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Volume 4 Issue 7 First in Time, First in Right July‐August 2012
Philippine prayer power rally vs RH Bill
Manila Archbishop warns 20,000 rallyists of the evil consequences of RH bill.
2 Page July‐August 2012
Every law engenders a culture. Every law creates a mentality, priorities, a set of things allowed and prohibited.
Abp Tagle raises red flag against culture arising out of contraceptive mentality
MANILA, Philippines – His voice trembled. He did not condemn anyone to hell. Neither did he launch into rhetoric, as bishops and priests usually do, about the beginning of life, the evils of abortion, and the supposedly huge funding by pharmaceutical groups to ensure the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. What Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle voiced on Saturday, August 4, was his deepest fear about the RH bill that the House of Representatives will subject to a crucial vote this week.
Abp Tagle warns vs slippery slope to where RH bill will push our morality
and to the next generation? What culture will this RH bill engender?) When Tagle spoke, he came from the context of Catholic teachings that warn against a so-called “contraceptive mentality.” This was most pronounced in a papal document by the late Pope John Paul II, titled Evangelium Vitae. In this document, John Paul II addressed claims that contraception “is the most effective remedy against abortion.” He said it is “unfounded” when the Catholic Church is accused of promoting abortion because it combats contraception. “It may be that many people use contraception with a view to excluding the subsequent temptation of abortion. But the negative values inherent in the 'contraceptive mentality' – which is very different from responsible parenthood, lived in respect for the full truth of the conjugal act – are such that they in fact
In a message, Tagle said he appreciates the legislators' regard for the plight of the poor when they push for the controversial law. “May pakiusap lamang po ako... Kapag kayo ay nagpasa ng batas, ang batas na 'yan ay hindi lamang batas. Bawat batas ay umuukit ng kultura. Bawat batas ay lumilikha ng mentalidad, ng priorities, ng kung ano ang itinuturing na pinapayagan at hindi pinapayagan. Walang batas na batas lang,” Tagle said during his message at the anti-RH bill rally at the Edsa Shrine. (I only have one request... Whenever you a pass a law, that law is not just a law. Every law creates a culture. Every law creates a mentality, priorities, a set of things that are allowed and are prohibited. No law remains only a law.) “Nakilatis na ba ninyo? Ano ba ang kulturang Pilipino na inyong ibig ipasa sa amin at sa susunod na henerasyon? Ano bang kultura ang sisimulan nitong RH bill?” (Have you examined it? What Filipino culture do you intend to pass on to us
strengthen this temptation when an unwanted life is conceived,” John Paul II said. He noted that some couples use contraception or practice abortion “under the pressure of reallife difficulties.” “Still, in very many other instances such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment,” the late pope said. Filipino culture Thus, in his statement, Tagle called out different sectors one by one, and urged them to promote values that supposedly run counter to the RH bill. Speaking to the poor, Tagle commended them for trying their best to support their families despite their poverty. “Kayo po ang larawan ng kulturang Pilipino dahil... ang inyong itinuturing na kayamanan ay ang inyong pamilya, ang inyong mga anak,” he said. (You are the image of Filipino culture because... you consider your family, your children as your wealth.) “Ang mga magulang ng mga dukhang pamilya, lahat ng hirap ay kayang tiisin para mabuhay ang kanilang anak. Hindi problema ng mga dukha papa'no mahalin at itaguyod ang mga bata. Mukhang ang namomroblema ay ang mga may-kaya. Dapat matuto tayong lahat sa mga dukha, papanong magpunyagi, papanong magpahalaga, papanong magsumikap,” he said. (The parents of poor families are willing to endure all hardships to support their children. The poor doesn't consider it a problem to love and support their children. It seems it's the rich who consider it a problem. We should learn from the poor how to endure hardship, how to value their families, how to work hard for them.) He also addressed children and assured them they are not “problems,” alluding to arguments the RH bill considers childbirth a problem. “Mga bata, kayo ay biyaya,” Tagle said. (Children, you are gifts.) “Ang pera, nawawala... sa bandang huli, ang kakapitan na lang na kayaman ng pamilya ay kayong mga bata,” Tagle said. (Money disappears... in the end, you will be your parents' only riches.) The challenge, he said, is for the government to give the poor education, employment, and other basic services. Tagle later spoke to men, and addressed the supposed objectification of women. This is one of the Church's core arguments against the RH bill. They say contraceptives can lead to sex without
any regard for a woman's body rhythms, unlike when couples use the Church-endorsed natural family planning (NFP) method. In NFP, couples are advised to discuss the woman's fertile and infertile periods, and schedule intercouse during infertile periods. “Mga lalaki, kapag ikaw ay may asawa, ang asawa mo ay hindi gamit, hindi bagay, hindi commodity... Kung ang bawat lalaki, magalang sa kanyang asawa, may disiplina, nakikipag-usap, at sensitibo sa pangangailangan, naku po, paraiso na sa inyong tahanan,” Tagle said. (Men, if you have a wife, your wife is not an object, not a commodity... If every man respects his wife, has discipline, discussses things with her, oh my, your home will be paradise.) The Manila archbishop also addressed the so-called rebellion of the youth, and turned the tables on their elders. “May hinahanap kayo sa amin. Ang inyong parang pagrerebelde ay pamamaraan ng inyong paghahanap – nasaan ang integridad?” (You are looking for something. Your rebelliousness is your way of looking – where is integrity?) Thousands wearing red – what they call the color of life – applauded Tagle for his speech before the 5 p.m. Mass at Edsa shrine.
Contraception is corruption— Abp Soc Villegas
Power of reason, Or power of numbers?
and paralyzed traffic for hours Posted August 6, 2012 at the intersection of Edsa and For the first time since Presi- Ortigas outside the historic dent Benigno Aquino III asEdsa Shrine in asking Congress sumed office in 2010, some reli- to junk the infamous bill. Simigious leaders who had suplar prayer rallies, presided by ported his presidency, and who bishops and archbishops, were may even support it still, pubheld in at least eleven other diolicly rebuked him over the ceses and archdioceses at the weekend in a series of prayer same time. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop rallies all over the country for his public endorsement of the Socrates Villegas, seen by many Luzon Catholics as the living prelate controversial reproductive closest to the late former president health bill. No group of a simi- Cory Aquino, and her children, inlar size or stature has concluding the President, uttered the fronted Mr. Aquino head-on on first strong words, in a message read for him by Henrietta de Villa, an old any issue before. friend of the archbishop and the The rallies had no resemAquinos, and former Philippine amblance to anything from the bassador to the Holy See. Arab spring, but they seemed to Recalling Aquino’s campaign slocreate a fork on the road, which gan—“Kung walang corrupt, walang could help define Aquino’s near mahirap” (without corruption, there will be no poverty), Villegas said, -term. Those present were mostly non-politicians, but their “contraception is corruption” —a moral grievance could ignite the sentence that screamed the banner headlines the next day. political scene and produce the “The use of government money, embryo of a real principles-and taxpayers’ money to give out contra-issues-based national moveceptive pills is corruption,” Villegas declared. “Contraceptive pills teach ment. us it is all right to have sex with Under inclement weather, church leaders of the Archdio- someone provided you are safe from babies…A culture of contraception cese of Manila and its suffragan looks at babies as reasons for povdioceses as well as from Linerty. Birth control, they say, means gayen-Dagupan on Saturday led more food, more classrooms, more houses and better health for mothan adult crowd that occupied By Francisco Tatad
Ambassador De Villa
ers. If more babies are the cause of poverty, are we now saying ‘Kung walang anak, walang mahirap? (If there are no children, there will be no poverty)’?” said Villegas, a member of the Vatican-based Pontifical Council for the Family. Malacañang had earlier called on the House of Representatives to approve the bill “for the future of their children.” That may not have been too sensitive, coming as it did at the height of typhoon Gener when strong winds and heavy rains were buffeting people’s homes and nobody knew where the President was and what he was doing while the tempest raged. The crowd seemed genuinely pleased to see Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, and Senator Gregorio Honasan take their place on stage. Although they did not speak, their mere presence sent
July‐August 2012 Page 5 the Jesuit theologian, Father Catalino Arevalo, was his “spiritual adviser.” Bacani, who said he was one of Father Arevalo’s students, said he knew for a fact that Arevalo was against the RH bill. Some old Cory supporters said they also prayed to the late former president, to “help save the nation from her son’s treasonous sellout to US President Barack Obama and his anti-life, anti-family and anti-poor program.” Administration congressmen will be “lunching” with Mr. Aquino in Malacañang today to plot their next move. But no one is betting PNoy would have the same success as he had last December Bp Bacani when, at his behest, 188 congressmen promptly signed the Articles of Impeachment against thenSupreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona without reading the document. Early today, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Archbishop Jose S. Palma of Cebu, is expected to send the congressmen a letter offering them his prayers but asking them to declare whether the State is still the “protector” of human life, as guaranteed by the Constitution, or has it become a “preventer” of new human life, under the guidance of foreign
Former Mayor Lito Atienza converses with Greg Honasan, as Vic Sotto engages Jonhnny Enrile.
