Sins of the Padres

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MOST Filipinos who’ve gone to high school or who’re in college know who the “Damaso” in Carlos Celdran’s streamer was, because of Republic Act 1425, the Rizal Law, which requires the teaching of the life and works of Jose Rizal in all Philippine schools, colleges and universities.

Intramuros tour guide Celdran held up his streamer during a mass at the Manila Cathedral while shouting that the Church should keep out of politics. The Catholic Church has ratcheted up its opposition to any reproductive health bill in response to the support for whatever means of family planning couples prefer that President Benigno Aquino III expressed during his US visit. Church spokespersons have threatened to call for civil disobedience among the faithful and at one point suggested that Mr. Aquino could be excommunicated for indirectly supporting abortion.

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Better than nothing

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Question: What do you call people who use the rhythm method?
Answer: Parents.

IT’s an old joke that in the context of the country’s many problems wasn’t funny even when first heard decades ago. Thanks to a reproductive health program that for all practical purposes doesn’t exist, and Catholic Church encouragement of so-called “natural methods,” the Philippine population is growing at the rate of 2.2 percent per year, which compares to Thailand’s and Singapore’s .8 percent and Malaysia‚Äôs 1.9 percent.

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