Let me just start by saying that I am fully aware of the new RH (Reproductive Health) bill but not its entire content and the stand of the Church in the issue but not the entire motive.
It is my personal opinion that from what I know, the RH bill has its merits and that the church has remained immovable and relentless in their position so much so that the bill, however well supported by the international communities, is finding it hard to get an approval. This leaves all advocates feeling frustrated because of the snail-like movement of the bill.
However, this will never justify Carlos Celdran’s action last thursday inside the Manila Cathedral
Mr. Celdran is a famous tourist guide and a very good PR man. He has performed a lot of creative PR stunts before but the one in Manila Cathedral really takes the cake. Raising a placard with the word “Damaso” on it and shouting to the religious during an ecumenical service “Stop involving yourselves in politics.”
I understand his sentiments when he told people that “he just wanted them (the religious) to hear what the Filipino people are saying” and that the church’s (but not all religious) involvement in politics is also messing things up. But the point is what he did was wrong.
Rep. Lagman, the primary author of the new RH bill, in an interview with a news anchor told the viewers that the filing of charges on Celdran by the church after the stunt was a clear violation of Celdran’s right to free expression. Let me just say Mr. Lagman, that every right has a responsibility attached to it.
If Mr. Celdran did this inside the Mosque during the Eid Ftr ceremony, what would you think the muslims and the muslim priests do to him?
If Mr. Celdran during the wedding of Mr. Lagman’s daughter stood up in front of the altar and raised a placard with the word “Slut” on it, what would Mr. Lagman and his family do?
The church have been very civil about Mr. Celdran’s case and if he actually did this during the two scenarios I mentioned above It is safe to say that he would end up either in a hospital or a body bag.
What he did was wrong. However, Mr. Celdran got what he wanted, the attention of a lot of people and as a PR man, this might be the pinnacle of his entire career. He might even get a chance to go into politics someday.
I will rest my case.
Rep. Edcel Lagman
As primary author of the RH bill, of course, Mr. Lagman would be all over Celdran’s case because this is good publicity and I think the event have sealed the approval of the bill already. The merits of the bill will never be tainted and I think Mr. Lagman’s camp would exhaust all options to ensure the bills approval. Dirty tactics or not.
What fueled the whole event was a statement made by a bishop saying that excommunication is an option (however remote) being considered as a religious punishment to PNoy for supporting the RH bill.
I am one with PNoy when he said that he’s for the ‘informed choice’ and the bishop’s statement may have been pre-mature and sounded like a threat coming from the Catholic Church. Media of course made the statement so dramatic that it sounded as if as a universal stand by the church.
I have been following tweets from local news organizations and other people. Almost all the PNoy supporters’ tweets are in support of Celdran’s advocacy (if that is what it really is). They want Celdran freed and condemning the Church for jailing him. It is funny though, because majority are not really fully aware of the issues at hand and majority are just plain supporters of PNoy who got irked by one bishop’s statement about the excommunication.
This is sad because we are veering away from the real issues here and we’re making such a hero of a man whose real motives are unclear. What is he to gain from this? What made him do this? Did any of you asked these before liking the Free Carlos Celdran FB page?
Let us not mix the events. These were separate issues that just got jumbled up. We should assess the situation based on the nature of the different arguments.
- A bishop told reporters that excommunication may be a (remote) possible option for PNoy for supporting the RH bill. (A threat?)
- Carlos Celdran disturbed (understatement) a very formal religious ceremony and accused the religious as “damasos” (a publicity stunt for the RH bill?)
- Church filed a case on Carlos Celdran’s disrespect, people are crying for freedom of expression. What about the rights that Celdran violated for doing his stunt at the cathedral? If the church allowed this kind of thing to happen without any consequences I think it would result as a precedent, and people who have complaints about the church would line up during massess with placards. It is a religious ceremony that he disturbed and not a political meeting. In the eyes of the church and all the religious what Celdran did was sacrilegious. PR men can be civil without losing creativity, he should’ve tried that first. (Measure it right-this is not youtube, a lot of hits doesn’t makes it right)
- Rep. Edcel Lagman, please stick with the RH bill. Strive to make it a win-win for the church and the state. (This is Possible!)
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