a clear signal to everybody. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle tried to connect to the congressmen by asking them to consider the bill’s long-term effects on the mentality, lifestyle and culture of Filipinos. An intended solution to certain problems should not end up as a larger problem, he said. More direct was Servant-Leader Brother Mike Velarde of the internationally known charismatic community, El Shaddai. He said that in endorsing the RH bill, the President had chosen death rather than life, and failed to live up to the example of his late father, Benigno S. Aquino Jr. “Ninoy died so that Filipinos might live,” Velarde said. ” “Ninoy said, ‘the Filipino is worth dying for.’ He did not say, ‘the Filipino is worth killing for’.” At the mass presided by Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, and concelebrated by several bishops and numerous priests, Bishop Teodoro Bacani was interrupted by warm applause several times in his homily as he chided Mr. Aquino for his stand on human life. “I hope the President has not forgotten his mother, Cory Aquino,” said Bacani, who had served as member of Cory Aquino’s constitutional commission and confessed to having voted for P-Noy in 2010. “Had she taken contraceptives, we would probably never have had Kris Aquino (the President’s kid sister).” Bacani recalled that in his July 23 State of the Nation Address, P-Noy claimed to have made the impossible possible. And he did it without this RH bill, the bishop said. Why does he need it now? In his Sona, the President also said
population controllers? This is a “killer question” which the administration can only ignore at its own peril. Palma said the Church finds the RH bill falling far below the standard required of every law, that it be “an authentic ordinance of reason, in full accord with the moral law and the Constitution, and solely for the common good.” The RH bill “violates the clear and express provisions of our 1987 Constitution and offends the objective moral law and the moral consciences of many Filipinos,” Palma said. The CBCP president focused on two principal parts of the bill, namely, its general prescription that everyone practice birth control as an essential requirement and component of marriage, and its provision on compulsory sex education for all schoolchildren, from Grade V until 4th year high school, without parental consent. Both are repugnant to the moral law and the Constitution, he said. Under the bill, no couple may be issued a marriage license without proof that they have undergone training on family planning. Married couples (and even unmarried ones) may choose what method or means to use, but they must choose one method or another to avoid or space childbirth. The government shall provide all sorts of contraceptives and sterilization agents as “essential medicines.” Proponents have argued that the bill is needed to eradicate poverty, reduce maternal mortality, and provide women access to reproductive health as a “human right.” Opponents of the measure have rejected all these arguments, saying there is no correlation between poverty and population growth; that maternal
deaths could be avoided by better medical services rather than by the contraception and sterilization; and that there is no need for a law to guarantee access to reproductive health since no law prohibits contraception or sterilization, and women are freely contracepting and men are getting vasectomized. The debate has resulted in a virtual “standoff,” where one side rejects everything the other side says and vice versa. The pro-RH side claims some surveys have shown extensive public support for the bill, but the anti-RH side rejects this claim, saying the reported “surveys” are either nonexistent or rigged, conducted by paid pro-RH pollsters using skewed and leading questions and pre-screened interviewees to produce pro-RH results purely for propaganda purposes. Alleged survey results talk of how many women (and possibly men) favor the use of contraceptives and how many do not. That is not the issue at all. The real issue is whether the State has the right or the duty to require anyone or everyone to practice birth control, as though the Philippines were now a totalitarian state, and the private family life of Filipinos were now the government’s official business. The issue is not about health, but about religious, civil and political liberty. The House leadership seems eager to resolve the issue through sheer political muscle rather than through reasoned debate. But after last weekend’s manifestations, the genie is now out of the bottle, and neither Mr. Aquino nor his Congress allies can afford to miscalculate. With his letter to the lawmakers, the CBCP president has gone for the jugular. “Assuming, for the sake of argument, that everything the opponents of the RH bill have said about population and poverty,
maternal health and contraceptives, and so on is wrong, and that everything the bill’s proponents have said on the same issues is right,” Palma wrote, “can Congress enact the present bill into law, without offending the Constitution and the moral law? “Our humble submission is that Congress cannot do so, and the law it enacts, if ever it decides to do so, would be no law at all. As protector of the unborn, the State is ipso facto the protector of conception. It cannot be the preventer of conception,” he pointed out. “As no law prohibits contraception or sterilization, the State may not be able to prevent women from using contraceptives or getting sterilized on their own,” he continued. “But the State cannot be the author, source or medium of contraception, or even be a mere participant in a program of contraception. “This is the true meaning of Sec. 12 of Article II of the Constitution, “he said. This provides: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of the parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” Palma said the bill’s attack on the Church teaching against contraception, if enacted into law, would constitute “religious persecution” of Catholics, even if he was careful not to use the term. Palma said while the Church did not expect the State to become an enforcer of her teachings, she did not expect Congress either to pass a law that would trample upon any of those teachings. Neither can Congress alter or
amend the essential nature and character of marriage, which is a natural human institution designed by Providence, not the State, for the propagation of the species. Procreation, not contraception, is the true purpose of marriage,” Palma wrote. Palma told the congressmen that “non-passage of the bill should not be seen as a favor to Catholics and an injury to those who do not share our moral and religious beliefs. It should be seen rather as a service to all—a simple recognition of the fact that the matter of childbearing is for parents alone to decide, and not for Congress to legislate on. Palma reminded the congressmen that the purpose of any law was to promote the unity and peace of the nation. Congress should not enact a law which from the very beginning has already deeply divided the country, and can only divide it further still,” Palma concluded. Palma’s letter represents the CBCP’s most significant input in the discussion of the bill. But it remains to be seen whether the President would engage the CBCP president on the basis of reason, or whether he would ram the bill through just because he believes he has the power and “the numbers.”
July‐August 2012 Page 7
Schools defying Church teachings may lose Catholic status
MANILA, August 17, 2012 (CBCP News) — The Catholic hierarchy may strip a school of its affiliation with the church if they go against its teachings particularly on life issues, a ranking archbishop said. Archbishop Jose Palma, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president, said this is possible if a Catholic school and other institutions violated ethical and religious directives of Abp. Palma the church. “If we are a Catholic school, we should not teach anything contrary to the official teaching of the church,” Palma said. Amid the debate on a controversial artificial contraception measure, he admitted that there is a clash of beliefs between the church and teachers of some Catholic schools. However, the Cebu archbishop said they are trying to solve the problem through a dialogue. “In some places, we first talk to them because some teachers may have some misunderstanding of what they think of freedom of conscience or academic freedom,” said Palma. “In some of the universities, we say that if you want to teach that idea, do not do it in a Catholic school because we are confusing the students… do it in other universities,” he said. The CBCP head stressed that the motive why parents send their children to Catholic schools are for reasons of faith formation. “They are hoping that their children will learn the Catholic teaching and also the Catholic formation,’ he said. “It will be a contradiction if we will bombard them with ideas which are against the official teachings of the Catholic faith,” added Palma. The archbishop was reacting to reports that 160 professors of the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) are openly supporting the passage of the reproductive health (RH) bill opposed by the Church. The professors first released this statement in 2008, and reiterated their stands recently as the House entered into the period of amendments on the RH measure. They also stated that they are not speaking for the entire Ateneo institution and only expressing their personal position. The ADMU, however, as a Jesuit and Catholic university, clarified that it still stands with the CBCP and the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus. Only last month, the Vatican has withdrawn the Catholic identity of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, because some of its policies are “not compatible with the discipline and morals of the church.” The flagship Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium has also come into question in recent years as the Vatican probed the embryonic stemcell research conducted at the Flemish-speaking Leuven and its Frenchspeaking sister institution, Louvain.
A nun and her Madonna
Philippine Senator Vic Sotto sheds a tear for his oldest son who died prematurely after his wife used contraceptive pills
By Cathy Yamsuan , August 15, 2012 (INQUIRER) From fighting words to a tearful confession. After a lengthy attack on the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill, Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto on Monday dissolved into tears, explaining that his stand against the measure was both “professional and personal.” The senator, who has been receiving a steady stream of brickbats in social networking sites for his position against the RH bill, broke down when he recalled the death of his five-month-old son who, he claimed, was conceived even while his wife was taking birth control pills. Monday was his son’s 37th death anniversary, Sotto said of Vincent Paul who was born on March 13, 1975, with a weak heart that required him to undergo daily blood transfusions. His voice breaking, Sotto recalled that after their firstborn Romina was born in 1973, a doctor friend suggested that his wife Helen take contraceptives so she could resume her show-biz career. “A few months after Romina was born, Helen got pregnant again even while taking pills,” Sotto recounted. Born with a weak heart, his son never left the hospital where he subsequently died five months later, the senator said. Sotto also recounted how his fellow senators, Lito Lapid and RH bill principal sponsor Pia Cayetano, had mourned the early deaths of their own children. Lapid’s son, Sotto said, was a blue baby who died when he was nine. Cayetano’s son, Gabriel Sebastian, also suffered congenital problems and lived for only nine months. “My fellow senators have their sad stories, but I still think they are blessed because they were able to hold and embrace their children. I could only watch my son through the glass. I never got to hold him,” Sotto sobbed. He said that a doctor later told him and Helen that their son had suffered complications because of the pills his wife had taken. Sotto said he had initially questioned why God took his son so soon. “But now I realize it happened because I have a job to do—to warn people about the dangers of contraceptives. That is my mission now,” he said.
A Beautiful Story
Sotto overpowered by emotions...
Sotto said people always thought that he and his wife Helen had only four children: Romina, Diorela, Gian and Ciara. “Actually we have six. Helen and I consider Sharon (Cuneta) our firstborn since we eloped in 1969. That’s why I call (Sen. Francis) Kiko (Pangilinan) my son-in-law,” he said. Sharon Cuneta is actually Helen Sotto’s niece, being the daughter of the latter’s sister, Elaine. After the emotional scene at the Senate, Cayetano opted to defer her response to Sotto’s speech.
July‐August 2012 Page 9
Gian, Tito Sen, Ciara, Helen, Lala and Apples
gave way to the contraceptive mentality in the early 60s. Tito Sen and his wife, a beauty titlist and multi-awarded actress and singer, Helen Gamboa of Pampanga, also live out their Catholic faith and are aware of the relational (love) as well as procreative (life) purposes of sex and marriage. Tito and Helen have four children: Romina, Diorella, Gian and Ciara and two grandsons Romino and Victorio. They lost their first child, a son, because Helen tried using a contraceptive pill branded “Diane”. This only shows that Tito Sen is not a joke at all. His seat in the Senate and public service also is not foreign to the Sotto family. Tito Sen is the third Sotto in the family to become part of the Philippine Senate. Before him were his granduncle Senator Filemon Sotto, acknowledged during the Commonwealth as one of the Seven (7) Wise Men of the Philippine Assembly who served from 1916–1922, and his grandfather Senator Vicente Yap Sotto of Cebu, a maverick senator and author of the Press Freedom Law, who served from 1946-1953. His mother Dr. Herminia Castelo-Sotto, was a women's rights activist and the first Medical Commissioner of Workmen's Compensation Commission and President Emeritus of the Kababaihang Rizalista ng Pilipinas. Tito Sen was on August 24, 1948. (His father was Marcelino Antonio Ojeda Sotto). He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. Prior to his entry into public service, Tito Sen was a well-known composer, actor and musical artist. He was a prime mover in the irreversible trend toward the popularity of the Filipino singers and local compositions during the 1970s and the 1980s when he was the VicePresident for production of the Vicor Group of Companies. Among his popular compositions is the song Magkaisa, considered the anthem of the 1986 People Power Revolution. Senator Sotto's television and movie career spans three decades starting in the 1970s to the present. Among his many television programs, he co-hosted the longest running program in Philippine history
Edited from Wikipedia Vicente C. Sotto III, or “Tito Sen” has always been an actor to most Filipinos, a man who won his seat in the Philippine Senate through his popularity in the silver screen and television. There are many former and current actors in the upper legislative chamber, and none of them are taken seriously by the intelligentsia and the upper segments of society. But today, Tito Sen might be the “superhero” that has led in saving future generations of Philippine womenfolk from dreaded diseases and complications that artificial contraceptives have caused like higher probability and incidence of breast and cervical cancers. For men, dependence on condoms have also led to the pandemic spread of HIV-AIDS.
