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Filipino group attacks ‘pro-choice’ ad

Knights of Columbus member on offensive over birth control bill

Filipino group attacks ‘pro-choice’ ad
Catholics gather at the Rizal Park Friday for a rally against the reproductive health bill
Julian Labores, Manila

March 28, 2011

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Filipino “pro-life” activists criticized a television advertisement that carries the “pro-choice” position of the controversial reproductive health bill now pending in the Philippine Congress. Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., a member of the Knights of Columbus, said the TV ad, which features former congresswoman Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, “smacked of people leaving their future to chance instead of to God.” Davide said Baraquel claimed that the proposed bill provides the chance for a better future of a family. “I asked myself: have we lost our faith and trust in God that we now would leave our future to chance?” He said the Knights of Columbus might question the constitutionality of the bill before the Supreme Court if Congress passes it. Malacañang presidential palace, meanwhile, is unmoved by boxing champ and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao’s attacks against the bill. The boxing icon earlier commented that he wouldn’t have been around had his parents used condoms. “Well, personally I think people are very glad that Manny Pacquiao was born so that he can bring glory to the Philippines. But I don’t think that is the issue in the debates about the RH bill,” said Ramon Carandang, Aquino’s spokesman. “Everyone is free to express his opinion especially [Pacquiao], so that’s okay with us.” On Friday, Catholic bishops led a huge rally against the RH bill, urging legislators to either overhaul the bill or junk it altogether. Police estimated that some 40,000 people attended the rally in Luneta Park in Manila. The Vatican sent a message of encouragement that was read during the gathering. “Not for the first time, Philippine society is passing through a difficult period with all that concerns life and its defense,” said Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone in the message. PL13780.1647

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