MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/21 March) – The 49 parishes of the Diocese of Malaybalay will join the Church-led nationwide protest on Friday against the controversial reproductive health bill.
Each parish has committed to send at least 50 representatives to a rally at the Freedom Park in Malaybalay City against House Bill 4244 or “an Act providing for a comprehensive policy on responsible parenthood, reproductive health, and population and development,” Fr. Noel Suarez, president of the Bukidnon Catholic clergy, and Fr. Bob Salem, San Isidro Cathedral parish administrator announced over church-run radio station DXDB.
Salem said the move is meant to raise public awareness on the church’s pro-life position and opposition to the bill.
“We will appeal to congressmen and senators not to support the bill,” he said.
Malaybalay Bishop Jose Cabantan told MindaNews earlier they intended to write the legislators and make them reveal their position on the bill
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in a report posted in its website last week said the bishops will join forces with other anti-RH bill advocacy groups to pressure lawmakers into rejecting the bill.
“Being the last country standing against the vicious attacks of power in connivance with lawmakers, we see the urgent need now to stop the attack by the proposed RH bill on our valued culture of life,” Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales was quoted in the report as having said.
He accused bill supporters of being anti-life and of being instigated by local and foreign forces and that they have to be stopped.
“We shall all stand united against the assault on life and its values,” Rosales said.
According to the CBCP, the rally will be the second this year in the Manila Archdiocese.
It coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation and the Day of the Unborn Children.
Salem said the protesters will arrive in two convoys – from Sumilao in the north and Valencia City in the south – and meet at the capitol grounds from where they will march to the Freedom Park for the 9:00am rally.
At the rally Fr. Venancio Balansag Jr. will read a manifesto which the protesters will be asked to sign.
Salem said they have invited speakers from other provinces, including Dr. Rene Bullecer, a staunch critic of the bill. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)