Duterte slams “God’s antiquated policy” on population

Apr. 27, 2008

DAVAO CITY — Davao city Mayor Rodrigo Duterte defended the revised Local Development Plan for Children (LDPC) against questions raised by the Catholic Church on its reproductive health and safe pregnancy program.

“God’s policy is antiquated and it cannot help the people who are reeling from poverty,” Duterte said during his weekly television program Gikan sa Masa para sa Masa. “We should study the situation of our country, Duterte said. There are families who have ten or twelve children but their parents cannot feed them because they don’t have jobs.”

The LDPC contains the citys four-year platform of actions in response to the needs and rights of the city’s children. It seeks to address the deficits in the implementation of childrens survival, protection, development and participation rights as part of the citys comprehensive development plan and the Philippine long term development plan for children.

But the Catholic Church believes that the LDPC offends the Catholic faith and the religious sentiments of the people because of its provision that promotes full access to affordable services and accurate information on safe pregnancies among the long-term goals for the survival rights of the child.

The plan mocks parental authority, belittles the value of family, denigrates the virtue of chastity and makes available all contraceptives to children from 0-18 years old and promotes premarital sex and promiscuity, Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla said in a pastoral statement entitled ‘An appeal to the Davao city mayor and to the City Council.’

He said the LDPC is “dangerous and detrimental to the moral and spiritual welfare of the people.

In the same statement, Capalla said that if government officials approve and implement the LDPC with “open defiance and ridicule of the Church’s moral teachings, they will be unworthy to receive the Sacraments.”

Capalla said overpopulation is not the real cause of poverty but greed, unjust laws, unjust structures, unfair labor practices and unjust distribution of land and social services.

“I don’t want to quarrel with the bishop, the priests or the nuns,” Duterte said.

The mayor said he is against abortion because it contravenes his Christian values and the Philippine laws. He also said that no mayor is crazy enough to distribute condoms to minors.

But he said that there is no need for the local government and the Catholic Church to have a dialogue because there is a separation between Church and State. He said that his government is not only for the Catholics but also for the Muslims and people from other religious beliefs.

Councilor Angela Librado-Trinidad earlier said that the plan does not encourage abortion. May Fe Templa, Librados consultant, said the plan does not encourage sex and promiscuity but only teaches children awareness on reproductive system.

Capalla is misinforming the public on LDPC, said Honey Mae Suazo, executive secretary of Kabiba, an alliance of childrens concerns. Did he really read the strategic plan for children? she asked.

Suazo said the LDPC is a doable action plan that only aims to protect and strengthen families and children.

The revised LDPC supports the efforts of parents, child care and development workers, non government organizations and communities to the nurture and care for children, from infancy, the earliest stages of childhood until adolescence through a four-year program that will focus on the survival, protection, participation and development rights of children.

Librado-Trinidad said the family and the barangay (village) are part of the implementing arm of the revised LDPC, hence, there is nothing to fear in its implementation, she said. City Hall will come up with the implementing rules for the LDPC. City Hall will come up with the implementing rules for the LDPC. (Marilou M. Aguirre/davaotoday.com)

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