Tens of thousands of pro-life advocates filled the streets in several Filipino cities on Saturday for the annual Walk for Life, which also served to highlight the intense opposition to the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill currently being considered in the congress.
The events, chiefly sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, took place simultaneously in key cities in Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines and location of the capital city, Manila. Themed “We Value Life,” the 2012 Walk for Life drew an estimated30,000-50,000 people in Manila alone.
Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Human Life International (HLI) regional coordinator for Asia and Oceania, was a guest speaker at the Walk held in the Diocese of San Pablo in the province of Laguna, two hours outside of Manila.
“I think this event gives a strong signal to our president and legislators that the overwhelming majority of Filipinos will not allow them to pass the RH Bill, which threatens life and family, and that we will never stop fighting to protect the right to life given to us by the Lord, even if it means giving up our own lives for the cause,” said Dr. Acosta. “The Culture of Death is alien to the Filipino way of life, and we will not allow it to destroy our children and our future. The Philippines is very strongly pro-God, pro-life and pro-family.”
“As I have said many times in my speeches, there is a poverty worse than material poverty, and this is moral and spiritual poverty, which is what the Reproductive Health Bill brings,” Dr. Acosta said.
Pro-life Filipinos hope that the simultaneous rallies will help pressure legislators to table the bill in both houses of congress. Congress went into recess last week, again pushing off a vote on the RH Bill. The congressional session will resume on May 7.
“2013 is election year for the Philippines, and hopefully these rallies will give another strong signal to our elected officials that this time Filipinos know better, and will never again vote for those supporting the RH Bill and similar bills,” Dr. Acosta said. “Even with our victory last week, we will continue with massive public educational and activist efforts as we brace ourselves for another more challenging battle when congress re-opens May 7.”