THE PRO-LIFE party-list that topped the recent midterm elections is vowing to block “anti-life” bills in Congress.

Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) partylist got three seats in the House of Representatives with 1,265,992 votes or 4.74 percent, based on the data from the Commission on Elections.

Jose “Lito” Atienza, Jr., incoming Buhay party-list representative, emphasized the importance of educating the public on the provisions of the Reproductive Health (RH) law.

“Many Filipinos are not even familiar with the RH law. They do not know the provisions that are dangerous and destructive to our values and to the future of the youth. So we will bring this matter to Congress and if there is a chance or there is a possibility, we will try to amend it. Definitely, we will try to resist it [in] any way,” Atienza told the Varsitarian in a phone interview.

The other representatives of Buhay are Mariano Michael Velarde, Jr. and William Irwin Tieng.

Buhay partylist was able to pass pro-life laws like Republic Act 9364 titled “An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines” in 2006 and Republic Act 9775 titled “An Act Defining the Crime of Child Pornography and Imposing Penalties Therefore and for Other Purposes” in 2009.

Buhay wants to be known for its main advocacy of spreading the “culture of life,” not only through its opposition to anti-life bills but developing the country’s economic state by promoting the productivity of every Filipino as the solution to poverty.

Atienza, a former mayor of Manila, said one of the provisions that needed to be amended in the RH law is mandatory sex education for children as early as seven years old.

Nation of heroes and thieves

“The children will grow up considering [sex] as a problem, a disease that should be avoided. It would cause negative effects. So as along as sex education is on a pending provision to be taught in schools, we will always consider this law as condemnable,” he said.

Atienza also questioned the budget of over three billion pesos allocated to condoms, pills and other birth control supplies, when it should be used instead for necessities like medicines.

“The essential medicines in health centers are being substituted. Rather than having medicines to cure and prohibit diseases like tuberculosis, heart problems, [and] diabetes, we have to buy condoms and pills,” he said.

Eric Manalang, Pro-Life Philippines president, said the RH law should be repealed because it serves only the interest of few groups instead of the whole population.

“It is an evil law as it only satisfies the desire of a selfish few to keep the poor poor and to diminish their numbers, branding them as unfit to propagate,” Manalang said in an e-mail.

Divorce bill

With recent reports of legislators planning to pass a divorce bill in the next Congress, Atienza said Buhay would be on guard.

“Divorce bill will destroy the sacred sacrament of marriage. That is our faith, that is what is true and that is what prevails in us, Filipinos. So why do we have to let foreign ideologies ruin it again?” he said.

Manalang considers divorce as one of the “bad fruits” of the RH law.

“Its intention is mainly to call married spouses to become intolerant of the rules required, [like] fidelity, charity, faithfulness, sacrifice, [and] holiness,” Manalang said. “Enforcing laws on marriage and family and things will be much better.”

Liberating literature

Atienza notes that many pro-life legislators were elected in the 16th Congress.

“As of now all I could say is, we have three congressmen from Buhay party-list. We will fight the anti-life measures. I believe that many pro-life [advocates] were elected so we will gather as soon as possible,” said Atienza.


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