Better yet, this man’s almost solo crusade borne out of moral conviction and powered by passion built from a personal tragedy, will most probably save our younger and future generations from the slippery slope of moral degradation just as the United States suffered when it
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sponsored and steered the passage of sixty-one (61) Senate bills as principal sponsor during the Ninth (9th) Tenth (10th) Congress. These measures brought more income to the local government units through greater share in the internal revenue allotment (IRA), ensuring a better and more efficient delivery of basic public services. Senator Sotto also sponsored the establishment of tourist zones in the Philippines, considered vital to the promotion and advancement of our tourism and filed a bill on absentee voting, providing the mechanism for the registration of qualified Filipinos abroad in order for them to exercise their right to vote. Tito and Helen visits OFWs in Hongkong A conscientious lawmaker, Senator Eat Bulaga. The Senator also hosted Brigada Siete, a public affairs pro- Sotto was one of the only five senators gram that has garnered citations and trophies from renowned award- who voted against the ratification of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade giving bodies. (GATT) amidst strong pressures from An accomplished sportsman and a member of the Philippine various sectors. Bowling Team, Senator Sotto has brought home gold medals and At the 11th Congress, Tito Sen acted honors to the country. He won the National Finals to represent the as chair of both the Senate Committees country at the Bowling World Cup held in Bogota, Colombia, and in on Public Services and that on Science Sydney, Australia. At present, as an avid golfer, he has won several and Technology, that approved a total of tournaments and is a consistent Class A player. thirty-nine (39) legislative franchises vital Political career to the Philippines' industrialization and The destined rise of Senator Vicente C. Sotto III from the Viceattempt for modernization. Mayoralty position of Quezon City to the Philippine Senate began in In addition, he continued his advocacy 1988 when he ran and won in a landslide victory unprecedented in the against the proliferation of illegal drugs by history of Quezon City. As Vice-Mayor, he was the presiding officer filing a number of bills addressing this of the Quezon City Council. menace plaguing the country. He founded the Vice-Mayors League of the Philippines and beHis genuine concern for the welfare of came its first President and was eventually elected President Emeritus the Filipino youth expanded the horizon of the League. It was during this term that his pursuit of a drug-free of Senator Sotto when he authored two Philippines took form. Because of his crusade to protect the youth books " Vision for a Drug-Free Philipagainst illegal drugs from its pernicious effects, Senator Sotto was pines" and "The Filipino: Values and Vinamed National Vice-Chairman of the Citizen's Drugwatch. 1992 marked the year when he entered national politics by overwhelmingly sion", reflecting his dream and aspirations in building a better society. topping the Senatorial Elections. He acquired a total of 11,792,121 Tito Sen is the Senate’s current Assisvotes, a phenomenal achievement for a political neophyte. During his first term, Senator Vicente C. Sotto III served as Assis- tant Majority Leader. To further enhance his knowledge and tant Majority Floor Leader and Chairman of the Senate Committees on Local Government and Tourism. He also assumed the Chairman- competency in public governance, Senator Sotto embarked in an Executive proship of the Senate Committees on Youth and Sports Development; gram for Leaders in Development at the Illegal Drugs; and Rural Development. Harvard University John F. Kennedy Unlike sitting president Benigno Simeon Aquino who in his nine years in the legislature, six years as congressman and three School of Government and completed it as senator, did not author a single law, Tito Sen has successfully in June 2000.
Reproductive Health as proposed Turno en Contra F ST PART OF is actually “Reproductive Death” VICEIRTE SOTTO’S N
I stand up for life, Mr. President, my esteemed colleagues. This chamber, the senate, is an institution that traces its lineage to the political structure of ancient Rome, where matters of policy were debated and decided in a Council of Elders – Senatus Populus Que Romanus/the Senate and the People of Rome. At that time, as now, issues were hotly argued, and sometimes, lives and honors put at risk, and scrutiny. Our times, our chamber, and our persons, will be defined and judged, not only by the bills that become laws, but also by the bills that are lost and rejected. Past circumstances defined the senate of their time. During the Commonwealth period, this chamber was defined by the issue of Philippine independence when my grandfather and namesake sat as senator, often clashing with then President Manuel Luis Quezon; during the early years of the Republic after the Second World War, this chamber was defined when it favored Parity Rights for Americans, then popular, but which historians later considered a sell-out; during the 1970s, this chamber imploded with the declaration of Martial Law; and after the EDSA Revolution of 1986 and thereafter, this chamber was resurrected and was distinguished by a newfound nationalism with its rejection of American military bases in 1991.
Today, we will define ourselves again, Mr. President, as we decide whether we shall adopt a measure that is dictated by outside cultures, forces and philosophies, or we shall be true to our Filipino reverence for human life, the solidarity of the family, and the right of parents to determine their family size without interference from the state. We have heard these past months the sponsors of Senate Bill No. 2865 entitled An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health and Population Development popularly known as the Reproductive Health or the RH Bill. “These are what the RH proponents are claiming and wants us to believe: The RH Bill will save the lives of the mother and the unborn; The RH Bill will provide Filipinos with information on reproductive health which they can use to make informed and intelligent decisions; The RH Bill will provide Filipinos with access to health care facilities and skilled health professionals; The RH Bill does not promote or legalize abortion; The RH Bill does not impose one mode of family planning method on every Filipino woman and that every person will be allowed to choose the method suitable to her needs and her religious belief; The RH Bill does not limit the size of the Filipino family; The RH
PRIVILEGE SPEECH BEFORD E THE SENATE
What an extensive family is, Vic Sotto knows
Bill does not promote sexual promiscuity among the Filipino youth.” Under Section 75 of the Rules of the Senate, upon the closing of the period of parliamentary interpellation on a measure, a senator can take the floor for or against the bill as part of the period of general debate. I speak now against said bill, Mr. President, which we commonly refer to as Turno en Contra. I will present my opposition to the RH bill in four (4) parts, starting today, August 13. I hope to finish the first portion today and the remaining chapters in the coming days. I seek the kind indulgence of this august chamber to bear with me. I strongly believe that Senate Bill 2865 is not necessary, not beneficial and not practical for our people. It will not serve the common good and, therefore, should be rejected. Deceptive information, as well as unreliable and distorted statistics, have been peddled for the arguments of the RH bill. My main objections to the Reproductive Health Bill are as follows: The RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty, the Philippine Constitution and existing penal laws; The RH bill is detrimental to the health of a pregnant mother and puts the life of the unborn on the line; The RH Bill violates our financial independence and the autonomy of local governments; and, The RH Bill transgresses Filipino culture and family values. Discussion Article II, Section 12, of the Philippine Constitution provides: “The state shall EQUALLY protect the life of the mother and THE LIFE OF THE UNBORN FROM CONCEPTION.” In the Records of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the l987 Constitution, Commissioner Bernardo Villegas in his sponsorship speech dated September 12, 1986, on the article mandating the State to equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from the moment of conception, stated: “The first question that needs to be answered: is the fertilized ovum alive? Biology categorically says yes, the fertilized ovum is alive.”
Malinaw po na napag-usapan sa pagpanday ng ating Konstitusyon kung kailan nagiging tao ang tao. Itong katotohanan na ito ngayon ang binubuwag at nais palitan ng mga nagtutulak ng RH bill. Sa katunayan, ang isa sa mga nagsusulong ng RH bill, ang International Planned Parenthood Federation or IPPF ang nag-atas sa mga medical associations na iayon at palitan ang depinisyon ng pagbubuntis magmula sa tinatawag na konsepsyon at gawing implantasyon. In the book entitled “Deadly Deception” by James Sedlak, it says that to avoid arguments on the issue on whether contraceptives are abortifacients or not, in the late 1960’s IPPF and its affiliates got some medical associations to define a pregnancy as beginning at implantation and not conception. Now let me go back to the deliberations on Article 2 Section 12 of our Constitution. The second question raised was: Is the alive fertilized ovum, human? Again the answer is a categorical yes. Genetics gives an equally strong ‘yes.’ At the moment of conception, the nuclei of the ovum and the sperm rupture. As this happens 23 chromosomes from the ovum combine with 23 chromosomes of the sperm to form a total of 46 chromosomes. A chromosome count of 46 is found only—and I repeat, only—in a human being. Therefore, the fertilized ovum is a human being.” Biology and neonatal experts have also spoken on the beginning of human life and let me quote a few of them. “Individual human life begins at conception and is progressive, ongoing continuum until natural death. This is a fact so well established that no intellectually honest physician in full command of modern medical knowledge would dare to deny it. There is no authority in medicine or biology who can be cited to refute this concept. (Source: D.J. Moran, M.D., J.D. Gorby, M.D., and T.W. Hilgers, M.D., “Abortion in the Supreme Court: Death Becomes a Way of Life.” Abortion and Social Justice, Sheed and Ward, 1974.) Medical textbook authors have also confirmed that the “formation, maturation and meeting of a male and female sex cell are all preliminary to their actual union into a combined cell, or zygote, which definitely marks the beginning of a new individual.” (Source: Lesley Arey. Development Anatomy, 7th Edition, 1974. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Publishers. “Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite, a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.” (Source: E.L. Potter, M.D., and J.M. Craig, M.D. “Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant,” 3rd Edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975,) Furthermore, Dr. Oscar Tinio, President of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), has stated that “life begins at fertilization” and anything that prevents the fertilized ovum from being implanted in the uterus is already considered “abortive”. If you do not completely agree with me and these authorities, and decide to believe in foreign studies sponsored and funded by Allan Guttmacher Research Institute studies, I would advise that why don’t we try asking our own conscience as the unborn child speaks to you in this video. (The Senator segues to show a video.) If you think that conception starts at implantation as what the proponents of this bill want us to accept as true, and not from fertilization, then you have just deprived the baby that you saw of its right to be born. Abortifacients Now that it is established when human life begins, let me now go to the question on how these contraceptives act as abortifacients. Several studies and authorities have shown that hormonal
contraceptives act as abortifacients. I firmly believe that those who deny the abortifacient properties of the pill and the IUD have unjustifiably transferred the beginning of life from fertilization to implantation. My point is this, ovulation and fertilization can still occur despite pills intake. They do not prevent ovulation 100% of the time and thus, fertilization can still occur. There are women with abnormal bleeding and test positive in pregnancy tests despite taking the pill. Unfortunately, the pill-whether oral, patch or injectable - renders the uterus hostile to implantation. When the fertilized ovum is prevented from implanting in the uterus because of the effect of the pill, this ovum is expelled. This is plain and simple abortion. Morning after pills, on the other hand when taken in large doses within 72 hours after sexual intercourse, no longer prevents fertilization but implantation. In the case of the Intra-Uterine Device (IUD), it does not prevent ovulation, and so fertilization may occur several times in the span of time the device is in the womb of the woman. However, most fetuses will not be able to implant themselves because there is an “appliance” in the womb that prevents them from doing so. Isn’t it that in science, we have the term, “matter occupies space”? (Kung may umookupa na, pano pa makakapasok ang fetus sa bahay nya? Kung tayo nga na malalaki at matatanda na, maraming pa ring naririnig na nag-aagawan ng bahay, may nakatirang informal settlers at meron pang professional squatters na tinatawag… pero tayo, ipinaglalaban pa rin natin ang karapatan nating tumira doon. Itong mga fetus na ito, di sila makalaban sa mga foreign objects na umaagaw ng lugar nila. At ang mga pills na nagrerenovate ng bahay dapat nila, ginawa itong non-livable.) Ito ang dahilan kung bakit lubos kung tinututulan ang pagpasa ng RH bill. Hindi ko naman yata hahayaan na may maging batas na kikitil lamang sa mga buhay na walang kalaban-laban. Ano ang karapatan natin na isabatas ang pagdidistribute ng mga abortifacient pills at IUDs na ito, para lamang sa sinasabi nating reproductive health? Ito na lang ba ang nakikita nilang sagot o solusyon? (This is the reason why I vehemently oppose the RH bill. I cannot allow a law that will kill a defenseless life. We have no right to enact the distribution of abortive pills and intra-uterine devices under and call it reproductive health. This is definitely not an answer or solution.) Kung tutuusin, hindi ito nakakatulong sa reproductive health ng mga kababaihan, sa katunayan nakakasira pa nga ito sa kanilang kalusugan. There are numerous side effects of contraceptives which unfortunately are not made known to the general public. Unahin natin ang side-effects ng pills. (In fact, these pills and devices does not help women’s reproductive health, but destroys it. Let us first go to the side effects of pills.) There are numerous studies showing its carcinogenic properties since the development of the synthetic estrogens in 1938 by Sir Edward Charles Dodds. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on July 29, 2005 that after a thorough review of the published scientific literature, it has concluded that combined estrogen –progestogen oral contraceptives (and combined estrogenprogestogen menopausal therapy) are carcinogenic to humans under the Group 1 category. This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.) The listed major adverse effects of the pill on women are the following: Breast cancer, cervical cancer, liver cancer, premature hypertension and coronary artery disease resulting in heart attacks and strokes, thromboembolism/pulmonary
July—August 2012 Page 1 3
Many could attest to the negative effects of these contraceptives to their children. Senator Lito Lapid revealed during one of the interpellations of this measure that his wife became pregnant despite the use of contraceptives and thus was born their third child who turned out to be a "blue baby." He said that while they were told that the baby would live for many years if it manages to reach age 14, the baby succumbed to a heart attack at age nine. He and his wife attributed the death to the contraceptives that his wife took. Senator Lapid believes that contraceptives cause the increasing number of child abnormalities and genetic disorders such as cleft chin, multiple births, and conjoined or Siamese twins disorder, which were not that many before contraceptives were introduced.
