Starting September 8, 2012, anonymous comments -- whether for or against the RH bill -- will no longer be permitted on this blog.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to act according to the CBCP's pastoral letter, "Choosing Life, Rejecting the RH Bill"

The text of Choosing Life, Rejecting the RH Bill can be found HERE.

This chart is from the January - February 2011 issue of "For Your Info", the newsletter of Pro-Life Philippines.

Advice for the President

From today's Manila Times editorial, Popularity and Trust Ratings:

Another effort that will surely help restore the President’s top-of-the-heap image and win back the 18 percent decline in popularity from his highest ratings a year ago, is for him to make it clear once and for all that he is no longer behind the work to pass the so-called Reproductive Health Bill. 
The RHB does not address any urgent problem. By placing himself in a position opposed to the Roman Catholic Church and to those of the evangelical churches that are also against abortion and contraception (because no contraceptive medicine or devise except the condom has been shown to not have an abortifacient effect), he has only gained a strong enemy. It is largely because of his RHB stand that some bishops have become nasty (they shouldn’t be!) toward him. These bishops still have a large and loyal flock. 
Instead, the President should be seen to be zealously working to mitigate the effects of inflation on the poor and to revive both our comatose industrialization and crippled agriculture.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I won't be posting anything on this blog for the next 3-4 days. I also need to rest and to deal with other matters. Thank you to all those who read this blog regularly.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile on the RH bill

From Philippine Graphic's Juan Ponce Enrile: An ‘ordinary’ man in extraordinary times (emphases mine):

What about the statements about your public life? 
ENRILE: That’s why I don’t bother, pardon me for saying it. (Taps me on the shoulder) If one writes a critical piece against me, I say, “So what? I know myself.” I always think of events and see how they relate to life. Have you read Omar Khayyam? Consider the reproductive-health (RH) bill for instance. Omar Khayyam said, “Better, oh better, cancel from the scroll of universe one luckless human soul, than drop by drop enlarge the flood that rolls hoarser with anguish as the ages roll.” The flood is humanity. Some people want to kill them before they come into being because they just might enlarge the misery of the world. That is the RH bill, isn’t it? All writers write about their notion of reality based on their experience.

CBCP for Life Q&A on the RH Bill

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Video: Congresswoman Mitos Magsaysay speaking out versus the RH bill

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi's third pastoral letter versus the RH bill

The following is Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi's third pastoral letter versus the RH Bill. I have not been able to locate a copy of the first, while the second is also available on this blog.

Let Us Live Not as Fools

Why is sex education as proposed by the RH bill unacceptable? A short and simple answer

The following was written by Mark Lian as a Facebook note. I'm reposting it here with his permission.

"Informing young people about sex will lead them to try it." (this is a common argument by those against sex education).

"Informing young people about stealing and its evil does not necessarily lead them to try it." (this is not so common a reply to that argument, i got this from a thread

Stealing is not a universal human passion, therefore it is improbable that a teaching about it and about its evil can arouse someone to try it; on the other hand, because sex is based on a universal human passion, therefore teaching young children about it (especially in the context of school education where most teachers have no time if not intention of ministering to the souls of individual students) puts them at risk of arousing their sexual passion too early or, simply, wrongly.

P.S. Some people might replace 'stealing' with 'eating' in their counter-argument. Again, while eating is a universal human desire, it is not really passion in the sense that sexual passions are. Moreover, another significant diffrence is taht eating is for individual survival while sex is for the perpetuation of the species. As individuals, we need food, we don't necessarily need sex. In this significant diffrence the revised counter-argument would still fail.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The RH bill, abortifacients, and the government's failure to protect the health of mothers

By: Cong. Karlo Alexei Nograles
Representative, Davao City, 1st District
(Privileged Speech delivered during the RH Bill Hearing, June 8, 2011)

Madam Speaker, Majority Leader, dear colleagues, good day.

I rise today on a subject that demands this august Chamber's gravest concern: the dismal failure of a major government agency to discharge its mandated function in law to protect and promote the health of Filipino mothers, shield and protect motherhood from peril, and safeguard their maternal functions.The regulation of providers of drugs and medicines is reposed by law, R.A. No. 3720, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in the Food and Drug Administration or FDA, a regulatory agency under the Department of Health. It is mandated to ensure the safety, efficacy and good quality of all food and drug products being made available to the general public pursuant to Section 2 which provides: “It is hereby declared the policy of the State to insure safe and good quality supply of food, drug and cosmetic, and to regulate the production, sale, and traffic of the same to protect the health of the people.”

On April 19, 1992, the Consumer Act of the Philippines, R.A. No. 7394, went into effect. According to Article II, “It is the policy of the State to protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry. Towards this end, the State shall implement measures to achieve the following objectives: a) Protection against hazards to health and safety.”

After all, there is a clear and express constitutional mandate that: “The State shall protect consumers from trade malpractices and from substandard or hazardous products,” Article XVI, Section 9 of our Constitution.

Pursuant to Article VI of the Consumer Act, it is the Department of Health, through the Food and Drug Administration, that is responsible to the public with respect to drugs, devices and substances.

Section 4 of the Consumer Act defines “drugs” to mean articles recognized in the current official United States Pharmacopeia-National Formulary, official Homeophatic Pharmacopeia of the United States, official National Drug Formulary, or any supplement to any of them; and number two, articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease in man or other animals.

Among the drugs, Madam Speaker, that fall under this definition are the oral contraceptives administered to women and mothers, the injectible contraceptive Depo Provera and the so-called “morning-after pill”.


Monday, June 20, 2011

The link between contraception and abortion

Business and Society
June 20, 2011

MANILA, Philippines — Some well meaning individuals support the RH Bill because they contend that a more widespread availability of contraceptives will reduce illegal abortions in the Philippines.

They sincerely bewail the thousand of illegal abortions being performed yearly in the Philippines and they are of the opinion that making pills, condoms and other contraceptive devices more freely available, especially to the poor, will actually reduce these illegal abortions.

Such an opinion is based on pure speculation that is not based on empirical science. On the other hand, there is abundant research in countries where contraceptive devices are freely available in vending machines or the corner drug store demonstrating that abortions tend to increase with the widespread use of contraception.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Population - the ultimate resource

June 17, 2011, 3:34am

MANILA, Philippines — Like Roger Federer in world tennis, Japan is now No. 3 in the ranking of the most powerful economies in the world. It gave way to China last year for the position of No. 2. The US, still No. 1, may be feeling the heat from China in the same way that Rafa Nadal is being challenged by Novak Djokovic, for the No. 1 position in tennis.

A recent article by Shinji Fukukawa, former vice minister of the Ministry of the International Trade and Industry and president of Dentsu Research Insitute, diagnosed how Japan rose to the top, almost challenging the US for number one position in the last century, and why it is now facing a rather bleak economic future.

