Leave RH bill alone, bishop asks USBy Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Sunday hoped the US government would allow the Philippines to deal with the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill on its own.
Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo was quoted by CBCPNews, the Church’s official news service, as saying that if the information from a leaked confidential US Embassy cable were true, “I hope they just let the Philippines discuss it.”
Lagdameo was reacting to a US Embassy cable dated 2008 and released by WikiLeaks in which then US Ambassador to Manila Kristie Kenney was quoted as saying that the US government continued to be “the largest donor in the Philippine population sector.”
In the leaked communication, Kenney, now assigned to Thailand, was also said to have welcomed the then draft reproductive health measure.
“Landmark appropriations and draft legislation reflect increasing commitment within the Philippine government to further expand and sustain programs started 40 years ago with US government’s assistance through USAID,” Kenney said.
CBCPNews on Sunday reported that Lagdameo, who was CBCP president from 2005 to 2009, expressed hope that the divisive population program would be dealt with by Filipinos without external meddling.
“I hope they just let the Philippines discuss it. I also heard that the element that pushes the RH bill is money. Whether it is true or not, it doesn’t look good,” CBCPNews quoted the archbishop as saying.