Malacañang not happy about CBCP’s decision to suspend RH Bill dialogue

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told ABS-CBN News yesterday that Malacañang "regrets" the decision of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to withdraw from talks on the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.

"While we respect Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar’s decision, it is unfortunate that (CBCP President Nereo Odchimar) chose to suspend the dialogue with the executive department, though no fault on our part and notwithstanding the fruitful discussions of the past two sessions," Lacierda said in a text message sent to ABS-CBN News.

"However, we have the mandate to fulfill. We have received inputs from them. We hope at a certain point, we’re still open to a dialogue with them but we have to take into consideration our responsibility to the state," Lacierda added. He maintained that the administration aims to provide the public access to natural and artificial family planning methods.

In a letter addressed to President Noynoy Aquino and dated February 19, Odchimar said he "deems it prudent to suspend" talks on the RH Bill "considering the speed in the ongoing legislative processes both in the Lower House and the Senate."

In response to Odchimar’s reason for suspending talks with Malacañang, Lacierda said, "It’s not even the fault of the executive branch. They chose to walk away from the dialogue due to what’s happening in a separate branch. That’s their decision. We have a responsibility to the state and the people."


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