embolism. Other adverse effects are decreased libido, infertility, leg cramps, gallstone formation, nausea, bloatedness, etc. Next are the side effects of the IUD. Intrauterine devices have been said to have the following effects: Cramps, bleeding between periods, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and tear or hole in the uterus. Condoms are also dangerous Even condoms pose a serious health risk. As pointed out by Sen. Lacson, the size of the pores in condoms is 5 microns. What is alarming is that the size of the HIV virus is 0.1 micron. There can still be transmission of the HIV virus even with the use of a condom because 0.1 micron will definitely pass through 5 microns. Even the U.S. government has withdrawn US$2.6 million worth of grant to study condoms because an unacceptably high number of condom users probably would have been infected in such a study. No one wanted to take part in the study for fear of getting infected by the HIV virus so the U.S. government withdrew the grant. Given all these harmful effects to women, are we going to allow our government to spend billions of money to purchase condoms, pills and IUDs for the sake of what they call “reproductive health”? Hindi ito ang sagot sa sinasabi nilang 11 mothers die every day, kung totoo man ang sinasabi nilang 11 mothers die everyday na yan. Kung maiipasa itong RH bill, malamang higit pa sa 11 mothers ang mamatay kada araw. Akala ko ang RH bill ay para sa ating mga kababaihan. Ngunit hindi ko maintindihan bakit sa pamamagitan ng RH bill, tayo pa ang magdagdag ng dahilan para dumami ang sakit nila. Kung magbibigay tayo ng pondo gamit ang buwis na binabayad ng ating mga mamamayan sa mga contraceptives na ito, dapat maglaan din tayo ng pondo para sa mga sakit na pwedeng idulot ng mga ito. (They are not the solution to what they claim that 11 mothers die a day in child bearing, although I doubt if that were true. If the RH bill is passed more mothers will die everyday other than from childbearing because these contraceptive devices will increase the causes of maternal death. And if we provide funding for the promotions of these devices, then we must also provide funding for the cure of diseases that they will propagate.) Actually, these contraceptives are not just detrimental to women and the unborn. They are scientifically proven to have damaging effects to children born from mothers who were using contraceptives prior to their pregnancy too. According, to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, the use of the pill also causes severe gut dysbiosis. What is worse, drug induced gut imbalance is especially intractable and resistant to treatment either with probiotics or diet change. Gut imbalance brought on through use of the pill negatively impacts the ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. As a result, even if a woman eats spectacularly well during pregnancy, if she has been taking oral contraceptives for a period of time beforehand, it is highly likely that she and her baby are not reaping the full benefits of all this healthy food as the lack of beneficial flora in her gut preclude this from occurring. Pathogenic, opportunistic flora that take hold in the gut when the pill is used constantly produce toxic substances which are the by-products of their metabolism. These toxins leak into the woman’s bloodstream and they have the potential to cross the placenta. Therefore, gut dysbiosis exposes the fetus to toxins. Not well known is also the fact that use of the pill depletes zinc in the body. Zinc is called “the intelligence mineral” as it is intimately involved in mental development.
Pill linked with low weight and premature babies 012
By Carolyn Moynihan, March 13, 2
n a few weeks of Women who get pregnant withi more likely to taking birth control pills seem much ies, a new Cana‐ have low‐weight or premature bab s not definitively dian study indicates. The study doe hip and needs to prove a cause and effect relations s lead investiga‐ be confirmed by more research, say at the Univer‐ tor Xi‐Kuan Chen, an epidemiologist h low birth sity of Ottawa. However, babies wit are a growing weight or who are born prematurely ys clear. problem and the cause is not alwa sive Canadian data‐ The researchers used comprehen f women using bases to distinguish three groups o d taken them oral contraceptives: those who ha 1‐90 days of their within 30 days, 31‐60 days, and 6 nt ‐‐ 1500 in all. last period before getting pregna en who had not They were compared to 6100 wom year before they used birth control pills for at least a gave birth. f the contraceptive Outcomes were similar for most o ho had taken the users and non‐users. But those w nt were more pill within 30 days of getting pregna a very low‐weight than three times as likely to have ly to have a very newborn, and almost twice as like ice as apt to low‐weight baby. They were also tw premature. have a baby born at least six weeks t study to isolate The researchers say their’s is the firs to the time they mothers who had used the pill close that other fac‐ became pregnant, but they concede ts observed. tors may be at play in the birth effec ed with low birth Smoking and obesity are also link ll users may have weight, and the 30‐day group of pi ber of unplanned included a disproportionate num t, in itself, have af‐ pregnancies, a factor which migh OST fected the outcome.—NATIONAL P
The RH Bill is a foreign imposition Turno en Contra SECOND PART O and violates our Sovereignty VICENTE SOTTO F ’S
Last Monday, August 13, I mentioned that I will show how the RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty. My point in stating that is we should not be pushed over by any state or international organizations in determining what is best for our country. Hindi po porque ginagawa na nila sa ibang bansa, ay dapat gawin na rin natin. Tandaan natin na may iba’t iba tayong kultura, kasaysayan at tradisyon, at higit sa lahat, pangangailangan. Sino sila para magdikta sa atin? Hindi tayo gaya nila na iba ang pagpapahalaga sa pagkakabuklod-buklod ng pamilyang Pilipino at pagpapahalaga sa buhay ng tao. I will prove that this bill has been significantly influenced by various organizations, both local and international, which are of doubtful character. They have been pushing for the passage of this bill to serve their ulterior motives far-off from the aims of the proponents of the bill.
The sponsors of the measure openly admitted that the statistics used in the bill were obtained from various sources. Regrettably, the credibility and trustworthiness of these sources are questionable. And who are these sources? Reliable ba ang sources na ito? May pinapaboran ba ang source dahil makikinabang sila dito kalaunan? Dapat natin itanong ito sa mga tao at organisasyon na aktibong nagtutulak sa pagpasa nito. Tandaan natin mula 1997, ilang Kongreso na ang nakalipas at panay- panay ang pagsulpot ng RH bill, at parati itong hindi naipapasa. Hindi ba dapat nating gawing masinsinan ang pagsusuri kung talaga bang kailangan natin ito? At ano ang motibo ng mga organisasyong nagtutulak nito? Halimbawa na lamang, nabanggit noon ni Sen. Pia Cayetano ang ilang statistical materials na isinagawa daw ng National Statistics Office, kasama dito ang Philippine 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey. Ang problema, ang nagpondo sa paggawa ng mga statistical data na ito ay ang United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Malamang na ang resulta ng kanilang pinondohang materials ay papabor sa kagustuhan ng nagbigay ng pondo. The USAID, for the information of the body is the agency which the United States uses as its principal instrument to control and reduce the population through birth control worldwide. It is also the same agency which funded the DKT’s project. Dhramendra Kumar Tyagi is the largest manufacturer of trust condoms, pills and other contraceptives. Nais ng DKT na lumaganap ang paggamit ng contraceptive products sa Pilipinas. Magaling naman tayo sa simpleng lohika di ba? Ulitin natin, USAID ang magpopondo sa NSO para lumabas ang impormasyong kailangan ng population control sa bansa, at USAID din ang tumutulong sa DKT na mapalaganap ang produkto nila. Aba ang galing ano? Gagawa ka ng demand for contraceptives, tapos ikaw ang magsu-supply ng solusyon. Magandang ideya sa marketing pero hindi sa paggawa ng batas. Sana wag nating gawing pain ang ating bansa sa ganitong pageeksperimento. Also, the sponsor used statistical materials provided by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) to support their position. But as correctly pointed out by Senate President Enrile, the Guttmacher Institute came into existence as the marketing arm of Planned Parenthood in 1968 and has masterminded the public manipulation of reproduction in the United States, promoting abortion, steriliza-
EGE tion, and amnioSPEECH BEFORD E centesis and THE SENATE genetic screening, as well as foreign population control. The Institute is predisposed to a particular line of attitude in relation to population and birth, and that is to control population and not to deal with health concerns. Ang concern ko lang naman, sana mapagkakatiwalaan ang mga data na ginagamit natin sa bill na ito. Because of the delicate nature of the measure and its eventual impact on the future and well-being of the country and the people, we should be assured that the statistics presented to support the bill are beyond doubt. These statistics should be gathered, compiled, analyzed and synthesized by persons or institutions with no personal biases or motives in the bill. We cannot simply rely on these questionable institutions to provide the statistics for us, since these statistical data would help us make intelligible and accurate judgment on the issue at hand. Sa totoo lang, yung mga figures na sinubmit dito sa plenary tungkol sa number of unintended pregnanies, induced abortions, hospitalizations due to complications of abortion, mistimed births or unwanted babies, or maternal deaths ay mahirap din na tanggapin. They appear to be mere estimates or extrapolations of figures and are not mathematically exact. I have been severely criticized when I questioned the truthfulness of the claim that 11 mothers die every day. Ngunit bakit naman hindi ko ku-kwestyunin ang figure na ito, kung alam ko na hindi ito tama? Kung sa figures pa lang, sumasablay na sila, what more sa contents na mismo ng bill di ba? The proponents of the bill are saying that 11 Filipino women die every day when they talked about maternal mortality. They have not, however, supported this claim with accurate and consistent data. Kung tutuusin sa pinagawa ko sa mga staff ko, hindi pa nga umabot man lang sa kalahati ng 11 maternal deaths ang nakalap nila sa mga hospitals sa Pilipinas nung 2011 eh. For example, sa Nueva Viscaya Provincial Hospital, ang maternal deaths na naitala nila ay 2 lamang sa 2011. Let me emphasize, this is for the entire year of 2011, hindi po ito kada-araw. Sa Pangasinan Provincial Hospital, 4 lamang ang naitalang namatay sa panganganak sa nakaraang taon. Sa Batangas Regional Hospital, 7 out of 2584 deliveries ang naitala .27%. Hindi pa nga umabot sa 1%. Sa Cavite Naval Hospital, wala silang naitala na namatay sa panganganak sa taong 2011. Kaya ang hirap paniwalaan ang kanilang figure na 11 mothers die every day. Nagtataka lang talaga ako saan at paano nila nakuha ang figure na ito. Kung ang National Statistics Coordinating Board nga, walang maibigay. Ang Philippine Association of Hospitals nirefer lang kami sa Department of Health. Saan naman kaya kinukuha ng DOH ang mga figures na ito? Diyan na ngayon papasok ang mga organizations na ipe-presenta ang mga gawagawa nilang figures. Para ano? Para mailihis ang mga mambabatas at masunod ang mga gusto nilang mangyari sa bill na ito. Uulitin ko lamang po, hindi po sa wala akong pakialam sa mga nanay na namamatay, ang punto ko po ay ayokong gamitin nila ang maling figures at statistics na ito para lamang hikayatin ang nakakarami na ipasa ang RH bill. Maling konklusyon po ang kahihinatnan nitong maling figures. Gaya po ng nasabi ko nung Lunes, malamang kapag naipasa ang RH bill ay mas
