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Lay leaders keep up tax threat

Anti-birth control bill campaigners say they will defy bishops

Lay leaders keep up tax threat
An anti-birth control bill rally in Manila (Photograph by Sean Salvador) reporters, Manila

May 23, 2011

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Lay leaders opposed to the proposed birth control law today said “civil disobedience” in the form of non-payment of taxes is still an option if the reproductive health bill is passed.

Bishops have opposed the move.

Human Life International country coordinator Dr. Rene Bullecer, speaking at a meeting in the central province of Cebu, said lay organizations are united in their resolve for a civil disobedience. campaign.

“Let us see what lies ahead…. Not paying taxes is just one of the options when we talk about direct democracy," Bullecer said.

Bullecer said he preferred the term “direct democracy” and not “civil disobedience.” Archbishop Palma, in a forum with businessmen last week, said disobedience is not an option but stressed that the Church would not stop in campaigning against the bill.

The bill's opponents have scheduled prayer vigils, signature campaigns and caravans in different regions in the coming weeks.

With just two weeks to go before Congress adjourns, debates on the Senate version of the bill may not get going until at least late July, according to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

The next session of Congress will start July 25, when President Benigno Aquino III is expected to deliver his second State of the Nation Address.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan expressed sadness over the division among Catholics over the issue.

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