Church ‘team patay’ tag unfair — Casiño, Gabriela party-list

March 1, 2013

Senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño, during the One Billion Rising campaign. (PW File Photo)

Senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño, during the One Billion Rising campaign. (PW File Photo)

Their long record of advocating for, and giving service to, women, children and the people belie their negative tagging by the Diosese of Bacolod.

Thus said leaders of Gabriela Women’s Party as well as senatorial candidate Rep. Teddy Casiño of Makabayan Coalition.

They said this after reports surfaced in media that the said diocese put out a placard outside its church building tagging various party-list groups and candidates as “Team Patay” (Death Team) for voting in favor of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10354) last December.

Casiño said  it is unfair for a diocese of the Catholic Church to label a person or a candidate as “anti-life” based only on a single issue and disregarding the track record on other issues that are equally important to human lives.

“I think the ‘Team Patay’ tag is unfair, especially since my stand on the Reproductive Health Law is in fact based on my concern for the life and health of women and children,” said Casiño.

The Catholic Diocese of Bacolod put up tarpaulins that labeled some senatorial candidates and party-list groups as “Team Patay” and openly called on its devotees not to vote for candidates who passed the controversial law.

Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus said “(The Diocese of Bacolod) hierarchy is misguided in its branding and name-calling.”

According to De Jesus, instead of tagging them as “Team Patay”, the Catholic Church’s influence on voters should be used to campaign against those who support destructive mining and those who  plunder resources.

“They should campaign against those who are corrupt and those who will persist with the implementation of anti-people, neo-liberal policies and Oplan Bayanihan (the counter-insurgency program),” the woman legislator said.

De Jesus further said that women and children are dying from the war waged by the Aquino administration through its Oplan Bayanihan that targets those who resist the plunder of our resources.

She added that they will be vigilant on the implemenation of the RA 10354, and will oppose the administration’s campaign of population control.

Joms Salvador, secretary general of Gabriela, also said that contrary to some Catholic officials’ impressions, Gabriela is in fact vigorously against the population control framework and instead pushed for legislation that would address comprehensive women’s health needs.

“ We will continue to campaign for free, appropriate, basic and accessible health services especially for women inside and outside Congress,” added Salvador.

Casiño urged the Catholic Church to take into consideration his long advocacy for human rights, land reform, living wages, peace talks, anti-destructive mining, anti-death penalty and anti-political dynasty.

“On these issues, I and the Catholic Church can find common causes,” said Casiño.