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religious resistance. Gamal Serour, president of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), reported that UNFPA has a program in 25 countries to lobby religious leaders into dropping objections to the agenda. These programs are aimed at “re-educating” religious leaders and convincing them to accept their population control programs. UN Secretariat released a report from the UN Human Rights Council calling on all nations to accept that women and girls must be granted access to legal abortion in order for them to fully enjoy their human rights. The report, written by UN Special Rapporteur Anand Grover, links abortion on demand with the fundamental right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. According to Grover, “Criminal laws penalizing and restricting induced abortion are the paradigmatic examples of impermissible barriers to the realization of women’s right to health and must be eliminated.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon opened a women’s conference with the announcement of a new document titled: “Investing in our Common Future: Joint Action Plan for Women’s and Children’s Health,” intended to accelerate progress towards MDGs 4 and 5. A draft of the Joint Action Plan circulated at the conference cited examples of actions to be taken by govern-ments and policy makers. The draft insists that States “fully integrate the following into all primary healthcare facilities: family planning and abortionrelated care among other health issues. The draft Joint Action Plan also called on all states to “increase governments’ portion of budget allocated to health and build on existing regional commitments to increase access to sexual and reproductive health services.” Douglas Sylva, Phd. reported on March 5, 2004 that former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan congratulated and encouraged the leadership and work of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), a group working for worldwide abortion on demand for women and girls. Where legal abortion is restricted to those abortions considered necessary to save the life of the mother, the IWHC recommends that abortion providers simply “adopt a broader” definition of what constitutes a threat to a woman’s life by considering the risk of death if she seeks a clandestine procedure.” He further states that the message of former Sec.Gen. Kofi Annan implies that if skillfully argued, abortion advocates can skirt restrictive abortion laws. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), according to its website has for more than three decades, lobbied worldwide for the liberalization and eventual repeal of all laws that place any restrictions whatever on access to abortion. This stance is reflected in all of its major policy statements, as described in the IPPF’s Vision 2000 Strategic Plan. In its Vision 2000 document, which is considered to be the marching orders” for all its members, repeatedly and unambigiously calls for the legalization of abortion in countries where the procedure is currently unlawful. Currently, IPPF is operating in the Philippines through its member, Family Planning Organizations of the Philippines. FPOP had actively participated during committee hearings. This is IPPF’s vision: “We believe that a woman has the right to choose and access safe abortion services and we advocate for changes in legislation to support this.” This is the true meaning of Pro-Choice.
marami pang kababaihan ang mamamatay dahil sa contraceptives. Ayaw ko po mangyari yon. I think it was Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s hated propagandist, who said that a lie repeated several times would eventually be accepted as fact by the people. This is exactly what is happening now since several documents have pointed out that the so-called 11 maternal deaths a day in the Philippines is a canard and yet RH proponents continued to hoist it as gospel truth. I challenge the RH bill supporters to give me the names of faces of the 11 mothers who died in one particular day if they want me to believe in their claim. O sige po, ipagpalagay na natin na tama ang statistics na binibigay ng mga foreign institutions na ito. Pero sa mga datos nila, hindi pa rin 11 maternal deaths ang lumalabas eh. Here are the facts: The September 2010 report of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Educational Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Bank, estimated annual maternal deaths in the Philippines at Two Thousand One Hundred (2,100) in 2008. That is equivalent to 5.75 deaths a day, which is way off from the 11 per day. This was clearly down from the 2000 level of Four Thousand One Hundred (4,100), or 11.2 a day, which was published in a report seven years ago by the same international agencies. It should be noted that the proponents’ population projections and maternal mortality ratios (MMRs), or deaths per 100,000 live births, came from a census conducted 11 years ago. The UN Population Division’s estimates were released just recently and, therefore, should be more reliable. O ayan, for the sake of argument, PRO-RH figures themselves result in 5.75 maternal deaths a day at hindi 11 deaths tulad ng kanilang ipinagpipilitan. Gusto ko lamang i-correct ang figures nila. The strong pressure and the massive propaganda materials emanating from various groups cannot simply be put aside. They have been doing everything to impose their hidden agenda through the RH bill. The proponents of the bill admitted that they sought the assistance of various non-government organizations specifically to learn about the effects of certain procedures or nuances of terminologies used in the bill. This in effect gave these organizations the opportunity to incorporate their distorted beliefs and principles in the bill. Now let me name these organizations. Let me start with foreign organizations that surreptitiously impose their hidden agenda through this bill. By virtue of National Security Study Memorandum 200, issued by Henry Kissinger who is the source of the entire family planning, population and poverty reduction programs of the programs of the United States, all loans, grants and aid coming from the United States and western powers must be based on reduction of population through birth control. Since the USAID is the principal instrumenfor the so-called development programs, there are NGOs and government agencies in the Philippines that have been contacted, supported and funded by it. USAID, World Health Organization, World Bank and all economic agencies were given a directive to gear their policies and programs towards promoting the reduction of the world's population especially in less developed countries (LDCs). United Nations agencies are using UN resources to advocate their agenda on a local level in order to bypass cultural and
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Sa totoo lang meron iba pang mga international organizations na nakapasok na dito sa Pilipinas at nagbibigay at nagpapalaganap ng mga serbisyo at nagpapamahagi ng mga artificial contraceptives sa mga Pilipino. Ito ay para lubos na tanggapin pa nga ng mga Pilipino ang konsepto ng contraceptives na tulad din ng isinusulong ng IPPF. Isa na dito ang Marie Stopes International na may sangay dito sa Pilipinas. Before I proceed to other organizations, Mr. President, my dear colleagues, please allow me to talk a little more about Margaret Sanger, who founded the IPPF. The three major thrusts of her work are reflected in today’s IPPF’s programs throughout the world and these are: 1) free sex: 2) eugenics; and 3) birth control. Sanger, in her first pamphlet listed the methods of birth control, among which she included abortion. She knew that once sex education and birth control were accepted, abortion would follow. Mapapansin po natin na sa U.S. at Canada, napalawig ang pagtanggap sa konsepto ng aborsyon sa pamamagitan ng pagtulak sa birth control. At ito din ngayon ang kanilang estratehiya para sa kalaunan ay matanggap na din ng mga Pilipino ang konseptong ito. Sanger was so intent on reducing family size that she seemed to not stop even at abortion. Many believe that under the right circumstances, Sanger would have condoned infanticide. Indeed she wrote in her book Woman and the New Race: “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” This comes from the woman who formed the philosophical base for IPPF. But there was even a darker side to Margaret Sanger: a side that IPPF people try to cover up or explain away. That was her belief in “eugenics.” Eugenics is defined as “the application of the laws of hereditary to physical and mental improvement, especially of the human race.” To Sanger this meant the systematic elimination (through birth control, including abortion) of all those people she and her cohorts considered to be of “dysgenic stock” in order to create a race of superior intellectuals. Ito na rin po yung tinatawag na eugenics—if you are weak, useless, uneducated and poor, you have no right in this world. Sa madaling salita, ang gusto mangyari ng konsepto na eugenics ay ang magkaroon ng birth control para ang matitira na lamang sa mundo ay ang lahing na superior at intelektwal. Hindi kaya ito ang gusto mangyari ng mga nagtutulak ng RH bill? Here again we have shades of Hitler’s ambition to create a super Aryan race that prompted his sick mind to eliminate all Jews in Germany and neighboring countries. In an article she wrote in 1922, Sanger defended the U.S. immigration policy of not allowing the entry to the US of the feeble -minded or diseased people by saying that this policy “was reasonable and eugenic.” Sanger also attempted to unduly influence Mahatma Gandhi to adhere to her distorted principles. Fortunately, Sanger’s attempts to do so proved futile. At that time, Sanger staunchly advocated the global use of artificial contraceptives and, in order to make the acceptance of such contraceptives easier to the Indian populace, sought to make Gandhi an ally. Gandhi firmly stood by his belief that the spiritual bonds of marriage are strengthened by sexual abstinence. He thus completely rejected Sanger's plea for contraception as a tool to control population growth, fearing it would lead to an increase in non-procreative sex, which he viewed as immoral lust. Despite the fact that the movement was gaining popularity in a society with a serious poverty crisis, Gandhi was an outspoken critic of artificial birth control. His general attitude was that
