KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/17 December) – Kidapawan Bishop Romulo dela Cruz has reiterated his calls to Catholic believers to pray “without ceasing” so that the controversial Reproductive Health bill may not be approved on its scheduled voting today at the Senate.
Dela Cruz made the call during the first day of misa de gallo on Sunday at the Our Lady Mediatrix of all Grace Cathedral, one of the biggest Catholic churches in North Cotabato.
He also urged Catholics to ask for the intercession of the Our Lady of Mediatrix, the patron saint of Kidapawan City in overcoming the “evil” called RH Bill by praying the Holy Rosary daily.
“We need your support. We need your fervent prayers. We must not stop praying so that this bill would not be passed into law,” dela Cruz told the churchgoers.
The bishop went to Congress to personally witness the voting on the controversial bill on its second reading on Tuesday last week.
The bill was approved with 113 affirmative votes and 104 negative votes.
North Cotabato Representatives Jesus Sacdalan (first district) and Nancy Catamco (second district) voted “yes” to the bill.
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Rep. Raymond Mendoza and Agham party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones, who both hail from the province, also voted in favor of the bill.
Fourteen years after it was first filed in Congress, the RH bill may finally become a law should it be approved by the House of Representatives on its third and final reading, as well as by the Senate.
Passage of the bill has been blocked by the strong opposition of the Catholic Church for supposedly allowing abortion. But Human Rights Watch said in a statement today that the bill does not amend the penal code prohibition on abortion, but addresses post-abortion care standards.
Citing the Bill will have “profound implications for improving the health and lives of women throughout the country,” Human Rights Watch said “the Aquino administration should be credited for having the political will to muster support for the bill in Congress despite the threat of a political backlash.” (Malu Manar, with a report from H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)