APPEALING for sobriety, Malacañang on Sunday sought to heal a widening rift between
Church and State over the controversial parenthood bill that last week saw prelates
threatening civil disobedience and President Benigno Aquino III warning he would jail them.
Malacañang yesterday encouraged the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
(CBCP) to a healthy debate over the reproductive health bill in Congress, but only within the
bounds of law – without resorting to anything unlawful, like civil disobedience.
“This is a debate on an issue of national importance. We have different views but discussions
should be within the means of the law,” Secretary Ricky Carandang stressed.
“That is what the President said. There is room for debate, but it doesn’t have to degenerate
to illegal acts or anything like that,” he said, referring to the civil disobedience threat of those
opposed to the RH bill in the House of Representatives.
Some Catholic prelates have indicated they would rather go to jail on charges of sedition –
a warning that no less than President Aquino himself issued to anti-RH bill advocates – than
give up their campaign to promote life. (PIA)