“Persons who use contraceptives will never learn the value of selfrestraint. They will not need it. Self-indulgence with contraceptives may prevent the coming of children but will sap the vitality of both men and women, perhaps more of men than of women. It is unmanly to refuse battle with the devil.” Between a person who had been actively promoting free sex, eugenics and birth control and a person who had been an advocate of nonviolence, discipline, chastity, control of the palate, sino ba ang dapat nating paniwalaan? Kanino bang yapak ang dapat nating sundin? Kaninong mga pangaral ang mas akma sa ating kinagisnang kaugalian at paniniwala? Klarong-klaro naman po, di ba? Now, let me proceed with the other organizations backing up the bill. I will disclose the workings of local organizations that push the passage of the RH Bill. Sa aking pagsisiyasat, Aking natuklasan na may mga local organizations na ginagamit ng kanilang mga katuwang na foreign organizations upang unti-unting imulat ang kamalayan ng sambayanang Pilipino sa moderno at liberal na reproductive health schemes, simula sa paggamit ng artificial contraceptives hanggang sa malaunang pagtanggap ng bansa sa konsepto ng abortion. This is the big picture, and the RH Bill is an important detail to complete this picture. There are local organizations that were supposedly receiving funds from international organizations, such as the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP).FPOP, claims to be a VERY PROUD member of the number one international organization, which happens to promote abortion worldwide. IPPF’s recent financial statement reveals that FPOP received a subsidy amounting to $625,095 or almost Php 27.5M in 2011. It thus appears that FPOP have already adopted IPPF’s abortion advocacy. FPOP’s website displays the organization’s support to the use of abortive facilities. In fact, the FPOP posted on its website an instructional brochure discussing different methods of abortion, depending on the weeks of pregnancy. Furthermore, FPOP’s website is linked to a website named Women on Waves which provides contacts to abortion clinics worldwide. Kapalit ng malaking halagang ipinamamahagi ng IPPF sa mga myembro nito ay ang pagsunod sa mga programang isinusulong ng IPPF, tulad ng pagsasabatas ng abortion at pagpapalaganap ng artificial contraceptives. Another organization receiving financial support from these International Organizations is the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN). I have discovered, and this was confirmed during one of the the interpellations on this measure that RHAN submitted a budget proposal to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) containing a budget allocation for “nurturing legislators”, to expedite the passage of the RH Bill. Aside from the provision to nurture legislators, there are also monetary allocations for development, production, and dissemination of information segregated into target audiences : for media and professionals, and communities mobilizations. LIKHAAN, an affiliate of RHAN, is also one of the local organizations actively pushing for the RH Bill. It reportedly received funds from the UNFPD for the passage of the RH Bill. Likhaan openly supports abortion, as its features in its website step by step procedure on how to abort a baby. To make matters worse, the instructional material desperately intends to reach the Filipino masses by using Filipino language and putting pictures that clearly illustrate how to abort. In addition, there is a video featuring Dr. Junice Melgar, head of Likhaan who was quoted as saying, "If you are pro-women, you will have contacts to the services that are underground," and whose other statements refer to abortion service providers. In an article entitled Philippines: Pro-abortion groups fund-
ing RH bill backers, it revealed the following financial grants granted to RH lobby groups: * $90,000 to the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network RHAN) for promotion, from the UN Populae agreement was to vote on It was not supposed to happen. Th tion Fund or UNFPA (2011); ould have been ready and pre‐ August 7, 2012, when every side w * $6.6 million to Planned Parenthood arm Family democratic setting. Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) from pared to defend its cause as in any ble in its stealth and swift‐ UNFPA (2009); Unfortunately, in a move remarka , on August * $1.6 million to FPOP from IPPF for the years 2005, ness, the ruling group of the House of Representatives hat terminated the period of 2009, and 2010;$1.2 million to PSPI from Marie Stopes 6, 2012, managed to force a vote t ll day too soon, just when “no (2009); debates on the RH Bill. It came a fu * $39,000 to Likhaan from Planned Parenthood bal of schemers, people were one was looking”. Except for the ca (2007); s of the execution, especially caught off‐guard by the suddennes * $88,000 to FPOP in 2009 from Marie Stopes for r principle. those who oppose the Bill on faith o RH kits; and display of naked power. We la‐ We are dismayed by the * $75,000 to “Catholics” for Choice to promote RH, rior agreement in the pursuit of ment the unilateral disregard of p from the Wallace Global Fund (2009) d resort to foul tactics. We Sa laki ng budget ng mga organisasyong ito, hindi na katakaselfish goals. We detest the unbridle he basic tenets of fair play and takang napakasigla ng kampanya nila para sa RH Bill sa radyo, telebidenounce the brazen disregard of t he Bill. Not least, we question syon, pahayagan at lalo na sa internet. attempt to railroad the passage of t ion to an intrusive President, Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, which the surrender of legislative discret to the impeachment proceed‐ actively participated in the deliberations of the RH Bill, both in reminiscent of the events leading the House of Representatives and the Senate, excludes the unings. re similarly minded ask born from the definition of “children” and claims that “calling The Catholic Church and those who a the unborn a child is going beyond what the constitution er all, we have as much right to for nothing more than fairness. Aft provides.” This organization further claims that only children ill as those who promote it. So expose the dangers and ills of the B have human rights, excepting the unborn. : protection of women’s health much is at stake in this fight for life Kung hindi kinikilala ng organisasyong ito na may karapatang servation of parental authority against harmful contraceptives; pre pantao ang mga batang nasa sinapupunan pa lamang ng kanilang ina, the youth against valueless sex over minor children; protection of hindi malayong tinatanggap nila ang ideya ng abortion tulad ng pagtangn of the poor; wasteful disburse‐ gap ng mga foreign organizations na nagsusulong nito sa ating bansa. education; wrongful discriminatio ceptives while many of the These foreign organizations underhandedly seek to lement of billions of pesos for contra ngue and other ailments with‐ galize abortion in countries where it is still a crime. And that I poor die of cancer, tuberculosis, de ssion of dissent and civil liber‐ believe is exactly what they’re doing now in our country out the benefit of medicine; suppre ent and gradual annihilation of through this bill. This bill is a foreign-dictated policy, forcing us ties through threatened imprisonm atic reduction of maternal fer‐ to adopt population control and abortion, contrary to the valthe Philippine race through system ues that we uphold. tility rate. Sana wag tayong magbulag-bulagan sa katotohanan na iniimplugn to have the RH Bill In the face of a well‐funded campai wensyahan tayo ng mga banyaga sa pamamagitan ng bill na ito. Gumatitutions, and despite the passed as envisioned by foreign ins gamit sila ng mga mapanlinlang na impormasyon upang sa ganun ay tayo he Catholic Church stands ay makumbinsi nila na tanggapin ang kanilang mga baluktot na paniniundeserved attacks it is reaping, t ly measure at every turn wala. firm in its resolve to fight this dead of God, flock, and They want us to believe that the use of contraceptives and no matter the cost ― all for love lowers the number of abortions. On the surface, this claim country. appears to be reasonable. It seems obvious that, if one uses ation of legislators who We commend the bravery and dedic some type of birth control when engaging in sexual intercourse, he risk of retaliation from the continue to resist the Bill even at t one will be less likely to get pregnant than if one used no ssing and the gratitude of the powers‐that‐be. To them go our ble means of birth control. otic acts will be remembered So the general public believes this claim and sees the disfaithful. Their courageous and patri waged and the final vote had tribution of contraceptives as part of the solution to the long after the last debate had been “abortion problem”. Yet there are studies, supported by facts been cast. lics to unite against the Bill. transpiring in the last 50 years, that cast a large cloud of doubt Finally, we urge all devoted Catho voices be heard and your ac‐ over this conclusion. Intensify your prayers and let your re. Truth is on our side. Devel‐ In fact, in a study undertaken by Raymond Pearl, a John tions seen against this deadly measu Hopkins professor and noted authority on this matter, wrote: ulation are beginning to realize oped countries with dwindling pop “Those who practice contraception as part of their sex life, by d some, like Singapore, regret the folly of population control, an their own admission, resort to criminally induced abortions , the Bill’s anti‐life features go having adopted it. Most importantly about three times as often proportionately as do their comparaed traditions and the basic against our Constitution, our treasur ble non-contraceptor contemporaries.” nunciated years ago by Pope teachings of the Catholic Church as e Also in a report prepared for the Royal Commission on Paul VI and Blessed John Paul II. Population in Great Britain found that the incidence of ins, shops’ Conference of the Philippine For and in behalf of the Catholic Bi duced abortion as a percentage of all pregnancies was nine times higher for women using contraceptives than for women + JOSE S. PALMA, D.D. CBCP not using birth control. Archbishop of Cebu & President, 13 August 2012
CBCP Position on Congress Vote to End Floor Debates
Pro-RH solons retreat, but BS Aquino succumbs to imperialist pressure
lat said some of the proposed amendments dealt with softening language to remove contentious phrases to appease critics, led by the powerful Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). He stressed this did not necessarily mean that the intent of the RH bill would be diluted. On August 6, hours after a meeting with the President, a majority of the congressmen in a voice vote ended debates on the bill to bring it to the period of amendments. The swiftness of the Congress action was denounced by the CBCP as a display of “naked power” reminiscent of the impeachment in December of then Chief Justice Renato Corona. The The proposed changes—reached bishops however insisted they have the weeks before the Palace meeting with numbers to squelch the measure congressmen last week—suggest that Foreign agencies denounced the bill is not a population control measIn the Senate Wednesday, Majority ure and amend provisions that tie reLeader Vicente Sotto in the second part sponsible parenthood and family planof his turno en contra speech on the ning components to antipoverty profloor denounced foreign agencies, ingrams, according to its authors. cluding the US Agency for InternaHowever, opponents of the meastional Development, the United Naure, for the second straight day yestertions and the World Bank, for promotday, managed to block discussions on ing population control. the changes by delivering privilege Last week, the country representaspeeches. tive of the UN Population Fund said Lagman, principal author of the RH that the passage of the RH bill was esbill, said that the deletion of the section sential to the Philippines reaching its on family size was made to allay appremillennium development goals of rehensions that the measure was intended ducing poverty. to impose a two-child policy. The Senate leadership has been He said that the deleted provision accused of siding with the Catholic was never meant to be compulsory in Church in blocking passage of the bill the first place. in the upper chamber. The period of The authors of the RH bill also interpellation has been closed, but was agreed to scrap the section classifying reopened after Senate President Juan family planning supplies, including conPonce Enrile said he still had questions traceptives, as essential medicines, acon the measure which he was unable to cording to Lagman. ask because of his preoccupation as This would be replaced by a new presiding judge in the recent impeachprovision directing the Food and Drug ment trial of Corona. Administration to determine the safety Another proposed amendment in and efficacy of supplies for modern famthe House version of the RH bill seeks ily planning methods prior to their proto change the age at which mandatory curement and distribution. reproductive health and sex education Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguiwould start, according to its authors.
At the behest of President Benigno Aquino, proponents announced Wednesday proposed 10 changes in the reproductive health (RH) bill to make it more acceptable, including deletion of any reference to family size and the classification of contraceptives as essential medicines. The entire section of the consolidated bill which recommended an ideal family size to Filipinos was deleted, in deference to the wishes of the President, said Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, who was to introduce the alterations at the start on Tuesday of the period of amendments in the plenary.
