You may have heard about Pro-Life Philippines’ recent filing of their new congressional party list, ANG PRO LIFE. Perhaps you wondered how this camp, with high profile supporters like Golez, Pacquiao, Sotto, and Enrile, who have managed to delay reproductive health legislation for more than a decade, could realistically be called ‘underrepresented’ (a basic requirement for establishing a party list group). Maybe you were even concerned about how the running of this obviously religious group would violate the separation of church and state under our Constitution.
Apparently, you have nothing to worry about! But don’t take it from me, take it straight from the lips of Pro-Life president Eric Manalang himself. After briefly joining the Catholics4RH in their protest outside COMELEC this morning, myself and a couple other Filipino Freethinkers attended the actual party list hearing for ANG PROLIFE. Here is a transcript of Mr. Manalang’s (EM) first few minutes on the witness stand after being sworn in under oath, with the Hon. Lucinito Tagle and the Hon. Elias Yusoph serving as presiding justices (PJ).
PJ: What sector do you intend to represent with this party list of yours?
EM: This sector intends to represent the structure of families in the Philippines and the youth that belong to them, and more particularly the OFW families who are the most dysfunctional part of the family structure of Philippines, by the very nature of them, about 10 million of them having their parents or spouses abroad, and this is the sector we wish to represent as they are not yet represented.
PJ: Is it true that you are related to any religious group?
EM: I’m a Catholic of course and I won’t deny it, though they (nodding to the Catholics4RH contingent across the room) claim they’re also Catholics, but I would say I’m not part of CBCP or any form of formal Catholic brand organization.
PJ: What laws do you intend to propose to preserve the family?
EM: We intend to have the landmark law, the Magna Carta for Families, which in essence would be looking at the marginalized groups or dysfunctional families and put a safety net so this issue of having absence of fathers and mothers or children for that matter can be resolved by being able to put in legislation. As an example, connectivity between the OFW families and their loved ones abroad is one issue that has not been resolved because it’s the lack of communication that creates much of the dysfunction.
PJ: What is the relation of this law you intend to present to the RH bill?
EM: Uh, there’s no direct effect on the RH bill, your honor, because this law is really going to be able to provide safety nets for these families that are dysfunctional and marginalized.
There you have it! I’m not sure if ‘OFW’ is the ‘O’ in ‘ANG PRO LIFE,’ but he goes on to mention OFWs several times, so it must be in there somewhere! I suppose OFWs should rejoice in having strangers who care so much about them.
Let’s take a look at exactly how ANG PRO LIFE intends to help the OFWs by looking at their official description found on their website, cbcpforlife.com (which, of course, must have NOTHING to do with the actual CBCP, because Eric Manalang just stated under oath that he wasn’t associated with them)!
“…Lobbying for the protection of LIFE and the Family in all its aspects and
incidents, before congressional committees and public offices where they
confront laws and policies that destroy and undermine the Pro-Life and Pro-
Family values enshrined in the 1987 Constitution (such as continuing attempts to
enshrine a Culture of Death in the Philippines through bills on divorce,
euthanasia, abortion, birth control, reproductive rights, population control,
and homosexuality). We believe and affirm that ANG PROLIFE will be the first and
only party list organization instituted with the primary objective and mission
to Reclaim the Culture of Life in the Philippines through direct participation
in the legislative branch of government, beginning with the forthcoming
Elections in 2013.”
Apparently, the presiding justices noticed this minor inconsistency and tried to help Manalang out of committing perjury, directly asking him about his group’s official statement. At this point, Manalang suddenly seemed to remember that yes, ANG PROLIFE would be getting around to that stuff as well. After a heated exchange wherein Justice Yusoph argued with Manalang about the merits of divorce legislation (which Manalang admitted to being against and which Yusoph was vehemently for), the two eventually seemed to reach middle ground over a joyful if somewhat incoherent round of gay-bashing.
Justice Yusoph: God created male or female, and he never created ‘ladlad’. That’s why the Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God, because of the presence of ‘ladlad’.
EM: We agree to that, your honor, that God is perfect. He would not create imperfection. A man is a man, a woman is a woman.
Justice Yusoph: Precisely. The role of a man should not be taken also by woman. Because if the role of woman is taken by the role of a…by you, a man, there is a total eclipse, am I right?
EM: (smiling) You’re right your honor.
Justice Yusoph: And if there is total eclipse, there is death!
EM: Correct, your honor! That’s darkness!
There’s a lot more than I care to transcribe here, but feel free to go over our upcoming video for how the conversation arrived there. Basically Eric Manalang was stating yet again how the RH Bill is defective because it is based on statistics from organizations that have no credibility, like, you know, the United Nations, and anyway they’re all foreign groups with foreign ideas like homosexuality that is all part of the grand US conspiracy to depopulate the Philippines because Kissinger.
It all ended with the spectacle of Atty. James Imbong (who must not at all be related to CBCP’s Atty. Jo Imbong because, again, Manalang has stated that they have no association with them) taking the witness stand, being questioned by himself as legal counsel.
All in all… seems legit.
As it would be a shame to take their most comforting words out of context, it being a public hearing, we made sure to film ANG PROLIFE/OFWs FTW party lists’ time on the stand in its entirety, and will be posting it on the site soon.