Do not demonize the Executive Department

Human fetus at 10 weeks
A 44-years old gravid female with previous 6 children was diagnosed with carcinoma in situ of cervix (early stage cancer of womb). So total removal of uterus (womb) with fetus in situ was considered to be inevitable for future health of the lady. The fetus is still alive. The author of this image states that it shows a fetus at 10 weeks gestation (i.e. from LMP), instead of 10 weeks from fertilisation.

This was a reply made by a reader in one of our posts. The Pro Pinoy Team decided to publish as an opinion piece.

My views and analysis: Do not demonize the Executive Department
By: Edgar M. Chavez
Forever Catholic

On September 28, 2010, issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

San Francisco, California-PNOY served notice he may give assistance to Filipino Couples needing contraceptives if that is what they want, instantly provoking a Catholic Church leader to accuse him of “selling out the Filipino Soul” for American dollars.

In Manila, Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the Episcopal Commission on Family and life, linked Mr. Aquino statements to the US grant of $434-Million (19 billion) financial assistance to the Philippines. He further elaborate that  “It’s just a small amount compared to the moral values that we are going to lose,” Castro said. “Apparently for that measly sum of money in the name of poverty, here we are again, selling out the Filipino soul. It’s just sad.” “We prayed and hope that the president would see through it, that he would not tie the country to a US ideology in exchange for this grant. Castro said the church was hurt more than being disappointed, with Mr. Aquino Pronouncement.

The statement of Fr. Castro is entirely, baseless and speculative, the $434-million financial compact to help the present administration to address the issue on poverty and corruption.  No such thing as embracing the US ideology in exchange for this grant. That is a complete lie. – Fr. Castro is completely hallucinating for making such remark. Father, please do not demonize the Executive Department.

Adolf Hitler, Minister of Propaganda, PAUL J. GOEBELS, used to say: If you repeat a lie over and over enough times, people will begin to believe IT’S THE TRUTH,”- The expression “ THE TRUTH OF A LIE”.

Fr. Castro, conveniently forgot, that during the last election, the Roman Catholic Church does [sic] not support any candidate in the presidential election. Only some sectors of the church supported PNOY. Why? Although our country is predominantly 85% catholic and where the church can exerts [sic] a wide influence, the answer is so simple. The 85% catholic or the catholic registered voter [sic] will not follow them. It happens [sic] during the time of Candidacy of President Erap. Ano sabi ng Simbahan “Si Erap ay sugarol, babaero, maraming asawa, at Lasinggo.” What happen [sic] ?-The election of ERAP is [sic] a LANDSLIDE VICTORY.

Again, in the last presidential election, despite pastoral letters, guidelines issued by the church in selecting future leaders in the last presidential election, former President ERAP, a devoted catholic and a convicted plunderer, still obtained more than EIGHT (8) MILLION votes. Who are the voters? They are [sic] the Catholics.

During the time of Former Sen. Juan Flavier, Former Secretary of Dept. of  Health, a below the belt campaign was made by the Roman Catholic Church to discredit the Former Health Secretary, the latter utilized the Home Along Da Riles Program of Dolphy in Channel 2, to launch his health campaign program. Juan Flavier finished three consecutive terms in the senate with the highest number of laws passed during his term. He graduated from the senate with flying colors.

Meanwhile, Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) supported PNOY during the last presidential election.

Although Fr. Castro admitted in his statement that: “more than being disappointed, it hurts because many sectors of the Church supported him and were hoping and praying that he will be like his mother.” Father, you cannot expect that CORY and PNOY are the same individuals but the truth is that they are separate and distinct individuals. And maybe some sectors of the church are amenable to the stand of PNOY on family planning method.

“All the methods of the planning would be provided to the Filipino public and it is up to the parents to decide what method they choose to use”- Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, PDI 09/28/2010

It must be noted that the Roman Catholic Church does [sic] not support any presidential candidate last election. This sector of the church who supported PNOY are not totally controlled by RCC. Maybe they are open minded individuals who know the importance of RH Bill that calls for public information on family planning methods.

Fr. Castro said that the church would rather focus directly on people to give them the needed value formation so that whatever the government does, their moral values and thinking will remain intact.

If that is the case, the Roman Catholic Church must now start focusing on their plan to educate the people on value formation, and more importantly the proper evangelization including some members of the Roman Catholic Church rather than issuing baseless accusation and unchristian remarks that PNOY is selling out the Filipino soul for American dollars.

