When House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte stated that they will next push the legalization of divorce, officials of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said they are upset, but not entirely surprised.
Even before the hotly contested Reproductive Health (RH) bill was passed, they knew that divorce and other "anti-family and anti-life" measures will be pushed in the country.
They call it as the "D.E.A.T.H." bills because "they ultimately lead to the promotion of 'Divorce, Euthanasia, Total Reproductive Health, and Homosexuality (same sex marriage).'"
"The Church has long been fighting these issues. In our experience in other countries, after RH bill, what will follow are divorce, abortion, and same sex marriage," said Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL).
Fr. Melvin Castro, ECFL executive secretary, said the new push for divorce only proved their previous statement that the RH bill was just the beginning of "series of anti-family and anti-life legislations."
"This government is out to really destroy the traditional Filipino values of family and life," said Castro. "This government has revealed its true face. It has never been for the welfare of the family, women, and children."
Senator Pia Cayetano, the principal author of the Senate version of the RH bill, also said that there is a need to start debates on divorce.
CBCP secretary general Msgr. Joselito Asis said the Church will further educate the faithful about the "anti-life" measures.
"Since the beginning, we have been educating the people. It’s always the task of the Church. We’ve been saying that RH law will open doors to 'D.E.A.T.H.' bills," Asis said.
The Philippines is the only country in the world—apart from the Vatican, where divorce is illegal after Malta legalized divorce last year.
The Catholic Church is against the introduction of divorce in the country saying that it destroys the sanctity of marriage as a life-long commitment.