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ABS-CBN News: Four Evangelical Christians who heckled some Catholics during the visit of Pope Francis are facing charges for ”offending religious feelings,” the Philippine National police said.
Los Angeles Times: “The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a law guaranteeing access to birth control and sex education in a country that has high maternal mortality and ranks 53rd worldwide in total fertility rate.” | More information from Religion Clause.
Solar News: “The long wait may be over for both reproductive health advocates and pro-life groups as the Supreme Court (SC) is set to hand down Tuesday its ruling on the constitutionality of the controversial measure.”
LA Times: “The Philippines, no stranger to the culture wars over contraception and abortion, will soon learn whether a controversial new law that requires the government to subsidize birth control for the poor is constitutional.”
GMA News: “In a petition filed before the Pasay Regional Trial Court on Monday Jan. 20, Pro-Life Philippines pled for the court’s issuance of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order (TRO) on the ongoing 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (APCRSHR).”
AP: The United Nations voiced concern Wednesday over the fate of more than 100,000 Filipinos displaced by two weeks of fighting between government troops and Muslim rebels, saying they were at risk of disease from crowded and unsanitary conditions in evacuation centers.
AP: A group of Muslim rebels opposed to peace talks with the Philippine government stormed a southern town Monday and seized several hostages while engaging troops in clashes that killed eight combatants, military officials said.
Reuters: Some 100,000 people have been displaced in the southern Philippines port city of Zamboanga by more than a week of fighting between government forces and hundreds of breakaway Muslim guerrillas, according to the latest government report.
LifeNews: Pro-life advocates in the Philippines received some much needed good news on Tuesday in the fight against the anti-life Reproductive Health (RH) Law. The Supreme Court voted 8-7 to suspend implementation of the law “until further orders” from the Court.
LifeNews: After legislators finally caved in to pressure from our president and Western NGOs to pass the anti-life Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, the Filipino people are coming together to make sure that candidates promoting and defending life, faith and family will be elected this May.
Washington Post: Filipino Catholic groups launched a campaign Monday to try to muster millions of votes for senatorial candidates who opposed a controversial contraceptives law passed last year and prove that the church remains a force to be reckoned with in Asia’s largest Catholic nation.
AP: The Responsible Parenthood Law was passed by lawmakers late last year despite the church’s opposition but petitioners questioned its legality on several grounds, saying it offends religious beliefs and fosters abortion, which remains illegal in the country.
AP: Philippine legislators passed a landmark bill Monday that would provide government funding for contraceptives and sexuality classes in schools despite strong opposition by the dominant Roman Catholic Church and its followers, some of whom threatened to ask the Supreme Court to block the legislation.
LifeNews: After fourteen years of debate, political leaders in the Philippines may be on the verge of passing the controversial, anti-life “Reproductive Health Bill” (RH Bill). The legislation is seen as a precursor to potentially legalizing abortion in the pro-life, Catholic nation.
Inquirer News: The Senate has removed controversial provisions that purportedly promote abortion and the use of birth control devices in a bid to break a deadlock in its version of the reproductive health (RH) bill.
LifeSiteNews: Catholic schools that fail to uphold Church teaching may be stripped of their affiliation with the Church, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) warned last week.
Inquirer News: Senate majority leader Tito Sotto alleged on Wednesday that at least four non-government organizations presenting themselves as “pro-women” receive funding from international groups advocating abortion.
LifeSiteNews: The proposed law would force medical professionals and businesses to promote and perform a full range of “reproductive health services,” regardless of conscientious objection. The country’s pro-life leaders are particularly concerned about Section 28.e of the Bill that promises to jail and fine any person who “maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act.”
AP: The Philippine House of Representatives has ended debate on a bill promoting contraception use in the country with one of Asia’s fastest-growing populations.
Catholic Culture: The government of the Philippines is apparently prepared to recognize the authority of shari’a law in the southern Mindanao province.
AP: Scores of Christian youths in the Philippines chanted “Stop the Lady Gaga concerts” at a rally Friday calling for the pop diva’s shows here to be canceled despite assurances from authorities that they won’t allow nudity and lewd acts.
Breitbart: Tell Nike To Drop Homophobic Boxer Manny Pacquaio” is splashed all over a new campaign by the pro-gay rights group, the Courage Campaign, that is trying to put pressure on Nike to drop professional boxer Manny Pacquaio over words Pacquiao never said.
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal: It’s a wonderful little example of the left’s inverted idea of “tolerance”: They’ll tolerate you as long as you don’t deviate from their orthodoxy. There’s a political angle as well as the ideological one. The Grove is owned by a company called Caruso Affiliated, whose CEO, Rick Caruso, is a politician . . .