Mr. Fukukawa made it crystal clear that population increase was a major factor for the economic progress that Japan attained in the last century: "Economic growth depends on the rates of population increase and technological evolution, among other factors. Technological evolution relies on the capacities of human beings. So its kernel factor is human power."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Answers to common questions on the RH bill

Q& A on the Reproductive Health Bill 4244
From Ed Sorreta of Pro-Life Philippines

1. Will the RH bill adversely affect my family?

The bill provides: “SEC. 16. Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education. - … shall be taught by adequately trained teachers in formal and non-formal education system starting from Grade Five up to Fourth Year High School…to both public and private schools…and shall include, but not limited to, the following topics: … i. Family planning methods; and j. Proscription and hazards of abortion.” In other words, our elemntary and HS children will be taught contraceptives, condoms and abortion!

If these topics should be taught, let the parents take the responsibilty because they know the temperament and maturity of their children, which a classroom setting does not consider. Moreover, these should be taught in the context of Christian values. Therefore, the government should educate the parents instead of bypassing them and going directly to their children. Section Art. XV, Sec. 3 (1) provides: “The State shall defend: The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood…” This right and duty of parents is usurped by government by teaching the use of contraceptives and Safe Sex to our children inspite of many Catholic parents’ objection since these are against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

2. Does the RH bill force people to use contraceptives and/or legalize abortion?

No, it does not penalize people for not using contraceptives. However, it forces some sectors of society to submit to provisions that may be against their faith and parental rights. This is answered in nos. 1, 9a, 9c, 9d, and 10.

In addition, the bill does not legalize abortion, but it is silent on the abortifacient effect of contraceptives and IUDs.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A redundant bill - 2

See also the following article: A redundant bill

Senator Pia Cayetano: REDUNDANT times 5
Willy Jose
(Published on June 7, 2011)

Earlier today, Senator Pia Cayetano delivered her sponsorship speech of the Senate version of the RH bill. In essence, she spells out 5 supposedly earth-shaking points up front of what the Senate version of the RH bill is all about. To cut it to the chaste, the 5 points she enumerated are as follows: 1) REDUNDANT; 2) REDUNDANT; 3) REDUNDANT; 4) REDUNDANT; and 5) REDUNDANT. However, she should be credited with a feel-passionate , heart-tugging sponsorship speech, but at the end of her melodramatic, long-winded speech there is only one conclusion to the discerning listener. Please bear with me for repeating it again for the umpteenth time : REDUNDANT.

Are you really on the side of the Church, Fr. Bernas?

From the I Oppose the RH bill Action Group in Facebook:

An Open Letter to Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, SJ
Prof. Marvin Julian L. Sambajon Jr. 

Your Reverence:


This is in reference to your article posted at the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) last Monday, May 23rd, 2011. But, first and foremost, I would like to sympathize with you if ever a high-ranking ecclesiastical authority labeled you as ‘Judas’ and that you were considered by others a heretic. I understand your position and from that understanding, I am addressing this open reaction letter to Your Reverence for the sake of those who have been listening to your discourses and/or reading your write-ups.

In the same article, you embodied your first position this way:

“First, let me start by saying that I adhere to the teaching of the Church on artificial contraception even if I am aware that the teaching on the subject is not considered infallible doctrine by those who know more theology than I do. Moreover, I am still considered a Catholic and Jesuit in good standing by my superiors, critics notwithstanding!”

Your Reverence, how do you adhere to the teaching of the Church on artificial contraception? When we adhere to certain teaching, we devote ourselves in the observance of such teaching. Moreover, said teaching is made manifest in our gestures, in our dealings, in our principles, and in our advocacy. If we say, we adhere but not observe it, then, adherence is devoid of what it truly means. We become like a “tingling cymbal”. And as a priest adhering to the teaching of the Church on contraception, even common sense dictates that you are one with the Church in teaching that contraception is evil and in enabling people to understand what makes it evil. Are you, truly, one with the Church in this crusade, Your Reverence?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Catholic bishop of Antipolo responds to Fr. Joaquin Bernas SJ

Published on the CBCP for Life website:

One of the main reasons, if not the main reason, why the Catholic Church is against the House Bill 4244 (Reproductive Health Bill or Responsible Parenthood Bill) is that the bill directs the government to promote contraception and to give free contraceptives to people. According to Father Bernas, SJ (Sounding Board, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 23, 2011), this opposition of the Church is against religious freedom. He says that, because of religious freedom, “the state should not prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their beliefs nor may churchmen compel President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious belief.”

The spirit of the RH bill

Originally posted by Mark Lian on his Facebook page. Reposted on this blog with permission.

RH Bill and Backwardness?
Mark Lian

Reproductive Health Bill, Philippines (RHBP)

I only would like to share two points regarding the Reproductive Health Bill: first, a way of understanding the bill; second, what for me is the spirit behind the bill.

Way of Understanding

Regarding the first, in judging a certain way of thinking which has been expressed in a system or at least a body of statements (the bill for example), it is well to always keep in mind three things: (1) what are the deep aspirations and sentiments that gave rise to the said body of statements; (2) what the statements are, in fact, trying to say or assert; (3) what are or may be the implications or effects that it gives or may give rise to.

On Sentiments— man do not will evil as evil, we always will something of a good (an ontological good) even when we act badly (a moral evil). For example, when a man steals he does not will the act of stealing per se as an end, what he wills is the acquisition of the good stolen. May I not be misinterpreted here; stealing is still a moral evil even if it aims for something ontologically good. The reason for this is that moral evil is evil not because man wills an ontological good nor that he wills evil per se but because in his willing he chooses not to consider the rule of the ordering of goods needed for man to be truly human.

Why is the foregoing consideration important regarding the subject of our discussion?

The body of assertions may come from good sentiments and aspirations, which are then expressed in an explicit general intention which is in fact also good. However, it is possible that when this explicit general intention is particularized-- I mean that it already has to consider the relation of concrete means to a concrete end—the choice of means might not be in conformity with the right ordering of goods needed for man to be truly human, and here comes the possibility of moral evil. In a body of assertions, one must distinguish the general intention from the choice of means, a choice which may be an evidence of a good or bad particular intention. The distinction is necessary because a good intention does not always produce a good choice of means although a good choice of means, if it is authentic, always comes from a good intention. Clearly, the general intention of the bill is the good of man, but the question remains whether this intention is consistent all throughout its choice of means. This question is paramount since “the end does not justify the means”.

On the Statements themselves-- This leads us to the statements themselves. What in fact are they trying to say? The spirit behind the body of statements cannot be grasped simply by the expressed intention of the author. What is needed is a discernment of the internal logic of the statements themselves. This internal logic is indeed the spirit behind the body of statements. Now, what is most important in judging the body of statements is this internal logic and not the expressed intentions of the author. The reason is that it is the former that would allow us to discern the over-all truthfulness of the body of statements over and above the sincerity of the author’s intentions. Moreover, though secondarily, it is the internal logic that would ramify in the reader’s thinking and actions. Thus it is possible that an internal logic of a certain body of statements may run counter, wittingly or unwittingly, with the expressed intentions of the author. We have talked earlier about the “choice of means”; here we must say that this ‘choice of means’ constitute the matter of the internal logic of the body of statements. The question now is whether the good intentions of the author is truly realized in and is sustained by the internal logic of the body of statements.

