Archbishop reaches out to Kris on RH bill

Posted at 08/01/2012 11:29 PM | Updated as of 08/02/2012 11:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Kris Aquino said a leader of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has reached out to her family on the passage of the controversial bill on reproductive health (RH).

President Aquino's youngest sister said CBCP vice-president Socrates Villegas sought the attention of her brother, President Benigno Aquino III, on the divisive issue of the RH bill, whose passage is now pending in Congress.

Villegas is known to be a confidant of the late former President Corazon Aquino, whose third death anniversary was commemorated by her children at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City Wednesday morning.

"Ang hirap talaga sumagot diyan (RH bill), kasi number one, hindi naman ako elected official, and kung ano sasabihin ko, baka ma-interpret niyo na sinabi niya," Kris said on Wednesday, referring to PNoy.

The popular actress-host, however, said a series of text messages from Villegas prompted her to re-examine her stand on the issue.

"Pero maraming tinext sakin si Archbishop Soc Villegas na nagulat ako. Very close kami talaga kay Archbishop Soc, kaya nung binasa ko, ako napaisip talaga. Pero I'm not married anyway, so it doesn't involve me in a personal way," Kris said.

Message to PNoy

According to Kris, Villegas sought to communicate to the president that the government should play no part in the decision-making of Filipinos on the size of their family.

"Syempre naiintindihan ko talaga na iba 'yung tinuturo ng simbahan, pero nauunawaan ko naman talaga. In my opinion, ang na-interpret ko dun sa sinabi niya (Villegas), na hindi manghihimasok ang gobyerno dun sa desisyon ng mag-asawa, kung papalakihin nila ang pamilya o hindi," Kris said.

"'Yung mga sinabi niya sa 'kin, I'm sure sinabi niya sa 'kin para ipaabot kay PNoy, so finorward ko naman lahat," she added.

In his State of the Nation Address in July, the President mentioned the consolidated bill -- titled “An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development, and for other purposes" -- as a means to address shortages of school supplies nationally vis a vis the "increasing student population."

Asked if the President’s mention of the bill serves an endorsement for its passage, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said, “The members of Congress are free certainly to have their own interpretation of what was said by the President.”