Socon or Bust readers might remember a report on one of Development & Peace’s pro-abort partners called Focus on the Global South (Philippines) that we posted some time ago. LifeSiteNews picked up the story and flushed out even more evidence of their anti-Catholic and anti-Life tendencies. Later, LSN followed up with another story when they discovered that FGS scrubbed their website shortly after they were busted. The founding director of this organization is a politician/activist named Dr. Warren Bello, a vociferous critic of the Catholic Church and a co-author of a pro-contraception (veiled abortion) “Reproductive Health” bill which is working its way through the Filipino legislature.
But that’s not the only connection between Dr. Bello and Development & Peace. It turns out that Dr. Bello is also the president of a group called “Freedom from Debt Coalition” – another pro-abort advocacy group in the Philippines which also happens to be another partner of Development & Peace. You can read about LSN’s coverage on this group and the Catholic Church’s battle against the Reproductive Right’s Bill here and here. Socon or Bust’s letter to the bishops of the Philippines can be read here.
The Reproductive Health Bill was temporarily scrapped earlier in the year, thanks in part to the fierce opposition of the Catholic Church in the Philippines and no thanks to the partners of Development & Peace who continue to fund many anti-Catholic organizations around the world. If you want to read about the not-so-veiled opposition to the Catholic faith and the absurd accusations of Dr. Bello, who, by the way, has a very distorted view of pluralism, you can do so here. You’ll notice too, dear reader, that Dr. Bello mentions Rep. Edcel Lagman, the main protangonist of the legislative “reproductive rights” agenda who has managed to help resurrect the Bill according to this report from LifeSiteNews:
At least two representatives in the Philippine legislature have re-filed a controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill. The bill would bring about government-sponsored promotion of contraception and sex education. “If they will continue to push for this Reproductive Health Bill, the Church will definitely make known its stand and oppose it,” Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez said in response. The bill has been introduced several times in previous congresses. Only in the last did it get past committee and reach plenary deliberation; but it never came to a vote. Rep. Edcel Lagman, who introduced one version of the bill, says he believes that rapid population growth has contributed to the Philippines’ rate of poverty. When the bill was first filed in 1999, the nation’s population was estimated at 75 million. “Today, 10 years later, we hold the dubious distinction of being the 12th most populous country in the world with a population of 94.3 million, or a staggering increase of 19.3 million. This would translate to an annual average increase of almost two million every year in a decade,” he said. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has rejected such arguments. “We will not join countries with collapsing population growth rates,” Archbishop Lagdameo, president of the CBCP, has said. The brewing legislative battle comes shortly after President Aquino Benigno was sworn in as the new president of the Philippines. The Catholic Bishops Conference has said it will closely monitor the first 100 days of President Benigno’s term. “Otherwise we will be remiss with our duties as a Church if we don’t do that. It is part of the mission of the Church,” Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, CBCP spokesperson, said. Bishops have presented a 13-point agenda that they say Benigno Aquino III should address. Rejection of the RH bill, as well as rejection of same-sex union, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, and contraceptives, are among the points. The Catholic Church is influential in the Philippines, where about 80% of the population is Catholic. Despite the Church’s opposition, Rep. Lagman remains confident that the bill will pass. “The enactment of the RH bill has long been delayed but its eventual passage is certain in the current Congress,” Lagman said. In another setback for those promoting traditional values, a Quezon City Court judge has denied a group of parents’ request for a temporary restraining order for a new sex-ed program being tested in 80 elementary and 79 high schools around the Philippines. The judge said parents had provided insufficient evidence that their children were in schools in which the program was being tested. The program was started by the previous head of the Department of Education, Mona Valisno. The newly-appointed head of the Department of Education, the La Sallian Brother Armin Luistro, has said he will review the program. (Source)
Rep. Lagman and Rep. Bello are obviously on the same page in terms of pushing the sexual and reproductive “rights” agenda in general and this kind of legislation in particular:
Lagman said that the RH bill is a quality measure which is not inferior to other pending measures given priority. “No amount of new tax laws will shore up the economy if the government continues to fail to address the balloon in population which is expected to reach a staggering 94 million Filipinos this year,” he said. Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello has also raised the issue of the RH Bill’s long-delayed passage. “What is morally reprehensible is to keep the reproductive rights of Filipinas at the mercy of the church’s political opinion,” he said….”We’ve come too far to fail Filipinas, our mothers, sisters, and daughters, once again. We have six session days left to prove that we are not representatives of the dogmatic and myopic views of the Church, but of the true interest of the Filipino people.” (Source)
So there we have it, folks. Once again, we have the Catholic Church in the Philippines under siege by anti-Catholic bigots who are trying to marginalize the Church and silence its voice, falsely accusing her of encroaching on democratic freedoms. It’s the same old sexual anarchist ploy: argue that your opponent should not have the same free speech rights that you do. Bello and Lagman simply cannot tolerate the fact that the Filipino people have a right to hear the Church’s teaching and make up their own minds of whether they want to be Catholic or pro-abort. Although Lagman and Bello don’t say it, what they really want (and what all Leftists want) is to convince Catholics that they can stay Catholic and be “progressive” on sexual and reproductive rights. That’s what this is all about and nothing less.
And while Bello and Lagman wage their war against the Church in the Philippines, Development & Peace and the Canadian Bishops continue to fund Dr. Bello’s pro-abort groups, Focus on the Global South and Freedom from Debt Coalition.