Thursday, December 06, 2012

A most divisive piece of legislation

A growing mumber of Catholics are in motion again like a tinkered hornet's nest after Malacañang summoned a good number of selected legislators to the palace last Monday, November 26. Later that day, the reproductive Health Bill was taken up for deliberation at the plenary.  This was reminiscent of the same thing that happened last august when, in reaction to the obsession of Malacañang an EDSA rally was triggered and, although not really a consequence of heavens ire for an obstinate leader, heavy floods enveloped the most of metro manila for days, rather unusually and curiously for a mere monsoon.

Not by a mere twist of fate, but every time Malacañang gets aggressive in pushing the RH bill, a good stimulus is unleashed that results in a growing number of Catholics,  who erstwhile were uncaring and uninvolved, becoming active and aggressive, too.  At the end of the day, this Administration maybe credited for awakening a sleeping giant in the catholic majority of this country, whose catholicity, according to  sociologists, mostly consist in Sunday mass and sacraments and nothing else.

Of late some people, even among the ranks of the clergy, are talking about a catholic vote—which was a no-no years back with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines insisting there is no such a thing. But again credit this to the obsessive compulsion of the political leadership, a catholic vote is fast and furiously forming in the offing.  A bishop or two was lately in the news for allegedly motivating his clergy to block out anti-life candidates in the forthcoming elections. Lay groups are consolidating and coming out publicly with a catholic vote campaign.  Interesting times really.

But it is seemingly getting beyond our grasp why this political leadership would insist in passing a law the likes of the RH Bill that is most contentious, most divisive and most unnecessary.  This was not even within the overt platforms during the electoral campaign of this administration. If one were serious about "kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap" and "daang matuwid" slogans, then the RH Bill should not be the obsession—it should be or have been the Freedom of  Information Bill. The rub is, these beautifully crafted phrases were merely campaign slogans that never seriously translated into centerpiece program of governance.  True, this administration has impeached and is prosecuting VIPs of the past administration, but this effort will merely become a futile vendetta unless political will is harnessed to really operationalize a program that will touch the deep-seated habitat of corruption—the government systems.  This government, so far, is not going along that direction. Instead, it is working in the same corrupt structure that smacks of “the same dog with different collar” cliché.

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