too et peteg tan twan sumlang ed say katwaan nipaakar et say bilay na too. Diad ikakayat na sayan panag-nunot na post-modern spirit na mundo tayo, say posisyon mi so bibirbiren min position na sakey ya propita. Lapud pangulo kami na relihiyon, agkami ontatakot ya nepeg min mangibawag so sayan katwaan ed anton panaon.
(2) Saray atateng ya mikakasakey ed say Dios so rason no akin et wala ray ogogaw ed mundo. Sikara so walaay manonaan ya agnabalang ya kanepegan tan responsibilidad ya mangasikaso, mangaro tan mangibangat ed sikara pian sikaray makalakal ya onbaleg unong ed say linawa na Manamalsa.
Saray susumlangan mi ed say RH Bill
Ibabaga da ray mangitatalindeg na RH Bill ya saya et mangitatanguyor na reproductive health. Saya so peteg ya aliwa. Anggapoy proteksyon ya iiter na RH Bill para say kaabigan na masagradon bilay na too ya ilesa tan iyanak. Say salita labat lan “contraceptive” et ibabaga to lay peteg ya kontrad-bilay ya ipapalapag ya pamaakaran na RH Bill. Sarayan artificial ya pamaakaran ya uusaren so makapatey ed say bilay na too, diad panbano toy ilesa na bilay na too odino diad pamatey to nia. Ontan met, kabat tan amta lan abayag na saray scientests ya say contraceptives et sarag ton pakalaay sakit ya kanser. Saray contraceptives so Order Online. High Quality. Affordable Price. Amex or E-check. Cialis improves erection and lets achieve a successful sexual intercourse. Cialis 10mg mauges parad say kaabigay laman na bibii.
Ibabaga met na saray mangitatalindeg na RH Bill ya saya so manpadaiset na saray manpapaekal na ogaw odino abortion. Dakel balet ed saray scientific analysts so mankelaw no akin et diad panguusar na contraceptives et ontatagey so bilang na saray manpapaekal. Say tua, say contraceptives so mangi-iter na palson seguridad ya mange-ekal ingen na baing ed say sexual activity. Saray scientists so mangibabagan dake-rakel so kasoy kapalpakan na contraceptive odino contraceptive failure. Say panagpaekal la laingen so pansusumpalan, sakey a gawan bibirbiren na amin ya relihiyon a kasalanan. Say propagandan, “Safe sex” a manpadaiset na na abortion so tila.
Siansia ni ya ibabaga da ray mangitatalindeg na RH Bill ya saya et makabanoy itayak na HIV/AIDS. Onsusumlang iya ed saray dakel iran scientific data. Diad arum ya bansa no iner ya dakerakel so manuusar na condom, sian-sia so itatayak na HIV/AIDS. Aliwan pakasiguro so iiter na condom ta mas ingen naiingganyo iray totoo ed increased sexual activity, tan lapud saya ondarakel met sirin so mansasakit na HIV/AIDS. Say propagandan, “Safe sex” a makabanoy HIV/AIDS so tila.
Igegetget na saray mangitatalindeg na RH Bill ya diad saya ombibiskeg so pakapanyari na saray bibii ed dilin laman da. Katekep to ya so post-modern spirit a mangibabagan saray bibii et walay pakayari dad dilin laman da ya ag ira didiktaan na anggan anton relihiyon. Agay lay inkabalang na sayan tatawagey “balon katwaan”! Ta say tua, say laman tayo a pinalsay Dios so niiter ed sikatayon asikasoen tan pabiskegen. Sikatayoy manangasikaso na dilin laman tayo tan nepeg ya tooren tayo linaway Dios ed sayan bengatla onung ed say makabat tan dugan konsiensia. Sayay onyan konsiensia so nepeg sirin ya naliwawaan tan antabayan na saray bangat na relihiyon tan moralidad ya manlalapud saray nanduruman relihiyon tan kultura nipaakar ed say dignidad tan inkabli na bilay na too.
Ibabaga na saray mangitatalindeg na RH Bill ya nakaukolan iya pian ontonda so alablabas ya idarakel na totoo tan nibatikan day kairapan na bilay. Say dilin statistical office na gobierno tayo so mangibabagan anggapoy overpopulation diad Pilipinas no ag ingen walay over-concentration na populasyon ed pigpigaran urban centers. Nepeg tin akoen met so nalmoan na saray economic scholars, kaiba ray pigaran economic Nobel laureates, ya ag nira akalmoy direct correlation na population tan say kairapan na bilay. Say tua, dakel ed saray Filipino scholars so mangibabagan aliwan say idadakel na totoo so sengegay kairapan na bilay. Saray sengegan na kairapan so onguendan: say aliwan pilosopiya na development, misguided economic policies, say inka-agom, say corruption, social inequities, kakulangay pakaawat na education, kakulangan na economic tan social services, makapoy ya infrastuctura, ta arum nira. Ibabaga na nanduroman organizations diad mundo ya diad bansa tayo, walay masulok nen say P400 bilyones so nababalang tinaon-taon lapud corruption. Sirin saya so conclusion: pian say bansa tayo et nawalaad kawayangan na kairapan, nepeg ya asikaoen so sengegay kairapan, tan aliwan say idarakel na totoo.
Lapud sirin ed sarayy abitla la, ibebesngaw mi so malinlinew ya panag-sumlang mi:
1. Onsusumlang kami ed say ag-pangiitday imano ed saray moral principles, say pundasyon na ley, diad legislative discussion ed saray bills ya mange-getma parad say kamaongan na individual tan pangkamaungan na karaklan.
