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Catholics flock to Manila’s Rizal Park for anti-RH bill rally

March 25, 2011 6:55pm
Filipino Catholics flocked to the Quirino Grandstand in Manila’s sprawling Rizal Park Friday afternoon to attend a rally called by Catholic bishops to oppose the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill.

The atmosphere was festive, with Filipinos bringing their entire families to the event, Church-run Radio Veritas reported.

"Ako ay natutuwa na narito parami ng parami ang tao sa Luneta. (Ibig sabihin nito), marami ang ayaw ng RH bill," Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes said. (I am happy that more and more people are coming to Luneta. This means many do not want the RH bill.)

A report on GMA News TV-11 said the rally participants numbered in the "thousands" as of 5 p.m.

The Antipolo prelate said it is time for supporters of the RH bill to wake up and be educated about what the Church insists are the “evil" effects of the proposed measure.

Reyes said the reason why many still favor the RH bill is that they have not been enlightened about its dark side.

"Marami ang pabor, hindi siguro napaliwanagan nang mabuti, hindi sinabi ang lahat ng kasamaan doon. Sana huwag mapasa ang RH bill o responsible parenthood bill," he said.

(Many who favor the bill may not have been fully enlightened, not thoroughly told of its evils. We hope the RH bill, now called the responsible parenthood bill, will not be passed.)

The Catholic Church has repeatedly said it opposes the RH bill due to its allowing artificial contraception, while Church teaching supposedly allows only natural methods of family planning.

For his part, Novaliches and Manila Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr. added the rally should send a strong signal to the government to drop support for the RH bill.

"Hindi lang ito, magkakaroon pa ng iba. Lalo pang dadami ito ang participants, dadami pa rin," Bacani said. (This won’t be the last. There will be more rallies, with more participants.)

The Radio Veritas report said that at one point, helicopters flying over the rally site dropped rose petals on cheering Filipinos.—JV, GMA News



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