On the effects— The effects of statements can be projected from the internal logic and not from the intentions of the author. If the internal logic is disorderly from the point of view of theory and practicability the effects would be disorder, and if good then the effect would be good. Again, I must add immediately that from the point of view of the necessary connection between cause and effect, a good cause is determined to a good effect; but since in the concrete world there is a confluence and a crisscrossing of causes (both bad and good), a good cause may not always lead to a good effect and a bad cause may not always lead to that bad effect. What is significant here is the fact that the internal logic is not the be-all and end-all of the controversy or of the issue; that one’s response to it is important in enhancing or diminishing its effects; and that factor beyond pure human efforts are also at play. The question now is: are we responsive and responsible enough?

Spirit of the Bill

Now, let us go to the second of my points that I would like to share. What, in fact, is the internal logic or spirit of the bill?

Let us go straight away to what, for me, is the most significant means presented by the bill to attain its end, significant from the point of view of understanding the presuppositions of the bill especially with regards to human dignity and human actions. What is this means or, let say for our present context, “provisions”? We are presented an option to choose between the natural method of birth control and the “modern” or artificial method, and these methods are to be made available by the State.

Three things can be observed here: (1) the options are presented as if they exist on the same line of value, that both options advance economics and health; (2) the options are presented as if they are a matter of individual personal choice only, that a woman can procure ligation even without the consent of the husband; (3) the options are presented as if the sexual act is simply a pleasurable act, that discipline is not absolutely necessary in it (since one may use contraceptives and thereby may not exercise continence) to make it a truly human act.

On the same line of value-- it seems to me that RHBP is trying to tell us that the artificial method is as effective a means as the natural method in advancing economic prosperity to this country and good health to its citizens. Three essential points should be made here: first, while it is true that both methods have effects to economics and health, economics and health are not the only areas of human life that can be affected by these methods unless we are prepared to say that human beings are reducible to being only material bodies with more complex desires than the brutes; what I mean here is that the bill stands on a materialist conception of man. Second point, if indeed man is more than an economic living being, meaning that there exists in him ‘spirituality’ that defines the humanness of his humanity, this humanness of his humanity must be the source and end of his activities, including sexual activities. Third point, if our activities do not have this humanness of our humanity as their source and end, then these activities-- in the final analysis-- destroy themselves along with their effects, their supposed to be ‘good’ effects.

What is needed is an integral vision of man that respects the hierarchy of values involve in human life. This integral vision is not only a vision for all human beings but also for all of what is a human being.

On Individual Personal Choice—We are being told that a method of birth control can be procured without spousal consent. Again, we are seeing here the same materialist interpretation of human relations, especially that of marriage. If ‘having children’ is a mutual and joint decision of the couple, why is ‘not having them’ an individual separate choice? This way of thinking is understandable from the point of view of the one who separates the conjugal act itself from its natural fecundity, who separates the conjugal act from human love, and human love from the person. What is missing here is the understanding that the profoundest, the deepest, and the highest dimension, the only dimension worthy of the person as a person is that of love, which is the giving of one’s self as a free gift to another self, a gift that calls for mutual self-giving as well as mutual acceptance.

On Discipline is not Absolutely Necessary—The one who separates procreation from the conjugal act, the conjugal act from human love, and human love from the exigency of personhood, is also the one who cannot understand the need for discipline in human love. Discipline, however, is necessary for self-control or self-mastery, without which one cannot hold himself and give himself to another person, one cannot love. Moreover, we cannot imagine a peaceful and orderly State with citizens who are unable to control themselves—a certain amount of virtue is necessary for a true society of persons.

The spirit of the bill, in my opinion, can be stated briefly this way: that man is only a material being who lives only for himself in the context of his uncontrollable passions.


When even a hard-nosed secular journalist with many connections says this, shouldn't Malacanang perk up and listen?

From Patricio Mangubat's May 11 article on the Church's backing away from the RH "dialogue" with the Noynoy Aquino administration:

The question that everybody is asking right now is this--is the Aquino administration ready for a direct confrontation with the Catholic Church? 

Clearly, the Aquino administration wants to push the agenda of the United States insofar as reproductive health is concerned. The administration is beginning to show signs of puppetism. (Underlining mine -- CAP)

Who will win this time? Will the Aquino administration be able to withstand a very strong Church oppositionist group?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A model critique of the RH bill

Published yesterday on the Definitely Filipino blog:

by: Ryan F. Barcelo, MPA 

As of this writing, the honorable members of the House of Representatives are debating in the Halls of Congress on the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill (HB 4244). Likewise, Filipinos in the streets, in the plazas, in the market, in the salons/barbershops and elsewhere are contributing their thoughts on this controversial measure. And, I too have something to share in this debate.

Right at the outset, I would like to be clear as to where I stand in this issue: I am AGAINST the RH Bill. Yes, I am a hard core Catholic and at the same time a dutiful servant and Officer of the Government. Since I do not share my faith with the rest of the Filipinos, I am not going to argue against this Bill on the basis of my Catholic Faith. I am going to argue on the grounds of sound reason (though a reason informed by faith) and on established Truths.

I was able to acquire a copy of HB 4244 in one forum sponsored by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) last April and it was participated by Hon. Edcel Lagman, the principal author of the Bill. I read the copy of the Bill several times to see for myself the real intent of this controversial measure. After carefully reading and reflecting on the provisions of this Bill, I present below by observations and most importantly, my objections to it.

A lay Catholic response to Fr. Joaquin Bernas' article "My Stand on the RH Bill"

Manuel Abejo

Dear Fr. Bernas,

This is in reaction to your article "My stand on the RH Bill" in your PDI-Sounding Board column.

I wish to comment on your second point.

To my understanding, you wish to raise at the same level of respect and public esteem the conviction of some people that "artificial birth control is a good method for spacing births" to that of "spacing births through the use of infertile periods" recommended by Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae. The ground for raising such demand is your alleged perception that we are living in a "pluralist society".

Yes, the poor can exercise self-control!

Realizations on my encounter with the Poor
By "Teachertwish" of "Eat My Chalk Dust"

Yesterday, the members of the faculty had a Parmenie Encounter Program organized by the Lasallian Mission Office. We went to Balibago Complex and we were supposed to interact with the poor there. I was privileged to talk to a 9 year-old and a couple.


What will happen to our taxes when the RH bill passes?


Another lousy pro-RH article from the Inquirer, and a "colorful" response

The following is a response to this article.

(Published June 12, 2011 on the "Colorful Rag" blog.

The Inquirer has done it again, with the article ‘Tagum: A poster city for RH bill,’ in which the spin is that local government-provided vasectomies and ligations have kept poverty incidence in Tagum City at ‘only’ 19%.