2. Onsusumlang kami ed say mentalidad ya kontra ed bilay, kontra ed panag-anak tan say contraceptive mentality ya ipapalapag diad media tan diad saray arum niran ipapatnag na legislative bills.
3. Mabiskeg min susumlangen iray sagpot ed maples ya pang-ipasa na RH Bill.
4. Ikaindan mi so getma na RH Bill para say pan-control na populasyon.
5. Ikaindan mi so pangusar na public funds para say contraceptives tan sterilization.
6. Ikaindan mi so compulsory sex education ya man-pangikban ed saray ateng ed say manunan kimey dan manbangat ed say dilin anak da, laut lad nipaakar ed bilay— sexualidad – ya masanton langkap na Dios.
Say Itatalindeg Mi
Diad sayan bengatlan proposed RH Bills, saray onguendan so pananisia mi:
1. Walay panangasikaso min maong ed saray kipapasen na dakerakel ed saray mairap bilay, laut lad saray bibiin walad kairapan, ya manaanos ya makagamor na mas maong a bilay tan sikara so manaanap ni ed paway na bansa tayo, odino mankikimey irad aliwan disintin panag-anap.
2. Sikami so para-say bilay. Ilaban mi so bilay na too manlapud say conception odino fertilization ya anggad natural ya pansampot na bilay.
3. Manisia kami ed responsible tan natural regulation na panag-anak diad panamegley na Natural Family Planning. Say nakaukolan to ya et say pan-oksoy na character na too ya katekep na sakripisyo, disiplina ta respeto na dignidad na sanasawa.
4. Manisia kami ya sikatayo labat et taga-asikaso na laman tayo. Say responsibilidad tayo ed saray laman tayo et nepeg ya ontumbok ed linawa na Dios ya mitotongtong ed sikatayo diad panamegley na konsiensia tayo.
5. Manisia kami ya diad panag-decision nipaakar ed RH Bill, say konsiensia tayo so nepeg ya aliwa labat ya napakabatan balet saya et naiwanwan na maptek tan duga unong ed saray bangat na pananisia na sakey.
6. Manisia kami ed say kawayangan na relihiyon tan say kanepegan na matwan panag-sumlang ed saray bengatlan laban ed pananisia na sakey. Saray sanctions tan dusa ya nitekep ed say proposed RH Bill so sakey ed saray rason no akin et agmi ya iyabobon.
Say Tawag Mi
Sikami ran religious leaders yo so nandasal tan nanmutektek ed sayan ampetang ya issue. Amin mi et so walad saksakey ya moral judgment – say pansumlang ed say getma na RH bill. Pinili mi so getma na bilay.
1. Ontatawag kami ed say panagpasimbalo na say attitudes tan behavior ed amin ya nipaakar ed bilay na too laut la ed saray anggapoy pakayari ra: say bilay na too ya inlokon odino ilolokon ni. Say panlemlemew ed say bilay na too so baleg ya pakagogonigon na say marelihiyoson nasyon tayo.
2. Tatawagen mi imano na saray legislators tayo ya pinengneng da lamet so sayan RH Bill unong ed say liwawan inter na Dios ya dignidad tan pinablin bilay na too, tan sirin, lapud saya et ipireg da la iyan bill lapud saya et sumlang ed saray ideals tan saray pirpiriwat na totoo. Misalamat kami ed saray arum ya legislators ya nan-file iran bills ya mangilalaban ed bilay na too manlapud say conception, tan tatawagen mi imano na arum ya legislators ya mikasakey irad sikara.
3. Misasalamat kami ed saray dakerakel ya laiko diad intiron bansa, tan laut la ed saray matoor ya grupo ya inpalikas da so kiwawala ra ed Kongreso pian nilabat tan nitanguyor da so position mi. Tatawagen mi so imano na arum iran laiko tan saray arum ya mananisia ya mikasakey ira komon ed sayan advocacy ya pangilaban tan pangitanduro ed say saksakey iran ideals tan aspirations tayo.
4. Tatawagen mi imano na say gobierno tayo pian iter da so imano ra ed twan lamot na say kairapan a singa say corruption, say kakulangan na social tan economic services, say kakulangan ed say paka-awat na edukasyon tan say benipisyo na panag-aliguas, tan social inequities.
5. Ontatawag kami para say pangi-paalagey na dakel niran ospital tan clinics diad rural areas, say pangibaki na dakel niran health personnel pian mas dakel so naiiter ya health services, say panpaalagey na dakel niran eskwelaan, say pangiter na mas dakel ya tulong ed edukasyon para say mairap bilay, tan say panpaalagey na dakel tan mas maong ya infrastraktura ya nakaukolan para say pana-aliguas tayo.
6. Uuliten mi so challenge ya inter mi dwamplo tan liman taon la so apalabas ed EDSA 1, tan say tawag mid amin ya totoo walay maong ya linawa ya mikakasakey ed say conviction mi “ … mankakasakey tayon manpikasi, manmutektek, man-decide, ongalaw, lawas para say pantalungaring na katwaan” ed saray dakerakel ya pakadederal na bilay na too tan say human tan cultural values tayo.
Iter mi so imano mi ed say maong ya kimey ya gagawaen tayo laban ed say RH Bill odino say Responsible Parenthood bill – ya balon ngaran to), say bendision na makapanyari ta maaron Dios, a panlalapuan na amin a bilay tan pansampot na bilay.
Para say Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
+NEREO P. ODCHIMAR, D.D.
Bishop of Tandag
January 30, 2011