NY Daily News: Boxer Manny Pacquiao comes out against same-sex marriage just after President Obama supports it “The charismatic fighter is a devout Catholic – and a Congressman in his homeland of the Philippines . . . The Pac-Man – …
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Recently, the HSBC Global Research department released a report forecasting the trends in world economic development for the next 40 years. Countries with growing population and improving rule of law, education, health and governance will fare much better than those with shrinking population and already high per capita income levels.
AP: Hundreds of thousands of members of the Philippine Christian sect Iglesia ni Cristo, or Church of Christ, have gathered in a massive rally in Manila that organizers say was “purely religious” and not political.
Voice of America: orona was impeached by the House of Representatives in December on corruption allegations as well as accusations that he tried to block prosecution of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
News from The Associated Press: The chief justice of the Philippine Supreme Court warned Wednesday that President Benigno Aquino III’s moves to oust him could lead to a dictatorship and vowed to defend himself in an impeachment trial.
News from The Associated Press: The Philippine House of Representatives impeached the Supreme Court chief justice Monday over alleged corruption and favoritism toward the country’s former president, now under hospital arrest for alleged election fraud.
News from The Associated Press: The Philippine health chief is under attack for suggesting at an AIDS conference that health workers survey homes of gay children and warn their parents about potentially risky behavior.
AFP: Various armed groups are known to operate near the area, including Muslim separatist rebels waging a decades-old insurgency and former guerrillas who have branched out into crime, including kidnappings and robbery.
LifeNews.com: A diplomatic cable recently published by the controversial website Wikileaks confirms the depth of support by the U.S. government for population control initiatives in the Philippines over the past 40 years, including support for the highly contested Reproductive Health (RH) Bill currently under consideration in the Philippine legislature.
LifeNews.com: At least three non-government organizations have been found to be espousing the legalization of abortion in the Philippines, as senators resumed floor debates on the controversial “reproductive health” (RH) bill Monday.
LifeNews.com: As debate over the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill continued Wednesday in the Philippine House of Representatives, a co-sponsor of the bill admitted that the RH Bill was a means to control the population size of poor Filipinos in apparent contradiction to statements made by other bill sponsors.
LifeNews.com: As debate over the anti-life Reproductive Health (RH) Bill heats up in the Philippine legislature, a new documentary highlighting the fight for life in the Philippines is set to air on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). The short documentary film “The Philippines: Preserving a Culture of Life,” produced by Human Life International (HLI) . . .
The Philippine Star: House leaders yesterday assured supporters and critics of the Reproductive Health bill of fair floor debates on the controversial measure.
Religion Clause: This week end, the Philippine Star, the Manila Sun Star, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer are all reporting on disclosures by new management of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office that six Catholic dioceses and another Catholic organization in 2008 and 2009 received the equivalent of over $175,000 (US) from the government-run lottery agency that supports health and general welfare activities.
LifeSiteNews.com: Filipinos have been successful in fighting off a sustained assault from the West in the form of a “Reproductive Health (RH)” bill that threatens the families and future of the Philippines. But the bill’s proponents seem undaunted and incredibly well-funded, so we wanted to help Catholics around the world understand the situation on the ground, and ask for your prayers and support.
AP: After simmering for months, a wide-ranging and acrimonious debate over government-funded access to contraceptives in the Philippines has entered the country’s Congress.
LifeSiteNews: The Catholic Bishops of the Philippines have set May 9 as a “National Day of Prayer” to invoke divine intervention and guidance for legislators to reject a birth control/population control measure.
Inquirer.net: Not all religious organizations are against the reproductive health (RH) bill in Congress. This was the message of the leaders of the Protestant and evangelical Christian Churches on Thursday, as they expressed support for the bill, which is being strongly opposed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
LifeNews: The controversial “Reproductive Health (RH) Bill” opposed by pro-life groups because it advances a contraception-birth control agenda that could lead to the eventually promotion and advancement of abortion, has failed.
Washington Post: olice said about 40,000 people gathered at Manila’s Rizal Park for the prayer rally led by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales.
LifeSiteNews: “Catholic leaders in the Philippines are cautiously optimistic after the country’s government appears to have backed off of its hard-line stance on the controversial ‘reproductive health’ bill.”
GMA News: “To come up with a win-win solution on the much-debated reproductive health (RH) bill, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III decided to have his own version and called it the ‘responsible parenthood’ (RP) bill.”
BBC: “A bill has been put forward in the Philippine Congress aimed at making it easier for poor people to get their marriages annulled.”
The Philippine Star: “The European Union (EU) hopes the House of Representatives and the Senate will approve the Reproductive Health (RH) bill despite lawmakers’ pronouncements that the measure is not among the priority legislations in 2011.”
BusinessWorld: “REPRESENTATIVES OF the government and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) hold today their third in a series of dialogue on reproductive health.”