Under the new version, sex education would begin in the sixth grade instead of the fifth. The teaching of values formation would take into account religious affiliation. The subjects to be included in sex education would include proper and responsible sexual values and behavior, delayed entry into sexual relations, abstinence before marriage, avoidance of multiple sexual partners, and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Parents would also be given the option not to allow minor children to attend reproductive health and sexuality education classes to respect religious convictions and beliefs. The proponents also agreed to delete the section on employers’ responsibilities on RH services for their employees. Other proposals include: 1) Funding of mobile health-care services for districts by the national government, instead of the pork barrel of politicians. 2) Rephrasing prohibited acts and refusal to perform legal and medically safe RH procedures on the ground of lack of marital or parental consent and clarifying actions expected of a conscientious objector to certain family planning practices, and prohibiting pharmaceutical companies from colluding with government officials or contributing to partisan political activities. 3) Revoking the license of pharmaceutical companies or its agents, and fining them for violating the law. 4) Emphasizing that the state would fund the promotion of modern natural methods of family planning consistent with the needs of acceptors. 5) Guaranteeing religious freedom and the option of hospitals owned by religious groups in the provision of a full range of modern family planning methods. By Leila B. Salaverria With reports
from Christian V. Esguerra, Jocelyn R. Uy and Cathy C. Yamsuan Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 16, 2012
July‐August 2012 Page 1 9
Our Lady of Guadalupe, we turn to you, the protectress of unborn children and ask that you pray for us, so that we may The stunning manner lawmakers they are already pro-RH,” Reyes firmly resolve to join you in pro‐ ended debates last week on the con- said. tecting all human life. Let our troversial reproductive health (RH) 140 congressmen vs RH prayers be united to your per‐ bill, which was denounced by CathoHe noted that the bishops’ petual motherly intercession on lic bishops as a display by the Aquino count of 140 congressmen opposadministration of “naked power,” did ing the measure was also corrobobehalf of those whose lives are not mean the Church campaign rated by a survey among lawmakers threatened, be they in the against the measure was doomed. themselves. Prior to the meeting in womb of their mother, on the Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, Malacañang last week, a separate bed of infirmity, or in the latter chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ survey showed that 145 lawmakers years of their life. Conference of the Philippineswere against the bill, he said. May our prayers also be cou‐ Episcopal Commission on Family “More or less, it coincided with pled with peaceful action which and Life, on Wednesday insisted that our survey of 140… but that was witnesses to the goodness and the Church has the before the meeting in Malacañang dignity of all human life, so that numbers in the House so the number might have our firmness of purpose may of Representatives to changed,” the prelate said. give courage to those who are reject the bill when it He also added that since the fearful and bring light to those comes to a final vote. bill was already up for amendReyes told reporters ments, the Church would also push who are blinded by sin. on Tuesday that not all of the lawfor the removal of “objectionable” Inspire those who are involved makers who voted on August 6 to provisions in the bill. in pro‐life activities, and help end interpellation on the bill and “We would want these provithem walk closely with God and bring it to the next stage, the period sions—first, the sex education give voice to the cry of the op‐ of amendments, meant they favored without values and the need for pressed, in order to remind our it. employers to provide contracepnation of its commitment to life, He said he had received assurtives to their employees—out of liberty and the pursuit of happi‐ ances from the congressmen even the RH bill,” Reyes said. ness for all people. before the voting last week that they The provisions, especially the We lift up to you in a special still sided with the Church. pills, were against “the faith” and way the defeat of the Reproduc‐ “Those who voted to end the “religious freedom,” he said. tive Health Bill now pending in debates last week did not mean that In a statement on Tuesday, the bishops’ conference slammed the the Philippine Congress. Expel viva voce vote in the House on from our midst the lobby of for‐ August 6 to terminate debates. eign abortion groups who want “We are dismayed by the disus to export their culture of play of naked power. We lament death into this country. the unilateral disregard of prior Our Lady of Guadalupe, pre‐ agreement in the pursuit of selfish sent our petitions to your Son goals,” the bishops said, ostensibly and ask Him to bless us with referring to the lawmakers’ deciabundant life. sion to move the vote a day ahead St. Gianna Beretta Molla, pa‐ of schedule after a meeting with tron of the unborn, pray for us. President Aquino. “We detest the Blessed John Paul II, pray for us. unbridled resort to foul tactics.” ‐ FR. PETER WEST
Reyes: Church has numbers in Congress to defeat bill
"The bill was not written by Filipinos for Filipinos, but by international popu‐ lation control groups in secret"
By Jocelyn R. Uy, August 16, 2012
Actually it took 30 years for the so-called Reproductive Health curse to reach American shores. The collapse of English morality ushered in by the 1930 Lambeth Conference’s acceptance of contraceptives did not immediately impact its cousin the United States. The Second World War could have retarded it a bit. The subsequent American generation was very prolife and that is why they became known as baby boomers. But in the 1960s, the AngloDutch oligarchy got to the Kennedys, and in their very own retreat in Boston, the US conspiracy was born. Then it happened. The powerful families in America helped discredit the encyclical Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI that rationalized the indispensable union of love and life - the relational and procreative purposes of human creation. Hell broke loose.
In another decade, Roe v Wade happened, legalizing abortion in 1973. The abortion industry became the cash cow of the enemies of life, at the front of which is Planned Parenthood. The continuous verbal engineering tactics of the liberalist, homosexualist forces continued, and in another 30 years, sodomy was legalized through Lawrence v Texas. Now the mode is legalizing same-sex unions. Then Obama came to force, and the Affordable Healthcare Act was passed by Congress, and the first black president inked implementing guidelines attacking the separation of Church and State, destroying religious liberty. The US Supreme Court decided short of ruling Obamacare unconstitutional, but it admitted that what Obamacare is a form of taxation, that is, taxation of religion. Now the entire American nature is tearing apart. It used to be the bastion of freedoms—especially religious freedom.
Flush the RH bill down toilet, along with its evil schemers he Majority
Now the very roots that its is forefathers built In necessari in unitas, has been supopinabilibus planted by alien libertas, in principles and omnibus foreign values. caritas. Definitely not deLINAWAN ADO PAG mocratic, more likely communist socialistic. But the United States is once again pro-life. More significantly, the Catholic hierarchy is foresquare behind USCCB President Timothy Cardinal Dolan in defeating the anti-life movement and reversing its demonic culture. What the Americans are trying to undo after 50 years of curse, some Filipino politicians are now trying to bring to the Philippines. This only proves that the noise level established by lies of the proponents of the Reproductive Health Bill, is a lot louder than the truth. The poison is in the air. CBCP President Archbishop Jose Palma echoes the diagnosis of Cardinal Dolan—this culture has spread due to the failure of Catholic catechesis. In fact the best alert so far proclaimed is that of Archbishop Tagle when he told those who attended the Prayer Power Rally last August 4 at the Edsa Shrine - “Every law engenders a culture.” Only in this case, the culture that will be engendered is a culture of death. Those who support the orthodox values that the Catholic Church espouses, however, need not be despondent. Finally, the magisterium has finally awaken as President Benigno Simeon Aquino drew the line by certifying the Reproductive Health bill. In a classic exercise of verbal engineering, the President repackaged the bill, changing nothing in its substance but only in form by changing its title to “Responsible Parenthood”. The Catholic Church is now sure that the people
T of Juan
July‐August 2012 Page 2 1
can no longer give the sitting president the benefit of the doubt as he is even not capable of correct thinking. The village idiot is clearly just parroting anything and everything that his puppeteers throws to his direction. On the surface, the United Nations and the Millennium Development Program appears but in this case, BS Aquino is aping the horrors of Barack Obama and so-called Affordable Healthcare Act but heavily biased on the side of the genocide of the unborn. Only an idiot buys the idea of pseudo healthcare practitioners that in order to prevent maternal deaths, pregnancy must be avoided. Only an idiot buys the idea of eugenists that poverty is due to the abundance of population and it is essential for a nation to have less people in order to have economic progress. We have tried an ordinary housewife who brought back the oligarchs to recover their monopolies, a retired general who conspired with the ruling class to control public utilities, a movie actor who used his position to secure insider advantages in stock trading and illegal gambling, a doctor of economics who engaged with her husband in unmitigated plunder. Since Cardinal Sin died after the 2001 Edsa Dos, the Catholic Church has been relatively disengaged in public affairs. Many have been disillusioned over the silence of Cardinal Rosales all throughout the conjugal kleptocracy of the Gloria and Mike Arroyo that began to surface in 2004 with the multibillion pesos agricultural scandals involving fertilizers, irrigation, hog-dispersal, and competitive funding programs. Many bishops would not also rock the Aquino boat. Many of them to date are still bedazzled by the “Daang Matuwid” campaign slogan of BS Aquino. Many of them were with Cory Aquino when the people deposed Ferdinand Marcos. Bishop Bacani even served under her Constitutional Commission. The affinity between Cardinal Sin and the Mrs. Aquino flowed over to Soc Villegas, the Cardinal’s personal assistant who is now the Archbishop of Lingayen.
But today, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is now all to familiar with the treacherous ways of BS Aquino and the canine devotion of our legislators. No less than CBCP President Palma said, “We denounce the brazen disregard of the basic tenets of fair play and attempt to railroad the passage of the Bill. Not least, we question the surrender of legislative discretion to an intrusive President, reminiscent of the events leading to the impeachment proceedings.” Only when the Catholic Church declared war on the government, did the lawmakers retreated to consider 10 changes that will make the Bill more palatable to the pro-life laity and the magisterium. But beware, last June 27, Health Secretary Enrique Ona already preempted the passage of the RH bill with his Administrative Order 2012-0009 providing “National Strategy Towards Reducing Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning as a means to Achieving MDGs on Maternal Health.” Atty. Jo Imbong of the CBCP Legal Office succinctly demolished this outright: “Social scientists and public policy experts identify women as having an unmet need for contraception even when those women have not expressed a desire to use contraception. The idea of unmet need for contraception ignores the reasons for unmet need that women express, such as concern about health and other side effects of artificial contraception, incompatibility with religious and ethical beliefs, and the financial cost of contraception.” The DOH, however, cannot wait for the legislature to complete its work so it has already provided a trojan horse into the health system to meet the approbation of foreign funders and their fat pocketbooks as Senator Vicente Sotto has exposed. At the end of the day, this is all about money. Pera-pera lang ito. Atty. Imbong was perceptive to ask: “if as premised by the directive, there are “around six million Filipino women estimated to have unmet need for modern family planning”, why does it direct POPCOM to ensure “increasing demand?” There is no turning back, we must flush the RH bill down the toilet, and BS Aquino and what Abp Palma calls his “cabal of schemers” along with him.
To fuel his vindictive streak, son repeats a monumental blunder of his mother. Cory Aquino mothballed the Paranaque Spillway in 1986. Among Ondoy and Ondy Dos victims, the Aquinos have blood in their hands.