Just as with the Salve article last month (which was not just unscholarly, but anti-scholarly), we are tossed data without any regard for the interpretation of such data, resulting in bad conclusions that do not reflect reality.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How the RH bill can lead to witch hunts versus pro-lifers

Published this week on the New Katipunero website:

Butch Junia

Any violation of the Reproductive Health Act or commission of any of the acts prohibited therein shall be penalized with imprisonment ranging from one month to six months or a fine of P10,000 to P50,000, or both, depending on the discretion of the court.

That is clearly and ominously provided in Sec. 29 of HB 4244, “An act providing for a comprehensive policy on responsible parenthood, reproductive health, and population and development, and for other purposes”, or the RH Bill.

As far as I can recall, and I do not claim a long memory or deep knowledge of state policies, this is the only development policy I know that has penal and punitive provisions. Violation of this policy has been criminalized.

The RH Bill and the Loss of Responsibility

The following was posted on the wall of a Facebook group of which I'm a member. I'm withholding the author's name for now to avert possible complications for that person. This essay is being posted here with the permission of one of the author's superiors. 

I'm not a devout Catholic. I rarely go to church. I almost never read the bible.

But I know the concept of responsibility.

When you fail to go to a job interview, expect to lose a chance to get the job.

When you neglect your health, expect to be sick. When you fail to keep a promise, expect to lose relations.

The consequence may be harsh but that's life's best teacher. I'm afraid that in the future, in this country, married men will be fearless engaging in sex with other women because they know how to prevent a baby from forming. Couples will try beating and nagging each other out to have a good chance for divorce to be granted. Mistresses will have the last laugh for they will soon have an equal, if not more, power over the first wife. I'm afraid that responsibility will not anymore be valued, and noble men will diminish. People will be encouraged to only seek the easiest way out & only do things for fun (commonly misinterpreted as happiness).

Congressmen claim: battered women need divorce. Wouldn't that just let crazy guys loose, marry someone else whom they'll abuse too? Wouldn't that deprive the domestic victim the only power she has over the man who has maltreated her? What if that's his way to force her to divorce him?

Why not create a law which will prevent abusers from marrying instead? Are we really advocating women's rights or mistresses' rights? I'm don't have anything against children outside of first marriage---they are victims too. But an individual hopping from one person to another, leading to the creation of more motherless/fatherless children should be disciplined too.

Why deprive children of their childhood by opening to them, at an immature age, what contraceptive does? Because it is more convenient than to create a law that will prohibit people from poisoning their minds?

Why steal a child's innocence? Would that make our country first world? It's sad that we cannot think of a better way to improve our lives & forget that humans too are resources.

I personally know people who had gotten pregnant, unplanned. Some were even left by guys who did it with them. Yet, they decided to keep the child, and they never regretted that decision. They even became more responsible.

I personally know couples who fell apart because of third parties but reconciled. Good thing, there is no divorce here... yet. They stayed true to their promise.

Are we too desperate to be a first world country? Are we too frustrated to end marriage? Why have sex and marry, in the first place? Because it feels good?

Because we are happy for the moment?

Have we forgotten that responsibility is a big step toward social and economic development? Or are we just saying, we are ready to break vows?

Eliminate responsibility, and then what? We'll eliminate love and be anti-social too? Create websites such as that of the students of the University of Chicago, where students fish strangers online to have casual sex? "What ever happened to getting-to-know each other?" commented a host of The Today Show.

If it's true that eliminating responsibility and humanity is the only way to make life better, then I believe that the quality of life is not going anywhere but downwards.

Another response to Angsioco on the rights of the unborn

By "TruthSayer" of Filipinos for Life

Unborn vs. Mother. That’s the title of Ms. Elizabeth Angsioco’s latest opinion piece. Given that the RH bill makes no mention of protecting the unborn, and in fact when talking about “post-abortion complications” totally ignores the existence of the aborted, it is rather interesting that Ms. Angsioco views these bills as pitting unborn vs. mother.

It is an issue raised by those who choose to take the perspective that protecting one incontrovertibly means apathy towards the other. For pro-lifers everywhere, nothing could be farther from the truth. For us who defend life, mother and child are always equally important and worthy of protection. That this notion of unborn vs. mother even enters the discussion is a clear indication of just how far the pro-choice agenda has taken us. We are now debating whether an unborn child is human or not. Even Fr. Bernas tells us that our constitution provides for EQUAL protection of both the life of the mother and the life of the unborn FROM CONCEPTION. Since when, in the history of the Philippines, have we as Filipinos ever doubted the reality of human life in the womb? If the unborn isn’t human, what is it? And if the unborn doesn’t have rights, how does any one of us have rights?


Monday, June 13, 2011

Once more with feeling: the RH bill is unnecessary!

Published this morning on the website of the Philippine Star:

By Davao City 1st District Rep. Karlo Nograles

There is no need for Congress to pass the Reproductive Health Bill. The proposed measure is unconstitutional, inappropriate, inimical to the interests of the Filipino people and unnecessary.

Notwithstanding Section 12, Article II of the Constitution, which mandates the State to protect the life of the unborn, the proposed Reproductive Health Bill seeks to prevent the life of the unborn by making the State the main provider of contraception and sterilization services, contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

Several contraceptives are abortifacients (cause abortion), because their mechanisms include preventing the proliferation of the endometrium (the uterine lining of the woman) so it will NOT be favorable for the implantation of any fertilized ova. The RH Bill seeks to give these abortifacients for free to Filipino women; this goes against the constitutional guarantee for the protection of the life of the unborn.

The RH Bill also seeks to require all individuals to set aside their religious beliefs and support with their tax monies an RH agenda that runs counter to those beliefs, contrary to the Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of religion. Under pain of imprisonment and/or fine, health professionals, health workers and other health service providers, as well as teachers and school administrators, among others, will be forced to perform services even if these go against their religious convictions and moral beliefs.

There are more important ways to spend taxpayers’ money. The State has no duty to use public money to cure pregnancy, which is NOT a disease. It is the State’s duty, however, to protect our people from real diseases, namely: heart diseases, vascular diseases, cancer, pneumonia, tuberculosis, respiratory diseases, diarrheal diseases, diabetes, pulmonary diseases, and the like. This is where we must spend our taxes for health.

On the issues of maternal death and infant mortality, these could be brought to zero by ensuring adequate basic and emergency obstetrics-care facilities and skilled medical personnel and health attendants all over the country. This is where our taxes must go.

Spending hard-earned taxpayers’ money on Population control will not be intelligent investment. Multiple studies have shown that there is no correlation between population growth and economic growth. There are countries with large populations that are prosperous. For our country to attain economic prosperity, government must spend on education and job generation. Besides, our country’s population growth rate and fertility rate have been steadily decreasing over the years, even without the RH Bill. This trend will continue naturally without massive government intervention, like the RH Bill.

The non-passage of the RH Bill will not prejudice nor have any adverse effect on any one. As it stands today, any person who wants to use contraception or sterilization in this country may do so, since everyone is free to use any method of birth control even now. Thus, it is unnecessary to enact an RH Bill.

Questionable promises of prosperity in exchange for certain immorality

Here is the latest blog post of Archbishop Oscar Cruz.

