03/09/2010 10:36 AM
The word war between the government and Philippine Catholic bishops on the use of condoms took another turn on Tuesday after a Malacañang official called on the men of the cloth not to "dictate" on their flock.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Charito Planas said the people must have the option to use condoms, including to decide how to plan their families.
"Huwag naman magdikta, hayaan ang tao pumili ng iba-ibang pamamaraan. Give the people a choice, di yung sasabihin ito lang gawin mo. Dictatorship yun (Don't dictate. Give the people a chance to choose, otherwise that would be dictatorship)," Planas said in an interview on dzXL radio.
"Even some Christians are using condoms," she said, adding that condoms being offered by the government are not meant to induce abortion.
"Kailangan talaga ang family planning. Di sinasabing mag-abort ka, sinasabing planuhin mo (Family planning is needed here. We are not encouraging abortion, we are encouraging family planning)," she said.
Planas also questioned whether officials of the Catholic Church live up to their position, saying some of its bishops had also fathered children.
"Yung sa simbahan sa kanilang parte meron ding nagkakaanak (Some men of the cloth have fathered children)," she added.
According to her, the Philippines is a democracy, unlike in China where authorities impose on parents the maximum number of children they can have.
"In China where there is no democracy, authorities dictate how many children a family can have. Here, we make babies if we have nothing better to do. So if you cannot avoid having sex, use what you have to," she said.
On Monday, Catholic bishops said they are not keen on entering into any compromise regarding the use of condoms and other forms of contraceptives to control population growth. [See: No compromise on condom use]
Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines spokesman Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III said there is simply no compromise when it comes to the Church’s teachings.
Last weekend, Catholic bishops challenged Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral to a debate on whether condoms are effective in preventing human immunodeficiency virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS).
Cabral accepted the challenge but asked for clear ground rules so the debate will not turn into a religious exchange. — LBG/RSJ, GMANews.Tv