JARO, Iloilo, Feb. 9, 2015 — As President Benigno Aquino III celebrated his 55th birthday on Feb. 8, a citizens’ group reminded the head of state to respect the pro-life provision of the 1987 Constitution and to observe the second week of February as “Respect and Care for Life Week”, a legacy of the late President Corazon Aquino.

In spite of an official proclamation made by the late President Aquino to highlight the pro-life provision of the 1987 Constitution, members of Citizens for Life see that the present government is no longer aware of February as “Pro-life Month” or its second week as “Respect and Care for Life Week”.

Former President Corazon Aquino talks to Archbishop Angel Lagdameo before a healing Mass held for her intentions. She passed away on Aug. 1, 2009. (Photo: CBCPNews)

Anti-life administration

“It would be worthwhile to call the attention of the President to the ‘Respect and Care for Life Week’, or Proclamation 214, issued in 1988 by no less than his own mother, President Corazon Aquino,” suggested Atty. Lina Layson of Citizens for Life, noting the present administration’s apparent indifference to the issue.

According to her, while the government’s level of awareness about the said pro-life celebrations is “almost nil” because “they have other priorities”, what is shocking is how the Aquino administration backed anti-life legislation.

“…The fact that the present administration really pushed for the passage into law of the RH Bill simply shows its lack of respect and care for human life,” the group’s convenor observed.

Nevertheless, the members of Citizens for Life, encouraged by the encounter of Pope Francis with Filipino families on Jan. 16, have found themselves once again in action to move people to defend life and protect the family.

‘Lack of openness to life’

“The Pope lamented the attack being waged against the family by the so-called ‘ideological colonization’ with the growing efforts to redefine the very institution of marriage by relativism… by the lack of openness to life,” Layson recalled.

During Pope Francis’ Meeting with the Families at the SM Mall of Asia on Jan. 16, the Holy Father called attention to the “growing efforts” of some to redefine the concept of marriage, by relativism, the “culture of the ephemeral,” and a “lack of openness to life”.

During the Concluding Mass of his papal visit on Jan. 18, the pontiff also told the millions gathered in Luneta: “We need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected.” (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)