The good archbishop has written a lot versus the RH bill and I've been remiss in my blog duties by not posting any of these. I hope to find the time to collect all his posts and articles versus the RH bill in order to compile these into a single downloadable file.

Most Rev. Oscar V. Cruz DD

FOR a start, it is good to recall that God Himself gave but Ten Commandments to rule the whole world, the whole of humanity all over the globe. And the Lord Jesus Christ even reduced them into but Two Commandments: Love God. Love others. The first Three Commandments are for the love of God. The other Seven Commandments are for love of others. It requires but these Commandments for all peoples to live in truth, to get justice, to live in peace.

On the other hand, it is worth asking how many thousands of laws have the present and immediately past Legislative Department enacted? Three thousand? Four thousand? As a valid consequential question, it comes to order to ask how many laws have the Executive Department succeeded in having duly implemented? One thousand? Two thousand? And as a logical follow-up question, how many violators of the law has the Judicial Department brought to justice? Answer: Just guess. Such would be enough, given a long existing dysfunctional justice system in the Philippines.

But lo and behold, the present legislature is again poised to enact another law—The Reproductive Health Bill (RH 4244) which in truth is a contra-reproduction and anti-health legislation—preventing conception through the use of chemical pills and injections plus mutilations in terms of vasectomy for men and tubal ligation for women.

For those who want to listen, well and good. For those who do not to, this is their call—their responsibility and accountability.

The RH bill: Promotes promiscuity and praises irresponsibility. Deadens conscience and destroys delicadeza. Cultivates self– rule and selfishness, affirms immorality and ushers in amorality. Causes health hazard if not downright sickness as cancer. Leads to defective births and dangles abortion. Despises pregnant women and hates the birth of children. Impugns the Filipino cultural values of love of children and of the family. Gives big profits to multinational pharmaceuticals manufacturing contraceptives and an erratic government collecting much taxes therefrom.

The RH bill: Ascertains material abundance and economic development. Guarantees the inflow of big capital investments and much employment. Promises the absence of criminality and ascertains the presence of justice in the land. Assures the reign of peace and order. Envisions Philippines as a First World Country.


This blog and the divorce bill

I've been asked if I intend to blog about the divorce bill as well. My answer is: not on this blog, because I want to remain focused on the original reason for its existence, as I explained in my very first post:

This blog is an attempt to put in one place all the position papers, statements and declarations that have been published by Catholics and other Christians (in the Philippines and across the world) to counter the proponents of this proposed bill. It is important that the supporters of "reproductive health" realize that the position of the Catholic Church against this bill is based neither on "unreasoning dogmatism" nor upon "fear of progress", but upon a clear analysis of the real reasons for poverty and the social ills often wrongly attributed to alleged "overpopulation", as well as on a lucid understanding of transcendent moral principles and of health facts that are often suppressed in favor of propaganda for contraception.

My only "deviations" so far from the principles enunciated in this paragraph have been the following:

1) My inclusion of anti-RHB statements from non-Christians (atheists and Muslims, to be precise). 

2) The inclusion of a few news reports of exceptional importance for the documentation of the fight versus the RH bill.

3) The inclusion of a handful of essays or articles directly expounding upon the foundations of the culture of life. 

None of these have entailed adding a secondary focus for this blog, and I don't intend to do so now. 

I'm thinking of founding a separate blog to host supporting documentation for the fight versus the divorce bill, but I truly wish that someone else would take up that noble task. Maintaining this blog already entails a lot of work for me, and I have other existing blogs to maintain and develop.

For the record, I also reject the idea that the divorce bill is worse than the RH bill. Divorce -- while deplorable and destructive to society in its own way -- doesn't kill untold numbers of budding lives in their mothers' wombs, and will not of itself expose whole generations of school children to systematic secularist sexual propaganda. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sex education with genuinely Filipino values

The normally anti-Catholic and anticlerical-dominated Definitely Filipino blog posted this piece a few days ago:

A Definitely Filipino Alternative to Government-backed and West-inspired ‘Sex Education’
By Mark Lian

It seems to me not highly prob­a­ble that a gov­ern­ment-backed and a West-in­spired ‘sex ed­u­ca­tion’ can en­sure an in­te­grated vi­sion of hu­man sex­u­al­ity. Con­sid­er­ing the pur­ported sci­en­tific ap­proach in ‘sex ed­u­ca­tion’ and the plu­ral­is­tic so­ci­ety we are be­com­ing to be, one may be lead to think that only a re­duc­tion­ist ap­proach to ‘sex ed­u­ca­tion’ is pos­si­ble in pub­lic schools.

To en­sure a more in­te­grated hu­man sex­u­al­ity ed­u­ca­tion, then, the gov­ern­ment should be the last in­sti­tu­tion to be in­volved. Hu­man Sex­u­al­ity ed­u­ca­tion must be em­bed­ded in an ed­u­ca­tion (out­side-of-the-class­room ed­u­ca­tion) about FRIEND­SHIP and HU­MAN LOVE, hu­man re­la­tion­ships of which the pri­mary ed­u­ca­tors of chil­dren are their par­ents and the whole fam­ily, an ed­u­ca­tion that is well ad­justed to our fam­ily-cen­tered val­ues as a peo­ple...


Treating human beings as dogs

The reason why human owners spay and neuter their dogs is because of the inconvenience of having a dog litter–the danger of overpopulation in so little house space. The owners don’t also like that their dogs behave like dogs in mating season: urinate, mount, and copulate. 
I wonder if human owners ever asked their dogs whether they like to be spayed and neutered in the first place. This goes against the very nature of dogs. This is very inhumane and uncanine. Animal rights activists should protest against spaying and neutering of dogs. 
Now, the proponents of the Reproductive Health Bill are similar to dog owners in that they cannot afford to have another dog or human in the house. By raising the spectre of overpopulation, the proponents of the RH Bill wants to limit the number of children to two. To achieve this, they have to neuter many Filipinos, especially the poor, by promoting the use of condoms and contraceptive pills through sex education starting at the Grade 5 level, giving them free contraceptives at government’s expense, and subsidizing their sterilization surgical procedures. The message to the poor is clear: “Stop littering the streets with your hungry children. We don’t want you in the Philippines.” 
II. How to treat humans as humans 
I was watching the Dog Whisperer in National Geographic. Caesar Millan, the man who knows more about dog psychology than anybody else in boob tube (now flat screen), tells us one fundamental principle: “Do not treat your dogs as human beings. Treat dogs as dogs. It is the humans who must lead dogs and not vice-versa.” 
In case of the Reproductive Health Bill, I say this: Do not treat humans as dogs. Treat humans as humans. Humans need to be led to what is right and wrong. Who shall tell the human what is right and wrong? The congressmen and senators who think they are more intelligent than a poor boy from the province? Dogs must be led by a higher intelligence (man), and humans must also be led by a higher intelligence (God). 
God is not a theoretical concept, but a being who intervened in human history, who promulgated his laws in the Ten Commandments. And when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son born of a woman, in order to become a role model for all of us. Christ is the way that we must follow, the truth that we must believe, the life that we must live. When Christ departed from this world, He did not leave us orphans but sent the Holy Spirit to guide his Church–the Pope, bishops, priests, and laity–into all truth. In matters of Faith and Morals, the Catholic Church could not err, because God Himself, Christ, promised to Peter and his apostles:  
“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Mt 16:19)” No other human institution has this divine seal. 
Let us pray the Cong. Lagman, Cong. Hontiveros Baraquel, and Sen. Santiago would listen to the voice of the Catholic Church.

