Man’s law vs the law of God. God wins
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2020 - 12:00am

Wednesday next week is already Ash Wednesday. Yes, the beginning of the Lenten season, and thankfully most Filipinos still belong to the Catholic religion and submit to the doctrines of the Catholic Church, especially from the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Last Sunday’s gospel reading was about the Sermon on the Mount when our Lord taught his followers on how they should handled themselves as followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. In last Sunday’s gospel which comes from Matt. 5:17-37 there are so many lessons that our Lord Jesus has taught us which is still a teaching that is acceptable to us 2,000 years later.

Our Lord Jesus talked about adultery when he said,  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” I’m writing this piece as we know too well that the 17th Congress has approved on its first reading a bill allowing for divorce in the Philippines. But it is high time for Congressmen and women to ask themselves… will human law replace God’s law? By reading last Sunday’s gospel on the topic of adultery you already know what God thinks about divorce.

This is the trouble with man today, he believes that making a law that legalizes what God abhors would also be acceptable to God. For instance, in the US abortion has been declared as “legal,” but does God approve the killing of innocent children even if the laws of man legalize it? In America, killing of eagles’ eggs is illegal and you could end up having a jail term. But killing babies is a legal thing in America. Thanks to the work of pro-life groups, I just learned that since Roe vs. Wade has made abortion legal in America, years later there are 50 percent less abortions in the US today.

I didn’t realize that House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano was a devout Born Again Christian, who also argued that the “family is the basic unit” of society that must be protected. At this point, the Philippines is the only nation on earth (including East Timor) that does not allow divorce, and for me this is a blessing that we can show to God. So I suggest that those Filipino couples experiencing troubled marriage go to any of the countries to get their divorce, but not here at home. So Congress should be warned that they should not enact laws that pleases man, rather create laws pleasing to God.

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Last week the Philippines issued a travel ban to Taiwan in the light of the COVID 19 where Philippine politics always talked about its One-China policy. Since Taiwan was considered a “province” of the People’s Republic of China, it included Taiwan in the ban on travel to China. However, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat recommended to the inter-agency task force on COVID-19 (IATF-covid19) the lifting of the ban after a meeting at Malacañang. That recommendation was swiftly acted upon and the lifting of the travel ban to Taiwan took effect immediately.

With the lifting of the travel ban to Taiwan, Lito Banayo, chair of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei, the de facto Philippine embassy in Taiwan, thanked the interagency task force for lifting the ban, which he said was welcomed by the 160,000 Filipino workers there.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the ban was ill-advised and was removed following objections and a warning from Taiwan that it might lift the visa-free entry of Filipinos in response. Yes this is something Filipinos want to find out from Mr. Banayo whether or not visiting Taiwan requires getting a visa from MECO? This issue has to be clearly clarified.

Meanwhile, we learned from reports coming from Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines last Saturday that they would resume flights between Taiwan and the Philippines this week. Next week’s flights will be those that had been canceled when the ban was imposed. PAL pointed out that on Feb. 21, it would start its Manila-Taipei-Manila flights for just four days per week up to the end of the month, before resuming daily operations starting on March 1.

Meanwhile I read in the news that Taiwan now has one person who died because of COVID 19.  At this point I would like to find out if perhaps we lifted this travel ban too soon? I mean, what happens to travellers from Taiwan to the Philippines… will they be made to undergo a 14-day quarantine period? I have always talked with my friends and people who want to know how they would be treated in our airports if they travel at this time of the year. For me as long as your body temperature is normal you have nothing to worry about. But honestly speaking these are times for us to stay at home and postpone our travel plans until the virus has diminished or a vaccine has been discovered to counter this virus.

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