Manila, Philippines - An official (Fr. Melvin castro) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday said President Aquino will disappoint the Catholic faithful who supported him in the last elections, if the government will push through with its plan to provide contraceptives to poor couples.
“Many sectors of the church supported him, the bishops, priests and nuns. We are hoping and praying that he’ll be like his mother,” Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said in an interview.
“It hurts so much because the Catholic population supported him. It really hurts,” he added.
Castro, however, admitted that the statement made by Aquino no longer surprised him since even during the campaign the latter seemed to support the artificial means of contraception.
“We expected it because his statement during the campaign is veering towards the support of artificial means of contraception---but we were still hoping that once he assumes the post, he’ll see a clearer picture of things. Apparently the people around him are pro-Reproductive Health,” he said.
“We don’t know how the people will react. We respect their freedom, but I’m sure many of them will be hurt as well,” added Castro.
Instead of focusing on curbing the country’s population, the CBCP official urged Aquino to focus in solving corruption and other pressing issues hounding his administration such as the hostage-taking incident in Manila and jueteng.
“He is sticking his fingers into many issues right now. So we are appealing to him to prioritize these problems first,” Castro said.
On Monday, Aquino said that the number of children a couple will have is a matter of personal choice.
"The government is obligated to inform everybody of their responsibilities and their choices. At the end of the day, government might provide assistance to those who are without means if they want to employ a particular method," he said.
"I believe the couple will be in the best position to determine what is best for the family, how to space (the births), what methods they can rely on and so forth," added Aquino.
Aquino is currently on a seven-day visit in the United States.
Leslie Ann Aquino, Manila Bulletin