Palace to CBCP: We're not the enemy

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang appealed to the Catholic Church yesterday to ease up on criticisms directed at President Aquino regarding his support on the Reproductive Health bill.                                 
“We are not the enemy here. The President is not the enemy here,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview with government-run radio dzRB (Radyo ng Bayan).
Valte said the President wants to give couples opportunity to make informed decisions on the family planning methods they want to use.
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes earlier attributed the drop in Aquino’s popularity ratings to his support for the bill, which the Church believes contradicts dogma.
 Aquino had also expressed willingness to be excommunicated to prove his support for the bill. The dialogue between Church officials and the Palace on the bill is ongoing.
Valte said the admission made by Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, that dissent of opinion on the bill exists in the Catholic hierarchy, shows that the government is adopting a democratic policy on the issue of population control.
“What’s good about this is that we are encouraging individual thinking… because of the debate that is going on, people are enlightened on the different positions on the bill,” she said. Bishops, meanwhile, declared today the “National Day of Prayer” against the RH bill to coincide with the opening of session in Congress.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles encouraged the praying of the rosary for the rejection of the bill in Congress. – Delon Porcalla, Helen Flores

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