“We do not honor that ordinance,” [Muntinlupa City Mayor Aldrin San Pedro's] spokesman Omar Acosta said.
“They cannot implement it. They [village officials] are still part of the city. They are not a separate republic.”
San Pedro said the members of the Ayala Alabang village council would be charged if even a single complainant came forward to report that the ordinance was being enforced.
For now, Acosta said, the mayor had ordered that the status quo be observed until the village officials had answered the city council’s questions.
Irate township residents are also set to file criminal charges against Ayala Alabang Village Association (AAVA) chairman Alfred Xerez-Burgos who seems "bent on enforcing it despite mounting calls for its suspension". Ayala Alabang is an affluent fortified gated enclave within the City of Muntinlupa in Metro Manila that boasts a "multi-cultural" community owing to a high proportion of expatriate residents consisting mostly of elite business executives and diplomats.
Interestingly enough, there are two schools in and around the sprawling Ayala Alabang township that are run by the Opus Dei affiliated Parents for Education Foundation, Inc (PAREF). This little factoid is the basis of some speculation making the rounds that members of the secretive religious sect Opus Dei form part of a possible behind-the-scenes lobby supporting this anti-contraceptive ordinance. These two schools are Woodrose School in Ayala Alabang, and Southridge School in Hillsborough Subdivision, Muntinlupa City.
Another officer of the Ayala Alabang Village Association, lawyer Luis Sison and his wife Triccie Cepeda Sison are said to be members of the religious organisation Couples for Christ. Sison who is also president of the Philippine National Construction Corp (PNCC) reportedly dared all who opposed the ordinance to challenge the AAVA in court.
“Everyone is free to file a case in court, by all means. It would be better so we will all face each other and argue in court,” lawyer Luis Sison, spokesman of AAVA, told Manila Standard.
“We made sure we followed the Constitution (which) provides that the state shall protect the lives of the mother and of the unborn child. ‘Unborn child’ means from the moment of fertilization.”
Sison said scientific findings indicate that contraceptives are abortifacients.
The city council of Muntinlupa, he said, did not veto it.
The Opus Dei -- what seems to be the single largest common denominator across the persnalities, groups, and institutions involved in this circus -- is apparently notorious for its autocratic religious zealotry. The organisation Opus Dei Awareness Network (ODAN) which documents much of the activities and belief systems of the Opus Dei from an outsider's perspective cites many repressive tenets within Opus Dei doctrine. Among these is a six-tiered framework for cataloging books based on the required authorisation its members need to seek from the sect's "numeraries" before they can be read. The fifth and sixth tiers of this framework apply the most restrictive rules: Category 5: "Books that are not possible to be read, except with special permission from the advisory (in New York)" and Category 6: "Prohibited reading. In order to read them permission is needed by the Prelate of Opus Dei (in Rome)".
There are 6,892 books with the highest rating of "6." Examples of authors who have some books with a "6" rating are: Woody Allen, Isabel Allende, Karen Armstrong, Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume, Roberto Bolano, Joseph Campbell, Gustav Flaubert, Allen Ginsberg, Mary Gordon, Gunter Grass, Andrew Greeley, Herman Hesse, Adolph Hitler, John Irving, James Joyce, Carl Jung, Eugene Kennedy, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Milan Kundera, Hans Kung, Harold Kushner, Henri Lefebvre, Doris Lessing, Sinclair Lewis, Richard P. MacBrien, Mary MacCarthy, Malinowski, Karl Marx, Somerset Maugham, Toni Morrison, Alice Munroe, Vladimir Nabokov, V.S. Naipaul, Pablo Neruda, Nietzcshe, Octavio Paz, Harold Pinter, Marcel Proust, Philip Roth, Bertrand Russell, John Updike, Gore Vidal, Voltaire, Alice Walker, Gary Wills and Tennessee Williams.
Examples of authors who have some books with a "5" rating are: W.S. Burroughs, John Cornwall, Marguerite Duras, William Faulkner, Nadine Gordimer, Eugene Kennedy, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Doris Lessing, John O'Hara, A.J. Quinnell, Ayn Rand, Salman Rushdie and Kenneth Woodward.
Opus Dei is renowned for its powerful, influential, and affluent members. As such, the possible Opus Dei angle in the bizarre Medieval drama unfolding in one of the richest enclaves in the Philippines is gaining more and more traction. It would be interesting to see how the supposed secularism of the Philippine Government holds up in this conflict.