AN UPSURGE in child prostitution has led the Catholic Women's League in the Philippines to launch a campaign warning mothers against the activities of illegal "labour recruiters".
The CWL president, Mrs Annie Bagatsing, also attacked the much-publicised "sex tours" which entice tourists to the country in search of cheap sex.
Pamphlets cautioning parents to be on their guard against people trying to lure their daughters away to the capital, Manila, with promises ofjobs have now been distributed in every parish in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Jaime Sin has accused the government of President Ferdinand Marcos of conducting a "deliberate, finely orchestrated campaign to throttle the freedom of the Church to speak up on matters of Catholic morality."
He said he had been forced to that conclusion by events before. during and after last month's presidential election: every attempt by the Church to discuss the morality of voting with its members had been foiled, he said.
The conflict between the bishops and the government blew up as a result of an opposition call for an election boycott: the president said that the Church taught that such a boycott was a "moral sin" — a claim vigorously denied by Church leaders at the time.
The cardinal's latest riposte came in a speech read to a meeting of the bishops' conference last weekend: he was unable to attend in person because he is recovering from an operation on his stomach. His statement described the government's suppression of religious freedom as a "problem of the most grievous proportions."