SAN PABLO City, April 1, 2011? A priest from the diocese of San Pablo belied the opinion that members of the clergy are not vocal enough against the Reproductive Health Bill.
Fr. Jerry Oblepias, Diocesan Director of the Family Life Ministry in Laguna said the clergy of San Pablo Diocese are not just speaking against it; they are marching in the streets, he said.
The only thing is that those mass actions are not being covered well by national or local media, the priest said.
He told this writer that many priests who were in plain clothes joined a series of protest rallies and dawn procession conducted in various areas of the province which culminated in a huge protest gathering in San Pablo City last March 26.
The priests came from the vicariates and parishes of San Pedro, San Pablo, Calamba, Sta. Cruz, Paete, Pakil, Pangil, and Kalayaan, he said.
Meanwhile, a parish priest and former Director of the Family Life Ministry had been actively preaching against the evils of the RH Bill. He even irked some pro-RH Bill candidates when he openly campaigned not to vote for them in the recent national and local elections.
Fr. Eduardo Arupo, parish priest of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Calihan, San
Pablo City told this writer, that he angered some highly placed officials when he told them their support for the RH Bill meant they are anti- life, anti- family and anti- Filipino.
He said he will expose the City Government of San Pablo for passing their own version of the RH Bill pre-empting the same bill still pending in Congress.
Arupo distributed on March 30 copies of the Resolution passed by the City Council of San Pablo few years ago the content of which is almost a verbatim copy of the pending RH Bill authored by Congressman Edcel Lagman.
He said he will consult a lawyer to question the legality of such ordinance which is obviously against the Constitution.
Arupo said this is a big challenge against the Church of San Pablo which recently has approved the resolution declaring the province as pro-life province and a family-friendly zone.
Lagunenses belonging to the Coalition for Life and Family of Laguna composed of
individual parishioners and civic and religious organizations who participated in the protest march against the Reproductive Health Bill on March 26 have declared Laguna a prolife and family-friendly zone.
The signed resolution said in part: â€œWe, the citizens of Laguna and of the Cities of San Pablo, Calamba, Santa Rosa and BiÃ±an gathered today as a Coalition for Life and Family of Laguna composed of the individual parishioners and civic and religious organizations now assembled, declare and affirm: â€œour commitment to uphold and protect the dignity of the human person, the value of life from conception to natural death and the sacredness of the family founded on the indissoluble union of man and woman, â€œTHUS. We urge and request our good Governor GEORGE E.R. EJERCITO ESTREGAN, the HONORABLE MAYORS VICENTE AMANTE of SAN PABLO CITY, JOAQUIN CHIPECO of CALAMBA, ARLENE ARCILLAS of SANTA ROSA and LEN LEN ALONTE-NAGUIAT of BINAN to declare the Province of Laguna and their respective Cities as ZONES FOR LIFE AND FAMILY.â€
Bishop Leo M. Drona of San Pablo in a media interview after the March 26 rally, said, the Church is actively involved in protesting against RH Bill because it is very much laced with values against human life and the preservation of the family, among other vital repercussions.
The prelate had instructed all the clergy and religious, Church communities in the whole diocese to continually pray the Oratio Imperata (Imperative Prayer) in all Masses in Laguna until the RH Bill is rejected once and for all. (Fr. Romulo Ponte)