A Catholic Group in the Philippines Says It Doesn’t Have Enough Power in Congress and Deserves More

If you’re part of a marginalized group in America, it means you probably have no one in Congress to represent you and fight for you.

In the Philippines, there’s a way to combat this: It’s called the Party-List Systems Act:

The State shall promote proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives through a party-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof, which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and under-represented sectors, organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to become members of the House of Representatives. Towards this end, the State shall develop and guarantee a full, free and open party system in order to attain the broadcast possible representation of party, sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives by enhancing their chances to compete for and win seats in the legislature, and shall provide the simplest scheme possible.

In short, if you can show you’re a marginalized group and the Commission on Elections agrees, you can get some representation in the House.

So guess what “marginalized” group recently applied for Congressional seats?

A Catholic pro-life group called “Ang Prolife.”

Seriously. As if they don’t have enough power already…

The Filipino Freethinkers are trying to put a stop to it before it’s too late:

[Ang Prolife and its members] are closely affiliated with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and the leadership of the Philippine Roman Catholic Church, which already has more social and political clout than it deserves. Together, the CBCP and so-called prolife groups hold enough power over the government that politicians routinely pander to one church at the expense of all others, and of those with no church at all. There are already numerous blatant violations of secularism, and should Ang Prolife get a seat in Congress, there is no doubt that there will be even more.

You can read the full complaint on the Filipino Freethinkers’ website. Wish them luck. It’s a David versus Goliath story in which Goliath is pretending to be a victim.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    I wonder when Vatican City is going to get a group like that saying that Catholics are not represented enough in government.

    • wind

       Nice one, witty.

      • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

        Thanks.

  • TheAnalogKid

    I think I might go to war to stop this from happening in the US.

  • http://www.allourlives.org/ TooManyJens

    Catholics don’t have enough power in the Philippines, where they’ve been debating since 1998 whether to have government-funded access to contraception and haven’t managed to pass it yet?

    And I’m pissed that they pass that off as “pro-life,” too. I’m a cofounder of a pro-life group that is pro-family planning and supports the Reproductive Health Bill.

  • flyb

    This doesn’t make sense. The Catholic Church practically runs the Philippines. It has its dirty hands in just about everything. After living in Manila, I saw first hand what its grip has done to that otherwise beautiful country, especially in terms of out-of-control population and poverty.

  • Anderson

    If you’re born in a devout roman catholic family here in the Philippines… that family may or even will ostracize you. It’s just so hard. lol 

  • http://seoclyde.blogspot.com/ SEO for Bloggers

    atheists should be represented in congress as well. emo kids, too. and … lesbians and gays


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