(GMA News) Though he is against the looming reproductive health (RH) bill, Sarangani Representative and Philippine boxing icon Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao shows disapproval of giving support to civil disobedience called upon by pro-life groups.
Pacquiao said during his lunch with the officials of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in Manila’s Intramuros district on Tuesday that it will end up with the government suffering the biggest consequences should the masses choose not to pay their taxes as a way of opposing the RH bill. Pacquiao, also the highest paid athlete in the world and long-running champion in international boxing competitions, aside from serving in the Philippine government, stated that this act will only make the Philippine government as the loser. He further urges people to pay their taxes dutifully.
Pacquiao also points out that even though he is against the RH bill, it does not indicate that he is going against the Aquino administration.
“Hindi nangngahulugan kinokontra ko ang administrasyon o kinokontra ko siya (My being against the RH bill is no indication that I am against him or his administration),” Pacquiao said.
CBCP President Nereo Odchimar however clarified that they in fact do not have any official stance on civil disobedience. He adds that these stances did not in any way come from a collective decision of the CBCP.
Odchimar adds that even if the RH bill does get approved, the church will not stop their campaign against it.
“The passage of the (bill into) law will not deter us from speaking the truth. Hindi namin gagawing dahilan para huminto sa aming advocacy,” he had said, meaning that they will not use the passing of the law as an excuse to stop going against the said bill. “There are issues that are non-negotiable. We have the teachings of the Church to follow and uphold.”
Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Simeon Aquino III has repeatedly declared that he is for the RH bill, despite being a Catholic himself. He had also said that he is willing to be “excommunicated” for opposing the stance of the Catholic church against the RH bill.