Manila Times: “Rep. Kaka Bag-ao of Akbayan party-list, the principal author of House Bill 515, or the Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and providing penalties, noted that such homophobia is stirred by the fact that the country has no standing policy on human rights abuses against lesbians, gays bisexual and transgenders (LGBT).”
Christian Science Monitor: “If the bill becomes law, it will give responsibility for family planning to the state. Part of that would include the distribution of free contraception for the poor, maternity care, and family planning. It would also break new ground for the relationship between the government and the Church . . . The Catholic Church, meanwhile, views the bill as an attack on life, Catholic values, and as a gateway to legalizing abortion.”
GMA News: “Even as the Catholic Church prepares for a dialogue with government on reproductive health, a senior archbishop admitted Sunday it may be on a head-on collision with parties seeking the passage of the reproductive health bill.”
Philippine Daily Inquirer: “In pleading not guilty before Manila MTC branch 4 Judge Alfonso Ruiz, Celdran told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he was ‘standing by the fact that he did not say anything offensive’ when he hoisted a placard reading ‘Damaso’ disrupting a September 30 ecumenical service at the Manila Cathedral.” Via Religion Clause.
Christian Science Monitor: “The World Economic Forum released its 2010 Global Gender Gap Report on Tuesday. The report, which indexed 134 countries this year, evaluates how much of the gender gap each country has eliminated through economic opportunity, health access, education, and political empowerment. Below are the 10 countries that have been most successful.”
ABS CBN News: “About 14 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were reportedly among the 100 expatriates arrested during a forbidden religious service in Saudi Arabia.”
Associated Press: “Government prosecutors on Friday charged a popular Manila artist and tour guide with offending Roman Catholics after he disrupted Mass at the capital’s main cathedral to protest the clergy’s opposition to contraception.”
Associated Press: “Aquino broke that customary silence over the weekend during a forum with Filipino Americans while on a trip to the U.S., where he suggested his administration would be willing to distribute contraceptives to poor couples who couldn’t afford it. The Rev. Deogracias Yniguez of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines criticized that stance on Tuesday . . .”
Gulf News: “Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Monday said the government will start providing contraceptives to poor couples in a bid to control the growth of the country’s population which has ballooned to more than 90 million.”
AP: “The chief government negotiator in peace talks with Muslim rebels on Thursday welcomed a rebel leader’s statement that his group is no longer demanding independence from the Philippines and instead is seeking a status similar to a U.S. state.”
Inquirer.net: “The government has started implementing a new family planning marketing strategy designed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) . . . The US Embassy in Manila has acknowledged Washington’s active role in the Philippine government’s family planning initiatives.”
LifeSiteNews: “Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma of Cagyan de Oro City has strongly criticized a proposed bill that would legalize divorce in the Philippines and said that the move would destroy the moral fiber of Philippine society.”
Associated Press: “Hundreds of Muslim guerrillas have undergone combat training and sought more weapons in the southern Philippines to bolster their military muscle in case planned peace talks with the government falter, a military report said Wednesday.”
ABS-CBN News: “The New York-based Centre for Reproductive Rights issued a report this week saying about 1,000 women died annually in the Philippines after having backstreet abortions.”
Manila Standard Today: “The legal battle over the Education Department’s plan to introduce sex education in public schools is over, at least for now, after Church-based oppositors withdrew their suit Thursday.”
Catholic News Agency: “Despite suffering a legal setback, a group of 30 parents in the Philippines is pushing ahead in its appeal of the country’s implementation of a United Nations-backed sex education program, which is aimed at children as young as nine years old.”
Inquirer: “Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin has filed another version of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill that includes mandated government care for those with HIV and AIDS, as well as those suffering from complications from abortion. Garin’s bill comes a few days after Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman refiled the controversial bill, which calls for government promotion of contraception and sex education despite objections from the Roman Catholic Church.”
Business Mirror: “Concerned parents on Monday went to court to stop the Department of Education from implementing its decision to integrate its reproductive health syllabus into that of both public and private elementary and high schools. They filed the petition in the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City after they found the modules for the program includes introducing ‘non-invasive sexual activities.’”
Inquirer.net: “If government is ready to teach children about sex, shouldn’t it be ready also to teach children about homosexuality so the gay community would no longer be a punch line to a joke?”
AP: “Philippine elementary and high schools will start teaching basic sex education as a pilot program in the conservative Roman Catholic nation, officials said Tuesday, brushing aside concerns by church leaders that it may encourage promiscuity among the youth.”
GMA News: “The Philippines is pressing the international community to forge new agreements against cyber child pornography, a delegation said in a report to the United Nations crime prevention congress in Brazil.”
UPI: “A Manitoba man pleaded guilty to child pornography charges after a woman in the Philippines alerted police to explicit Internet photos, officials said.”