Manny Pacquiao and the pro-RH Contempt Brigade

Published in Business Mirror on May 20, 2011:

Lourdes M. Fernandez

Wednesday night’s debate between Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao and reproductive-health (RH) bill chief author Edcel Lagman has gotten not a few usual “experts” brimming with contempt as they assessed the young boxing icon’s performance on the floor, scoffing at his presumptuousness that he could take on a veritable “lion” in Congress.

“Like a robot.” “Questions were scripted.” “He repeated some questions” were some of the remarks reporters got from those they interviewed for reactions right after the session was adjourned on Wednesday night—a discourse that, fortunately enough, turned out to be quite civil, a rebuke to those who predicted histrionics and blood.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

On "Enemies"

Just a note for those pro-RH folks who have no qualms calling the Catholic Church and her faithful defenders all sorts of names, but can't handle being called enemies of the Church.

The Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to love our enemies. You know what that means? It means that one can actually identify someone as an "enemy" and still love him, because merely to identify someone as an "enemy" does not necessarily imply hatred for, or the desire to harm, the one so identified. Not infrequently, in this imperfect and language-bound world, to label someone is merely to tell the truth about his views in as succinct a manner as possible. 

This will be my first and last comment about those crybaby pro-RH'ers who are trying to turn one word I uttered into a supposed summa of hate.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Taking the Philippine Daily Inquirer to task for its infatuation with the RH bill

The following letter to the editor was posted on the Philippine Daily Inquirer's website last night:

Philippine Daily Inquirer
11:52 pm | Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I just want to help wake the Inquirer up from what I see might be its “RH infatuation,” which I believe led it to assert that the “best argument for the RH bill as it now stands is that it will help minimize the number of illegal or illicit abortions we suffer every year. Think of tens of thousands of innocent lives spared.”

A cold shower of scientific findings might help.

First, from a study on the link between contraception and abortion (published early this year, not in a prolife magazine but in the scientific journal, Contraception, subtitled “an international reproductive health journal” and conducted through a 10-year period). From 1997 to 2007, the overall use of contraceptive methods increased from 49.1 percent to 79.9 percent. The elective abortion rate increased from 5.52 to 11.49 per 1,000 women.

Second, Nobel prize winner and liberal economist, George Akerlof, writing at the Quarterly Journal of Economics (published by the MIT Press), described the effect of contraceptives: more premarital sex, more fatherless children, more single mothers, and since the contraceptives sometimes fail, more abortions.
Third, leaders of the abortion industry themselves have openly admitted the empirical link between contraception and abortion. Malcolm Potts, the first medical director of International Planned Parenthood: “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate.” Judith Bury, coordinator of Doctors for a Woman’s Choice on Abortion: “There is overwhelming evidence that … the provision of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate.”

Fourth, silent abortions caused by the use of the pill amount to deliberate killings of innocent lives. Dr. Walter Larimore, who for decades prescribed the pill, tried to disprove the claim that the pill is abortifacient, only to find 94 scientific studies proving that “postfertilization effects are operative to prevent clinically recognized pregnancy.” He published his findings in the scientific journal of the American Medical Association, and from then on stopped prescribing the pill. Shouldn’t we as a nation also stop prescribing a drug that kills our youngest Filipinos?

Please take note that the basis of Rep. Edcel Lagman’s claim of an 85-percent reduction in abortion rate due to contraception is a report of the Guttmacher Institute, which started as a division of Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion services in the United States.

It is significant that the Guttmacher Institute itself found in its 2003 study that “levels of abortion and contraceptive use rose simultaneously” in six countries: Cuba, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United States, Singapore and the Republic of Korea.

These are hard facts. And the rational explanation behind the link is clear: the anti-human mentality at the heart of contraception’s falsification of sex, which casually call some children “unwanted” rather than gifts.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The RH Bill: Interference with Philippine sovereignty

Monday, Jun 06, 2011

Dr. Ligaya Acosta
Co-authored with Stephen Phelan

June 6, 2011 ( - Many Catholics around the world have become aware of the goings-on in the Philippines, perhaps the most Catholic and pro-life country in the world. Thanks primarily to the strong and united leadership of our faithful bishops, Filipinos have been successful in fighting off a sustained assault from the West in the form of a “Reproductive Health (RH)” bill that threatens the families and future of the Philippines. But the bill’s proponents seem undaunted and incredibly well-funded, so we wanted to help Catholics around the world understand the situation on the ground, and ask for your prayers and support.

The Philippines does not need and does not want the RH bill. It is a foreign imposition, the contents of which are alien to Filipino values and culture.

The vast majority of Filipinos oppose the bill, as proven by the many huge rallies over the country – the biggest of which saw almost 500,000 gather in Manila last March. The same bill has been filed and re-filed since 1998’s 11th Congress (it is now the 15th), but as we have seen, its Western promoters have no intention of taking ‘no’ for an answer this time around.

Why, one might ask, does it keep reappearing, sometimes with different names or slightly revised content, if the people of the Philippines have so clearly rejected it? It reappears because it is fueled by mind-boggling amounts of money from international population control organizations, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), who have long expressed their concern that there are too many poor Filipinos for their comfort. Most recently, the European Union added to the pot, promising 35 million euros as a further enticement for the Philippines to embrace the desired “health reforms.” These groups have essentially bottomless bank accounts, and will not stop until they have reduced Filipino fertility to levels that they are comfortable with.

A Response to Rina Jimenez-David on Abortion

The following letter to the PDI editor was originally published on Phil. Daily Inquirer on May 26, 2011. It is not clearly anti-RH, but it certainly is a strong rejoinder to Rina Jimenez-David's column of May 8, 2011 entitled "What a mom wants".

Mary Joan Angeles

RINA DAVID stated in her May 8 column (“What a mom wants”): “I still support a woman’s right to have options including the option of abortion. Motherhood is a choice, and given the challenges, we shouldn’t be forcing women to be mothers when they don’t think they’ll be good at it—or good mothers to so many children.” While I respect her personal opinion, I do not think there is a clamor from many mothers to allow abortion as an option to resolve an unwanted pregnancy or to limit the number of their children. Usually, it is first-time, unwed mothers, afraid of the shame and condemnation, who find abortion as a convenient way of resolving such problem. The advocacy to allow abortion only gives people who are against the bill more reason to believe that even without clearly advocating it, the bill actually sanctions abortion in so many words. What I understand about the bill is, it mainly seeks to establish a system and network for the dissemination of information on how to prevent rather than terminate unwanted pregnancies, the latter being what abortion is. I believe that abortion remains a heinous crime against humanity perpetuated on the unborn who is made to suffer the consequences of his/her parents’ decision not to use a condom to avoid pregnancy. The self-absorbed attitude, in today’s age, is sex has become only one of so many sources for instant gratification, and abortion is an easy way out of responsible parenthood.

