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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This "Bulaga" Doesn't Come From Sotto

Just when we thought we had heard it all from the anti RH camp.

Now comes the news, really more a nasty surprise (which is what the Filipino word bulaga would approximately mean) from Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who, as of last count, was one of the senators against the RH Bill. (Ironically, his sister, Pia, also a senator, is one of the two main proponents in the Senate of the same bill. The title of this post is a reference to vocal anti-RH Senator Sotto, who was a mainstay of the noontime variety show "Eat Bulaga!", before heading out to more, uhm, legislative pastures.)

(Photo courtesy of

Cayetano wants the RH Bill to be "supported" by the Catholic Church, on the grounds that the Philippines is "a country where majority of the population is Catholic". (See the article here: )

The senator is lighting the fuse on something that should not even be on the table.

In a way, I am "glad" he brought this out, as it gives everyone a chance to see, once and for all, why he is hideously wrong in bringing this point up. And I am coming from the perspective of someone who has never been a Catholic, which makes my voice the perfect counterbalance to what the senator is suggesting.

To Senator Alan Cayetano:

I am a citizen of this country.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this country has a democratic form of government. One of the basic tenets of democracy is the Separation of State and Church, and one of the freedoms we enjoy is the freedom of religion. I would think that you, a Senator of this Republic, would know this first hand, seeing as the position you now enjoy is a result of a largely convoluted but still democratic process.

Your contention that the RH Bill should be "supported" by the Catholic Church is thrusting an unnecessary spear into my freedom to choose a religion of my own. If what you want should come to pass, you will unwittingly make me, nay, FORCE me to become a Catholic, against my wishes. Why should I be subjected to rules and regulations that, supposedly, are only under the jurisdiction of a particular faith - the Catholic one, specifically - when I do not wish to become a Catholic in the first place?

Many belief systems, faiths and paradigms do not find it "immoral" to use artificial contraception. But with your proposal, you would be empowering the Catholic Church in this country to dictate and impose its own religious views onto those who have elected - freely, under a democracy - to follow other faiths. That is a clear contravention into my right and freedom to have my own faith.

Also, this position of yours blurs the line between State and Church. Aren't religions, in a secular, democratic form of government, supposed to follow our secular laws? I would think that if any religion were to practice cannibalism or child molestation, and claim that these were not "answerable" to secular authorities, under the perverted mantle and guise of reasoning out that "our religion calls for it, we only answer to OUR God, we have freedom of religion!", not only would we find this monumentally laughable, but extremely offensive and of the highest disrespect for the secular laws of our land as embodied in the Constitution, particularly those that seek to punish murderers and pedophiles.

But this is exactly what you are doing, by saying that before the RH Bill is to be passed, that it should be "supported" by the Catholic Church. On what grounds should we consider the Catholic position on this, and any other matter, superior to the stand of other faiths, when the entire point of having freedom of religion is to enforce the legal truth in a democracy that no faith should be given preferential treatment, and should not even be a "deciding factor" when it comes to discussing secular matters? Should President Noynoy Aquino now pay homage to our bishops and subsume his decisions in deference to their preferences?

Your suggestion is, at its core, proposing a radical shift in our form of government; if you cut out any rationalizations, you are essentially endorsing a Catholic theocracy, where what Catholic leaders say become the law of the land, where no bill can be passed without their "support".

If that is what you wish, you may renounce your citizenship to this democratic country and move to the Vatican.

Until we officially become that theocracy, you would be well reminded of the FACT that this is still a democracy, and are a direct beneficiary of that form of government. You do not have the right to disregard me, or any one else who does not share the Catholic faith, on account of Catholics being the majority. In fact, BECAUSE this is a democracy, you actually have to make sure that those in the minority are to be heard and are to be included in any and all secular decision making laws and agenda.

You work for the citizens of this country, the Republic of the Philippines. You DO NOT work for the Catholic Church. You are obligated to us, not to them.

Do not just hear these words.


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