And let the people decide for themselves on what appropriate planning method they will choose.

PNOY said, some countries were already trying to reverse the ill effects of dictating a particular family planning strategy. “I believe the couple will be in the best position to determine what is best for the family, how to space (the births), what methods they can rely on and so forth. They bear the responsibilities for the children that they are bringing in and government is ready to assist.”

The aforequoted statement of PNOY also appears consistent with the pro choice platform that Mr. Aquino adopted during the presidential election. In a statement published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer during the campaign, he said that  in the process of providing a range of options and information to couples, both natural family planning and modern methods shall be presented.- VOTIVITAS ( A solem promise, a vow of Pnoy )

It is worth reiterating that despite the pro choice platform that Mr. Aquino adopted during the presidential election, some or many sectors of the Church supported him. They disobey [sic] the clear mandate of the Roman Catholic Church. The church favors the natural method such as the rhythm and abstinence. The church clearly opposes artificial means of planning such as the use of contraceptives, condoms, and birth pills.

Interestingly, since the church only favors the use of natural method, the plan of Mr. Robin Padilla and Ms. Mariel Rodriguez to hold a grand wedding in catholic rites this December might not push through. Robin Padilla is an endorser of a leading brand of condom.

I don’t know if the Roman Catholic Church will grant their request.

But PNOY is not an endorser of contraceptive products. He is only following his constitutional mandate to protect the people.

The sector of the church who supported PNOY knows what they are doing and know the relevance or importance of this RH Bill.

The said statement and the pro choice platform are supported by the Constitutional Provision and other related provision on health:

To quote:

Article II
DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES

Sec. 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people to and instill health consciousness among them.

PNOY Statement: Fr. San Francisco California, Speaking in a satellite television interview on Sunday (Monday in manila)

“ I think the government is obligated to inform everybody of the responsibilities of their choices. At the end of the day, government might provide assistance to those who are without means if they want to employ a particular method. But after saying that, I will not embark on a situation that forces couples to go one way or another,” he added, leaving to couples the choice of birth control method they want to use.

(The aforequoted Statement by Pnoy is published in PDI issue dated September 28, 2010)

It is crystal clear as daylight that the aforequoted [sic] statement of PNOY is in accordance with Section 15 under the State Policy of the 1987 Constitution. The Aquino government has to keep the solemn promise about the pro choice platform because the result will be for LA MASSIMA FELICITA DIVISA NEL MAGGIOR NUMERO or The Greatest Happiness For The Greatest Number.

OTHER RELATED PROVISION
Article XIII

Section. 11.  The State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essentials goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers.

Section. 12. The State shall establish and maintain an effective food and drug regulatory system and undertake appropriate health manpower development and research, responsive to the country’s health needs and problems.

Section 13. The State shall establish a special agency for disabled persons for their rehabilitation , self-development and self-reliance, and their integration into the mainstream of society.

VOX POPULI VOX DEI (The Voice of the People is the Voice of God)
Pamil vs. Teleron 86 SCRA 413

The 1987 Constitution is the supreme law of land. PNOY is only following the mandate of the Constitution.

To follow the advice of the Roman Catholic Church will clearly violate the aforequoted [sic] constitutional provision on health. If not, it will collides [sic] with the spirit of the law. The Roman Catholic Church must vow to the mandate of the Constitution. PNOY is only following the mandate of the Constitution and spirit of the law.

In gratia argumenti without admitting that RH Bill (Expected to be approved sooner) is unconstitutional, the Roman Catholic Church must wait for the RH Bill to become a law and then challenge it before the Supreme Court. Why is the Roman Catholic Church is so afraid? The 15 members or the composition of the Supreme Court are all Catholic Christian.

The Church through the bishops plans to hold “official and unofficial” dialogues with PNOY on the matter is tantamount to meddling with the affairs of the state if not acting as advisory council to the family planning method.

The church is clearly violating and still violating  Section 6 of Article II, DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES, to quote:

“Sec. 6. The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable”

Fr. Castro, please take note, Section 6 of Article II of the constitution is self-explanatory.

I would like to remind Fr. Castro that Legality and Morality cannot be reconciled one at a time. This is the reality. But they must walk in cadence in solving the issue on RH Bill. Please do not cry over spilled milk.

Guest Writer

  • baycas

    I believe “the straight and narrow” is the ideal – “constitutionally” speaking. Even a slight tortuosity in the path is not acceptable.