Without God

The RH bill’s secularistic mindset
Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani
May 29, 2011

One of the basic objections of the CBCP to the RH bill is the secularistic mindset underlying the bill. What that means is that the bill practically excludes the spiritual and theistic dimension of human beings and disregards moral considerations in its proposals. This is already shown by its proposal to provide “medically safe, legal, accessible, affordable and effective reproductive health care services and supplies” to the people especially the poor and marginalized (Sec. 3, d). Note the absence of the adjective “ethical” to describe the reproductive health care services and supplies to be provided. Ethical considerations are left out, and the only qualities considered are “medically safe, legal, accessible, affordable and effective” The bill is amoral and is not concerned whether the services and supplies it will provide the people are moral or ethical. Now don’t tell me that when it comes to medicine and what are to be supplied to the people as “essential medicines” morality or ethics should in no way be involved.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The RH Bill and Poverty

From Federico Pascual's May 22, 2011 column entitled The world didn't end; RH debate continues:

Since birth control is a core RH issue and since the burgeoning population is being blamed for widespread poverty, one is wont to ask if our population growth rate of 1.9 percent is really the cause of poverty and its manifestations. 
But even if contraception and abortion result in every family having only two children, if the government is hardly moving to generate enough jobs, poverty will continue to hound the population. 
Even if children from Grade V to high school are given sex education and taught how to have sex without risk of pregnancy, there will only be heightened experimentation with sex and more teenage pregnancies if the youngsters are not taught values. 
Even if we succumb to the lobby and flood public clinics with condoms and contraceptives, the standard of public health will remain low if frontline clinics and hospitals catering to the poor are not stocked with basic and critical medicines.

Even if Filipinos become world-class experts in safe sex, that will not enhance their chances for employment and liberation from poverty if the government has neglected quality education and training for technical skills. 
Even if we are able to achieve zero population growth, poverty and its attendant ills will continue to stalk the land if the government does not move to disperse opportunities (for jobs, schooling, etc.) and stem migration to urban centers. 
* * * 
ABORTIVE PROCEDURES: The RH bill (HB 4244) speaks grandly in Section 2 (Declaration of Policy) of guaranteed “universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable, effective and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, and supplies.” 
In Section 3 (Guiding Principles), it also says: “While this Act recognizes that abortion is illegal and punishable by law, the government shall ensure that all women needing care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner.” 
But critics counter that the RH bill would pave the way for easier access to abortion.
Under Section 4 (Definition of Terms), the bill speaks of providing “Basic Emergency Obstetric Care” which refers to “lifesaving services for maternal complications being provided by a health facility or professional, which must include the following six signal functions: administration of parenteral antibiotics; administration of parenteral oxytocic drugs; administration of parenteral anticonvulsants for pre-eclampsia and eclampsia; manual removal of placenta; removal of retained products; and assisted vaginal delivery.” 
If a woman starts bleeding because of contraceptives, under the “compassionate” law, her case can be declared a failed abortion or miscarriage and she can then demand a full repertoire of emergency services that are in effect those for an abortion. 
* * * 
SIPAG APPROACH: The fight against poverty need not concentrate on just curbing population growth, but must also help the poor become more productive and fulfilled. 
In Las Piñas, there is the Villar Sipag Center rising in the sprawling grounds of a memorial park a stone’s throw away from Diego Cera Ave. where the world-renowned bamboo organ is. 
This project of the Villar Foundation (established in 1995) seeks to empower the poor and enhance their humanity. Set for completion next year, the center will house a library or resource center for poverty reduction, a reception area, a theater, and an exhibit hall. 
More Sipag Centers for the poor will be put up near churches that the foundation plans to build around the country after the completion of the Santuario de San Ezekiel Moreno church beside the Las Piñas center. 
* * * 
BANISH POVERTY: Sen. Manny Villar, the foundation’s founding chairman, explains, “Social enterprise experts say that poverty should be banished to a museum. I share their vision… And until that happens, we’ll work tirelessly to ease poverty wherever we find it in our country.”
The United Nations reports that close to 900 million of the world’s poor, who survive on less than $1 a day, live in Asia Pacific, and that nearly one in three Asians is poor. 
Over 40 million Filipinos are living on less than $2 a day. Although poverty incidence in the country has been reduced, the actual number of people still in the grip of poverty has increased over the last two decades. 
The country’s economic growth has not been robust enough to speed up poverty reduction, one of eight targets that the Philippines pledged to fulfill under the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. 
* * * 
A BEEHIVE: Cynthia A. Villar, the foundation’s managing director, says the Villar Sipag Center will be a proactive beehive of activity. 
“We’ll promote industriousness or hard work to beat poverty,” the former Las Piñas congresswoman says. “We’ll guide, train, teach and empower womenfolk, the youth, jobless and even relatives of overseas Filipino workers to persevere in life.” 
Although being pursued quietly, the livelihood-generation and skills training initiatives of the foundation have caught the eye of the world. 
One of its programs, the Las Piñas-Zapote River System Rehabilitation program, recently bested those of 38 other countries for the United Nation’s “Water for Life” Best Practices Award. It won the UN award because it did not only rehabilitate the river, but also improved the living conditions of the poor along the banks.

In defense of Manny Pacquiao

By: Antonio Montalvan II
Philippine Daily Inquirer
4:03 am | Monday, June 6th, 2011

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago always has a mouthful to say, but none perhaps as distasteful as when she said that Manny Pacquiao should not enter into the ring of the RH debates. That was classic intellectual arrogance. Adding to the fray was media’s suspicion that Pacquiao was cornered by the bishops into defending their stance against the RH bill.

Both are farthest from the truth.

The Fight over the RH Bill: A Battle in the War between Secularism and Catholic Christianity

A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away)
By Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) 
Updated June 06, 2011 12:00 AM 

The showdown on the RH bill will reveal the identities of politicians who are really concerned about the welfare of our country and people and not of their own selfish interests. It will tell us whether they personally consulted their constituents and not merely relied on surveys before making a stand for or against the bill. It will tell us whether they have adequately studied the bill and explained to their constituents with clear and convincing arguments, not with deceit and mis-informaton, why they voted for or against the bill.

Angsioco: letting the cat out of the bag

Angsioco versus unborn
Willy Jose

With prominent RH bill proponent Elizabeth Angsioco's latest tirade entitled "Unborn versus mother", one is convincingly left without any iota of a doubt as to the main agenda of the RH bill: it is all about Abortion with a capital A. Unless the RH bill proponents disown Angsioco's statements, her astonishing message reveals the strikingly clear motive. The title of her opinionated (and grossly erroneous) piece is in itself a dead giveaway. Why, is there an inherent war between ''Unborn vs Mother"? Does Angsioco herself feel that her mother is at war with her from the moment of her conception up to every breathing moment of her life? I suppose not, for even Elizabeth Angsioco herself should probably make a convincing case for the timeless adage "only a mother can love''.

