Photo by Karla Mides C. Toledo

CEBU CITY, Nov. 18 – People must not disengage themselves from politics, but rather get involved in it to guard against politicians campaigning for the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, said a former Manila mayor on the last day of the Philippines For Life Congress 2011 here today.

“We must participate in discussions. We must make it clear in our minds how bad and how fundamentally wrong this proposed law [is] and how destructive this would be,” said former Manila mayor Jose “Lito” Atienza. “[The RH bill is] fundamentally wrong because it is against the law of God. It is against our faith. It is against everything that we stand for as a nation. It is against our values.”

People must elect politicians who will “protect life” and reject those who are pushing the pro-contraception bill, he added.

“When the problem comes from the political side, let us all get involved in politics. It is not good enough to be good Church leaders or to be good lay leaders. We must be involved in governance. You cannot get involved in governance if you shy away from politics,” Atienza said. “Let’s stop the notion that ‘politics is dirty, politicians are bad, therefore I don’t want to get involved with it.’ If the good people do not immerse themselves in governance, in politics, then the bad will always run this world.”

The forum ended with a Mass led by Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, who said Catholics should work hard so that from the “culture of death comes the culture of life, from culture of profit to culture of service, and from culture of individualism to culture of communitarian life.”

Dr. Ligaya Acosta, executive director of Human Life International Asia and Oceania, said the “culture of death” stands for divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total population control, and homosexual unions.

Another speaker in the forum was Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Gervie Kay S. Estella


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