House to vote on RH bill on December 12
Catholics are encouraged to closely monitor and continue praying for the enlightenment of the lawmakers as the House of Representatives are expected to vote on whether to enact the controversial Reproductive Health Bill into law this week.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma last Saturday urged the people again to spend time in prayer so that lawmakers will be enlightened in taking their stand on the issue.
“I encourage people to gather in churches and chapels and ask the Lord for his guidance especially for our congressmen during that very important day. We believe much is wrought by prayer,” he said in an interview.
Leave for Vietnam
Palma, who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the Philippines, left yesterday for Vietnam to attend the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences which starts today until Dec. 16.
But Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who remains an influential voice in the Church, is around as the country’s congressmen takes on the RH bill on Wednesday.
The date for the voting of the bill, Dec. 12, coincides with the feast of the Our Lady of Guadalupe—the patroness of Cebu and the unborn.
The 81-year-old cardinal advised the bishops to discuss the issue on the RH bill with their respective congressmen.
Pro-life groups in Cebu, on Wednesday, will conduct various activities, hoping that lawmakers will vote against the controversial bill.
At 10 a.m. of that day, a Mass will be celebrated at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral—the seat of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The liturgy is dedicated for pregnant mothers and the unborn.
“This will inculcate the mind of the public that life begins at the moment of conception,” said Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, Human Life International director.
From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., a vigil will be held at the groto of the Our Lady of Lourdes beside the cathedral.
A procession will also be held within the cathedral grounds.
Bullecer said there will be a candle lighting ceremony which goes with the rosary.
“287 candles representing the number of congressmen will be lighted. Another 23 candles will be lighted for the senators. And one candle will be intended for the president,” he said.
Among Cebu’s congressmen. Bullecer said only Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines may vote in favor of the RH bill.
For, against bill
He said Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district supports the RH bill but chose to abstain in the votation due to his alliance with the del Mars who has been opposing the controversial bill.
All other congressmen in Cebu will vote against the RH bill, Bullecer said. They are Rep. Eduardo Gullas of Cebu’s first district, Rep. Pablo Garcia of the second district, Rep. Pablo John Garcia of the third district, Rep. Benhur Salimbangon of the fourth district, Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI of the fifth district, Rep. Luigi Quisumbing of the sixth district, Rep. Arturo Radaza of the lone district of Lapu-Lapu, and Rep. Pastor Alcover of the Anad partylist.
“We have the judgment day before us. Every Filipino should wake up on the reality of the untold consequences of the RH bill,” Bullecer said.
The Church is vehemently opposing modern family planning that includes among others, pills, injectables, condoms, ligation, and vasectomy.
The RH bill or the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011 is a consolidated bill awaiting approval from the House of Representative and the Senate. /Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Reporter