Angsioco takes umbrage at the various bills pending in Congress that seek to put teeth into the Constitutional provision requiring the State to ''equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception". While she acknowledges the provision, in the same breath she claims:

''A child is someone who is born into this world, a complete human person like you and me. A child is a citizen, and therefore, has human rights. Calling the unborn a child to me is going beyond what the Constitution provides."

So according to Angsiocotic philosophy, the unborn is not a complete person until it is "born into this world". If the unborn is not a "complete person'', what is it then? A half-person? A quarter-person? Semi-person? A clump of inhuman cells? She bolsters her argument by referring to the Constitution but I do not see anything in there that says the unborn is a partial human person. What I do see in there, is that the unborn is accorded by the State a presumptive personality from the moment of conception. A presumed person that merits protection by the State. Why, because the Constitutional Commission precisely said so. If the state presumes the personhood of the unborn it does not consider it as an incomplete human unworthy of protection. She harps about the right of the mother (the unfettered right to abort, if that is not clear enough) and completely turns a blind eye to the right of the unborn. The records of the 1986 Commission flatly rejects her imaginations:

"Whats being affirmed in this formulation is the moral right as well as the constitutional right of the unborn child to life, If this should entail the granting of presumptive personality to the unborn befinning at the moment of the conception, then so be it. Xxx Respect for the rights of the woman with child and respect for the rights of the child in her womb are by nature intimately linked such that any deliberate harm that should come upon one will doubtless effect a corresponbding harm to the other. Conflicts of rights is fictitious. Xxx The conflict is only apparent. It is easily resolved by applying the following principle: When two rights come in conflict, the more basic right and/or the right concerning the graver matter takes precedence over rights involving the less basic or less serious matter. It is clear that the right to life is more basic than the right to privacy or any other posterior rights. Therefore, since removal of the fetus would most certainly result in violation of its right to life, the woman has no right to evict the temporary resident of her private womb.”

(Bernas, J.. The Intent of the 1986 Constitution Writers (1995), p. 119.)

Not only does Angsioco twist legalities, she also manages to twist mathematics as well. EQUAL Protection means, well, EQUAL Protection. The right of the mother for protection is EQUAL to the right of the unborn for protection. Not GREATER THAN nor LESS THAN. Of course there are exceptional cases where the medical treatment of the mother might result to a NOT DIRECTLY INTENDED harm to the unborn. Angsioco apparently, is not capable of acknowledging the nuanced distinction whatsoever. She is clearly all for the 'rights' of the mother to abort the unborn regardless. After all according to her, the unborn has no rights whatsoever until it is born. Well, she has a right to her opinion, however twisted it may be. The State guarantees EQUAL protection of freedom of speech to the erroneous person as well as to the factual person. I presume her mother would love her in spite of that. As to the rest of the pro-RH bill advocates, I presume they would love to gag her from now on. She just let the screaming cat out of the bag.

Minyong Ordonez on the pro-RH "cafeteria Catholics"

By: Minyong Ordoñez
Philippine Daily Inquirer
6:20 am | Friday, June 3rd, 2011

HOW CAN one say he is a Catholic and ignore the teachings of his religion? Why be a Catholic if one thinks his religion is erroneous? Is there pride and truth in being an egoistic Catholic? Are such Catholics who fill up the church and who participate in the same rituals, say the same prayers, and profess the same beliefs in both God and the Church’s commandments sincere or hypocritical?

Pro-RH lawmakers insist they are Catholics but in the same breath disagree with the Catholic hierarchy’s rejection of the RH bill. This constitutes contradiction of the first degree.

Oneness in doctrine is one of the conditions defining Catholicism. The second is holiness of origin, and the third is apostolic succession. Holiness means that the Church is holy because it has been established by Jesus Christ who is Himself holy and that it is guided by the Holy Spirit in the proclamation of the truth and the administration of sacraments. Apostolic means that the Church traces its authenticity and heritage to the apostles who were instructed by Jesus Christ to evangelize the world headed by the apostle Peter: “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. To thee I will give the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall also be bound in Heaven. And whatever thou shall loose on earth shall also be loosed in Heaven.”

The real purpose of the RH bill

A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away)
By Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star)
Updated June 03, 2011 12:00 AM

Undoubtedly, since the introduction of the foreign sponsored and foreign crafted RH bill, a serious rift and deep division has been created in our nation. Never before have there been such heated discussions and sharp differences among Filipinos on several issues of fact and of law regarding this bill. Before it was introduced, we seemed to be traversing only one and the same road towards a peaceful, just and progressive country. But the bill has distracted us by creating a fork in the said road and dividing us in reaching our goals. (I think this is exaggerated. We've certainly been a bitterly divided nation several times in the past 25 years. - CAP)

Presently, as P-Noy recently asserted, the State is against abortion and does not dictate the number of children a couple must have. It has not imposed birth control methods on anyone but “gives couples a choice of what option to take”. Indeed, there is already a law penalizing abortion as a crime and right now couples are free to plan the size of their family and to choose the method of controlling births. Under the present setup therefore, there is no more need for an RH bill. So why are we really still fussing over the said RH bill? Should we not just forget about it and move on looking for other solutions alleviating the life of our poor people?

People Development, not the RH Bill

June 2, 2011, 3:33am
MANILA, Philippines — Since so much has already been said in the debate on the RH bill, we would do well to reflect on the basic issues that we need to resolve in order to make our choice. These issues revolve around the following points:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

UNMASKED: The true face of the RH bill?

Elizabeth Angsioco of the Manila Standard Today is one of the most vociferous proponents of the RH Bill, and an opponent of the various bills for the protection of the unborn now pending before the Philippine Congress. In her latest column bashing the proposed bills for the protection of unborn children, Angsioco unmasks her real views regarding the status of the unborn:

First, all these bills speak of the unborn as a CHILD. I take issue with this because the Constitution does not call the unborn a child. If the framers meant to equate the former with the latter, they would have done that. An unborn can be anything from an egg, a zygote, to a fetus about to be born. 
A child is someone who is born into this world, a complete human person like you and me. A child is a citizen, and therefore, has human rights. 
Calling the unborn a child to me is going beyond what the Constitution provides.

Anyone who understands basic logic can see the implications. For Angsioco, the unborn cannot be defined as "children". Angsioco admits that children have human rights, but denies that the unborn are children, the inescapable conclusion being that for her, the unborn obviously do not enjoy the rights -- the HUMAN rights -- that children have. (She leaves the obvious conclusion unsaid, perhaps realizing what it will do to her advocacy, but we will neither mince words nor play games in this blog.)

Thank you, Ms. Angsioco, for showing us the true face of the RH Bill.

If the supporters of the RH Bill indeed uphold the rights of the unborn -- as many of them claim to do -- then they must distance themselves from this shameful statement and repudiate Angsioco as well. Not that I expect them to do so...