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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Church critic versus radical anti-Catholic feminist over the RH Bill.

Erstwhile Church critic Herman Tiu Laurel is staunchly against the RH bill, and in one of his most recent articles he skewers Elizabeth Angsioco's inflammatory article Damaso and Ovaries in the following manner:

Herman Tiu Laurel

The critics commentaries on the RH bill is reaching a crescendo and while new topic, the sexual assault case against IMF’s chief DSK (Dominique Strauss-Kahn) is catching the attention of many newspapers columnists of many newspapers columnists, but most of these opinion writers miss the heart of the issue and fail to enlighten the public.

We’ll start with Elizabeth Angsioco of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (apparently a branch of Bert Gonzales and Jesuit Archie Intengan’s PDSP) whose twopart article “Damaso and ovaries” appeared in the Manila Standard sometime April and is one of the popular expressions of the pro-RH bill that has come out and appears frequently in Internet discussions.

I commented on Angsioco’s title in a recent OpinYon column of mine pointing out the highly picturesque and effective title she used in her article. But now that the climax of the debate is nearing, I take the opportunity to evaluate the content of her article. I have found it to be vacuous except for the hysterics.

A Maria Clara or a Josephine Bracken?

Angsioco raged against the Damasos for using the pulpit to harangue against the RH bill, the anti-RH ordinances of Barangay Ayala Alabang and seven Bataan barangays, and Mayor of Manila Alfredo Lim’s city programs of family planning that is limited to the natural methods but nothing on the issues that the RH bill itself represents.

At the end of her two-part article she states: “I dressed up as Maria Clara and handed out condoms and he was in a barong. People were more than slightly amused by the idea and started having their pictures taken with us.”

I would be amused too if Maria Clara, the quintessential conservative and traditional Filipino who would use the abaniko as Muslim women use the burqa to hide their “evil” feminine allures, were used as a poster woman for the contraceptives and condoms crusade because that’s totally inappropriate.

Josephine Bracken would have been the only appropriate Philippine historical female to represent women’s liberation.

The woman’s rage of Angsiaco is a shrill and hysterical as the eunuch-y fits and frenzy of the Damasos, with the latter calling pro-RH advocates “terrorists” and the former considering anybody questioning the RH bill as anti-women’s rights bigots.

Women’s Rights

I wonder if Angsioco or many of the other pro-RH advocates, crusaders and lobbyists have even read the many versions of the RH bill.

If they did they’d discover that there is nothing in it that changes any basic women’s right to their own body, as they argue today, or their ovaries.

All Filipino women’s rights are already robustly protected by the Magna Carta for Women passed on August 14, 2009 by the previous Congress.

None of the updated RH bills is even attempting to change the present status of the law’s abhorrence of abortion as most pro-RH bill crusaders themselves recoil from the idea of a blanket de-criminalization of abortion which is inherently reprehensible.

Nobody but the Catholic Church issues edicts against the use of birth control devices and pills, but who follows the Church among the women’s flock these days?

Mythical Poverty vs Population

The Malthusian argument that population robustness equals poverty is inane, as a simple comparison easily shows: Japan, with a population of around 130 million (the 10th largest in the world), has a per capita income of $35,500 while the Philippines, with a population of around 94 million (ranking 12th in the world), has a per capita income of only $2,000.

Before the 2010 elections, where the previous lameduck government’s spending-inflated GDP “growth” became the basis for this latest estimate by some economists, ours even hovered lower at around $1,500 to $1,700 per capita.

The point is, the pro-RH proponents’ propaganda, based on an imaginary correlation between poverty and population, is hogwash (as Nobel prizewinning economist Simon Kuznets work demonstrated)--characteristic of the pigsty that is Congress, more so when spewed from the mouths of the usual pro-FVR-Gloria Arroyo porkers. (As I've previously noted on this blog, GMA herself - whatever we might think of her -- is ostensibly anti-RH bill. CAP)

Veiled Pecuniary Interests

The real issue in the RH bill is Big Pharma and political pork barrel feeders’ disguised pecuniary interests: providing subsidies to purchase and distribute for free as “essential” medications and devices such contraceptive and condoms, hundreds of RH supplied “vans” politicos can skim from and put their names on, amounting to at least P3 billion clearly described in the RH bill plus untold billions mandated by the bill that others agencies such as PhilHealth, Presidential Anti-Poverty Commission, Pop- Com, etc. must extend to the RH program which is estimated to top P10 Billion per annum, and that such budgets included in the RH bill when it becomes law “shall be” provided for in succeeding National Budget that is tantamount to “automatic appropriations”.

All these subsidies when there has never even been a specific allocation for real killer diseases such as TB, dengue, and many other illnesses.

And they can’t even have a kind word for MRT/LRT working and wage earning commuters who are seeking a mere P4-5billion fare “subsidy” which come from their VAT and income taxes, anyway.

The Damaso’s and Angsioco’s hysterics do not benefit the public debate, they only obfuscate and obscure allowing the Big Pharma (that’s why Fidel V. Ramos is there, for the Carlyle group with billions investments in contraceptives and condoms) and political porkers to slip their greed past the people’s scrutiny.

(The rest of the article is about other matters.)

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