Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rep. Benny Abante: A man to watch in the Philippines



By Joel Escol
Photos: Francis Patindol
Manila’s Six District Representative Bienvenido “Benny” Abante, Jr. is now a man to watch in the Philippines as a politician with political will, being in the religious sector. He had earlier made rounds in the country to check the plight of Baptist church members. Abante himself was a Baptist pastor before he was elected to the position as a representative of the Six District of Manila.

During a press conference at Pearlmont Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City, Rep. Abante said he is in the city to see the plight of Baptist churches as well as its members. He said he heard that some members are affected by the ongoing hostilities between the renegade members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government in some areas in Mindanao, more particularly in Central Mindanao.

“Some of our members according to reports from our church are being affected by the ongoing war between government forces and the MILF,” he said, adding that the Baptist Ministry is praying the tension in Central Mindanao would ease soon.
Abante was guest speaker of the gathering of Baptist Church pastors in Mindanao also held in Cagayan de Oro City. The activity was attended by Baptist pastors as far as Cotabato, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Camiguin Island and Surigao del Sur. The meet up of pastors was organized by the Independent Baptist Pastors of Mindanao which has total members of over 6,000.

Abante said there is also a scheduled conference of pastors in Manila on January 13-15 to iron out plans and programs for the Baptist ministry in the country.
Abante also told reporters he is not supporting some provisions of the Reproductive Health Bill authored by Rep. Edsel Lagman as it is against the will of God. The provision in the bill which only allow a married couple to two siblings is also against the will of God.

He said the solution to the overcrowding population in the country cannot be solved by harsh measures such as limiting the number of children that a family can have but on how the government can solve economic crisis and poverty and give Filipinos food to eat.

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