    Family Planning before or Responsible Parenthood now via the INFORMED CHOICE is the right thing to do for it also meets the requirement of the Bill of Rights, Sec. 5, that “No religious test is required” in such a policy (with both artificial and natural methods being offered).

    Whereas, there exists a “religious test” if, let’s say, natural methods are only being advocated. Favoring a leader’s own religion (i.e., Catholicism) or, as what is practiced before, following the dictates of the Catholic Church in matters of birth control is certainly unconstitutional.

    I won’t commend P.Noy on this as he is just doing what he promised before May (us going through “the straight and narrow”). It is expected of him.

    Other leaders should have done their constitutional duty during their time.

  • baycas

    State: the body politic as organized for supreme civil rule and government. As I used the word (of course, referring to the 1987 Constitution), “State” is distinguished from “Church.”

    If “the people” believe that a policy is a bad policy – and their reasons are religious, – should they ignore their religious convictions in favor of some other, non-religious “convictions” or arguments?

    That’s mainly the beauty of Responsible Parenthood through Informed Choice. The State must not impose what the Church wants. It must offer (by way of proper information/education and assistance) all necessary options (legal and not detrimental to health) for birth control. It is up to an individual (or better, a couple) to freely choose from among the options which he/she thinks is desirable for him/her.

    The Church, here exemplified by the Catholic Church, has a narrow focus on natural methods only for its flock. The State broadens the vision to other means, particularly the artificial birth control methods that can be desirable to non-believers.

    Of course, a member of the Church may also be exposed to such consideration (the artificial ways) but whatever decision he/she makes is between him/her and his/her god already.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    @Baycas – Are you separating the “People” from “The State”?
    If “the people” believe that a policy is a bad policy – and their reasons are religious, – should they ignore their religious convictions in favor of some other, non-religious “convictions” or arguments?

  • baycas

    The Church through the bishops plans to hold “official and unofficial” dialogues with PNOY on the matter is tantamount to meddling with the affairs of the state if not acting as advisory council to the family planning method.

    The church is clearly violating and still violating Section 6 of Article II, DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES, to quote:

    “Sec. 6. The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable”

    Fr. Castro, please take note, Section 6 of Article II of the constitution is self-explanatory.

    Strictly speaking, the Principle of The Separation of Church and State prohibitions are entirely directed at the State (and NOT the Church).

    Citizen Fr. Melvin Castro is not violating the Constitution.

    Citizen Fr. Melvin Castro (and his flock) is just involving himself in the political world…

    In short, politics cannot claim to be above or outside the natural law and the moral law. Politics has moral and religious dimensions. Therefore, the Church has to be involved in the political world.

  • baycas

    The Church through the bishops plans to hold “official and unofficial” dialogues with PNOY on the matter is tantamount to meddling with the affairs of the state if not acting as advisory council to the family planning method.

    The church is clearly violating and still violating Section 6 of Article II, DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES, to quote:

    “Sec. 6. The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable”

    Fr. Castro, please take note, Section 6 of Article II of the constitution is self-explanatory.

    Strictly speaking, the Principle of The Separation of Church and State prohibitions are entirely directed at the State (and NOT the Church).

    Citizen Fr. Melvin Castro is not violating the Constitution.

    Citizen Fr. Melvin Castro (and his flock) is just involving himself in the political world…

    In short, politics cannot claim to be above or outside the natural law and the moral law. Politics has moral and religious dimensions. Therefore, the Church has to be involved in the political world.

  • baycas

    The State is NEUTRAL and therefore by its Constitutional mandate of recognizing:

    (1) The “Separation of Church and State” (Art. III, Bill of Rights, Sec. 5), and
    (2) The right of the people to information on matters of public concern (Art. III, Bill of Rights, Sec. 7)

    must offer the freedom of INFORMED choice to every Filipino citizen.

    The State cannot promote or advance what the Catholic Church is advocating. The State is also prohibited to suppress or denigrate what the Catholic Church wants. It is because The State must not discriminate or prefer the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship.

    The people must know the artificial birth control methods alongside the natural birth control methods for them to decide freely on what to do.

  • Dexter Amoroso

    I’m not sure I see a significant difference between this and saying “I want mothers to have the right to deprive life (or kill their babies) if they so choose. Pro-choice!” In any event, this isn’t an issue of the separation of church and state.

  • lolita perocho

    Thank you Mr Edgar Chavez for this explanation. I agree on what you have said. Wala nag ginawa kundi Batikusin ang Aquino government. Salamat po, Carry on Mr PNOY.