BS Aquino axed key flood control project in 2010
By Rigoberto Tiglao
Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 15, 2012
President Bengino Aquino III axed in November 2010 one of the country’s most ambitious flood-control projects that was scheduled to start that year. If he had not cancelled that milestone undertaking, it would have been completed last month, and would have significantly mitigated the disastrous flooding of recent weeks. The venture was the Laguna Lake Rehabilitation Project, which, as part of its plan to save the lake, would have dredged it of 4.6 million cubic meters of silt and waste so it would contain more floodwaters. The project would have also involved the deepening of the critical 7-kilometer Napindan Channel in Taytay so that it could better and more quickly draw floodwaters away from the metropolis to the lake. Costing P18.7 billion, the project was to be undertaken by the 150-year-old Belgian dredging firm Baagerwerken Decloedt En Zoon (BDZ) and financed by a loan from the BNP Paribas Fortis bank, with Brussels providing a P7-billion grant—the biggest development aid it would have given the country ever. “A much deeper Laguna de Bay would relieve residents of Metro Manila, Rizal and Laguna of the flooding that happened at the height of [Tropical Storm] ‘Ondoy’ and [Typhoon] ‘Pepeng’,” Laguna Gov. Jorge Ejercito, an ardent supporter of the project, summed up the aim of the planned massive dredging—in September 2010. Why did Mr. Aquino cancel such a crucial project? Because of his irrational, apoplectic bias that everything his predecessor did or planned was corrupt. Just a few months after he assumed office, Mr. Aquino claimed that the project was a “midnight” corrupt deal during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration. “They have been trumpeting that corruption tainted the project,” the Laguna governor said angrily in 2010. “But where is their evidence? Just to find fault in the past administration, Laguna residents will be at the receiving end of their vengeful politics.” To this day, Mr. Aquino has not presented an iota of evidence, or even any specific charge of corruption, in the project. On the other hand, then Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme vouched for the project’s integrity, and even submitted to Mr. Aquino an independent engineering firm’s evaluation of the project. “As I understand from the report of this expert, which is enclosed, the project can be an undeniable improvement for the Metro Manila area and alleviate flooding, improve local transport infrastructure and increase water capacity,” Leterme wrote in a letter to Mr. Aquino in March 2011. Leterme, now deputy secretary general of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation, appealed to Mr. Aquino to allow the Belgian contractor to respond to the allegations against the project. Mr. Aquino rebuffed Leterme. Instead, he ramped up his opprobrium against the project, saying as recently as last week that the project was a “big joke” since it would “just dump silt to be recovered to another portion of the lake.” (In his memorandum canceling the project, though, Mr. Aquino gave no explanation for his action.) That is an utter lie. The project very clearly specified that the dredged material would be deposited in designated sites off Taytay-Angono and San Pedro, which in fact would become reclaimed land where waste-water treatment facilities would be built. Seven government departments, agencies and interdepartmental bodies evaluated the project for three years, and endorsed it for immediate implementation in 2010. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in his approval of the project’s foreign funding: “Its purpose is to improve the Lake’s capacity as a catch basin to reduce flooding in nearby towns and cities.” Mr. Aquino’s Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, in her August 2010 legal opinion, found nothing wrong with it: “The project cannot be construed as a midnight deal since it is covered by official development assistance from the Belgian government.” The La-
guna Lake Development Authority general manager whom Mr. Aquino appointed supported it— and was fired for that. Fishpen operators in the lake, environmentalist NGOs, and most of the political leadership of towns around Laguna de Bay passionately pushed for the undertaking, as it would stop the lake’s environmental deterioration and lead to the transformation of the lakeshore into a modern area with fish ports, ferry terminals, and marina complexes. Other than Mr. Aquino and Sen. Franklin Drilon who claimed that “dredging is a rich source of corruption,” the main opposition to the project came from Pamalakaya, the communists’ agitprop group for fishermen’s issues—a member of Communist Party founder Jose Ma. Sison’s International League of Peoples’ Struggle. The story gets worse. As a result of Mr. Aquino’s reckless, unilateral cancellation of the project, P6 billion of taxpayers’ money could be lost. Firstly, government has to pay by the end of this month the P420-million penalty for the cancellation of the bank loan. The gigantic cost though would be the P4 billion that would be paid to the Belgian contractor if it wins the suit it filed for Mr. Aquino’s cancellation of the project at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Government’s legal expenses would amount, going by its Fraport case in the same venue, to at least P2 billion. The judges for the dispute were designated last Feb. 29, and the case formally started on June 25. The cancellation of this crucial flood-control project will go down in Philippine history as the country’s most tragic, most shameful episode in which billions of pesos in taxpayers’ money were wasted, hundreds of lives were taken, and hundreds of thousands of flooded Filipinos put in misery because of the irresponsible illwill of a President toward his predecessor.
July‐August 2012 Page 2 3
Netizens slam politicos, BS riding on disasters
“Electioneering in the midst of disaster.” Facebook user Rolando Luzong posted this line on his account to describe a photo of a waving President Benigno Aquino aboard an Army truck alongside his potential senatorial candidates in a relief operation to help flood victims in Muntinlupa City. The photo showed the President with his Liberal Party allies, Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director general Joel Villanueva, Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas and former Akbayan party-list Representative Risa Hontiveros. Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara, Villanueva and Hontiveros were also seen with the President visiting flood victims who had sought shelter at a public school in Nangka, Marikina, and riding an Army truck with him to check on flooded areas in the same village. These politicians drew criticism in cyberspace for allegedly trying to bolster their popularity for next year’s elections by distributing relief goods, including repackaged ones that contained their names and photographs. Mr. Aquino, who motored for four to five hours to visit evacuation centers in four cities and a town in the capital, justified their presence. “Of course, those helping us—Joel Villanueva, Risa Hontiveros and Sonny Angara—are here,” the President said when he introduced them to evacuees at the Gen. T. de Leon High School in Valenzuela City. “Sonny is here because it’s budget season in Congress. If we have a project, it’s Sonny who will push for our interest,” he added. Angara, Villanueva, Hontiveros and Biazon are reportedly being eyed for inclusion in the administration’s senatorial slate in the 2013 mid-term elections. “I’m just helping out. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that. We were asked to go along with the Cabinet,” Angara said in a phone interview. “It’s part of being in politics. You can’t please everyone.” Villanueva, for his part, said his relief operation was by invitation. “First of all, I’m a member of the Cabinet and anytime the President wants to be anywhere, I will be there. Besides, in those places which we visited, including Bagong Silangan, we have trained residents in disaster management.” Hontiveros said she was asked by the President to join his visits to evacuation centers because of Akbayan’s relief operations in Marikina, Pasig and Caloocan cities. “He wanted us to join forces for a day,” she said by
phone, explaining that Akbayan had reactivated its relief centers in the aftermath of the heavy flooding. Netizens had a field day posting their reactions to the politicians’ alleged electioneering activities. “Anyone else notice how the relief operations by the President is turning out to be campaign sorties for Risa Hontiveros and his other senatorial candidates for 2013?” Facebook user Joaquin Ang posted. A number of social networking sites also displayed and slammed images of canned goods bearing photos of politicians, including a hashtag #epalwatch on Twitter, an account named “epalwatch” on the free blog hosting platform Tumblr and a number of pages on Facebook such as the Anti-Epal page. In epalwatch.tumblr.com, “epal” is defined as “any public official who has his/her name/image on any public signage, public space, and/or public property … or anything that relates to such behavior.” It also described precampaigning as an “epal activity.” Actress Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan tweeted: “Please lang po, kung tutulong kayo, ’wag n’yo naman gawing promo para sa mga plataporma ninyo. ’Wag kayong epal! Hindi ko talaga kayo iboboto (Please, if you wish to help, don’t make it a promotional campaign for your political platforms. Don’t be scene stealers! I’m not voting for you).” A Facebook post which had about 3,000 shares was also circulated online. It said: “Fellow Filipinos please spread: Any grandstanding politician who will display his or her photos or banners in relief operations will be photographed, archived and forever mocked in an online site of shame. This is a time for solidarity, not an opportunity for political prospecting.” User @MrFrancisBaraan posted on his Twitter account: “To those politicians whose ulterior motive for sending out relief goods for flood victims is to get reelected, shame on you.” Twitter user @ederic also posted on his account: “Hello politicians, do not use this disaster for your 2013 campaign. Someone did that during Ondoy. That candidate lost.”
By TJ Burgonio, Inquirer Research, August 10, 2012
OPEN LETTER TO ALL PHILIPPINE BISHOPS
No Choice but Scrap RH Bill
Your Excellencies, When New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan assumed the presidency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, US President Barack Obama sought a dialog with him and assured him that the imple‐ mentation of the Affordable Healthcare Act aka ObamaCare, will observe what is beneficial to all parties. Obama also pledged that before making any move that will affect Catholics, the president will again con‐ sult the Archbishop. The next thing that happened was Health Secretary Kathleen Sebellius, a Catholic, issued the imple‐ menting guidelines prejudicial not just to Catholics but all religions, and the Obama sanctioned it. There was an immediate national uproar ‐ Americans were offended by the ruling from the White House that would force church‐run institutions to pay for birth control and morning‐after pills, that are tantamount to abortion. Then the White House stepped back and offered a compromise. But Archbishop Dolan called the pro‐ posed compromise as not being a compromise at all. Under government‐approved health insurance plans that the church pays for, abortifacients would be covered. Sin by proxy – that’s the compromise. Today, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are in a head‐on collision with the Obama gov‐ ernment. Their fight isn’t over abortion or birth control, anymore. This is about whether the state can force someone to pay to have their religious beliefs violated. The Supreme Court later confirmed it as out‐ right taxation. The American bishops are now united for an Obama reelection defeat this November. The same ugly pattern repeats in the Philippines. We cannot be lukewarm, the enemy is deliberate. When the Reproductive Health partisans started pushing to force a final vote on the bill, the BS Aquino arrogance filled the air. When the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines balked and organized a prayer power rally, the President met the Congress leadership and forced a vote to end the debates. But you pushed forward and organized a mass at St. Peter’s Church just three kilometers from the Ba‐ tasan blessing 24 anti‐RH lawmakers in attendance. Bishop Gabby Reyes then announced that the Church count is that it has at least 140 votes—enough to kill the bill. So Congress recessed. President Aquino then offered ten changes to make the bill “palatable” or politi‐ cally correct, in a move to appease you. Malacanang is now using the period from the recess to the re‐ sumption of session on August 28 to lobby some more Congressmen (and Bishops) to change their opposi‐ tion on the bill after luring them with their proposed amendments. But with all due respects, you are now under advisement of what happened between Obama and the American bishops. Betrayal is in the air. Here is commonsensically why: Remember 3.4 million Filipinas of child‐bearing age were inoculated in 1995 with a tetanus vaccine laced with hCG, a hormone that caused still undetermined sterility among them. That crime was perpetrated just with a Department Order, without even the benefit of any legislation nor executive order, and simply with wool pulled over our eyes in broad daylight. As early as June this year, Health Secretary Enrique Ona had already signed Administrative Order 2012‐ 0009 which is as good as the implementing guidelines of whatever law comes out of Congress. In our case Sebellius’ counterpart did not mince any sensitivity in wanting to please his foreign patrons. Only in the Philippines can you find implementing guidelines issued occurring before the enabling legislation. President BS Aquino merely wants to have a legislation in whatever language and form to show the Millennium Development Goal monitors in the United Nations and the USA that the Philippines is in com‐ pliance with the latters’ conditionalities. The toy president just wants the next tranche of billions of dol‐ lars to reach our shores to fatten his discretionary fund in demolishing his political enemies. You must now override these treacherous waters and oppose the RH bill until it is finally scrapped.
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