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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In desperation, they turn to blasphemy

In recent days some supporters of the RH bill have launched a blasphemous "rosary campaign" for the passage of this bill. See this:

The blasphemous "HR for RH" image

On his blog, Dr. Quirino Sugon of Ateneo De Manila University exposes this campaign for what it is:

Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH) using Mary and the Holy Rosary in vain

Something diabolical is afoot: Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH) is using Mary and the Holy Rosary to promote something which is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. I think they found a  mnemonic device: RH is Roproductive Bill, so HR is Holy Rosary. HR for RH. Sounds good, right? But alas, as the Holy Rosary and the Reproductive Health Bill are opposites that can’t be mixed, in the same way as one cannot mix water and oil.
Reproductive Health Bill is for contraception, but Mary is the Immaculate Conception. Contraceptives prevent conception; conception is the failure of contraception. Had Mary practiced contraception, we would not have Christ. The contraceptive mentality says:
“Mary, you are still young. A good life still awaits you. That child will prevent you from attaining that good life. You have a boyfriend, Joseph, an honest and just man.  You are already betrothed to him.  What will he say to you when he finds out that the child is not his?  He will despise you and leave you.  What will your parents and relatives say when they found you with child and Joseph divorced you, you will be despised by all.  Worst, they will hand you over to be stoned to death, according to the law of Moses.
And even if you and your child will escape death by stoning, you will have a hard life raising that child.  A Son of God?  That’s a ridiculous title?  No one will believe that.  Surely, you don’t believe that.  A prophet maybe, but not Son of God.  There is no precedence in history that God became man.  You are just deluding yourself that you are talking to an angel.  You fast too much that you began to see things that are not there.  Slap yourself in the face.  Maybe that would awake you to your senses.
But Mary said “No” to contraceptive mentality and “yes” to God.  And in doing so, she undid the disobedience of Eve, who took the fruit of disobedience in her womb, believing that she would be like God who can define what is good and what is evil.  Mary, said, “yes,” and the whole plan of salvation unfolded starting from her Immaculate womb:
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.
It is Mary’s openness to life that should serve as model for all women.  A married woman becomes open to life if she accepts whatever child God gives her as a gift to be treasured and cared for.  Because the child is so great a gift, a woman must prepare for such great responsibility, by not having intercourse outside of marriage.  Chastity is the path to marriage and modesty is the guardian of chastity.  As the Song of Songs says: “I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and hinds of the field, do not arouse, do not stir up love, before its own time.”
For the members of the Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH), if you still consider yourself Catholic, listen to what Pope Paul VI wrote in his encyclical Humanae Vitae:
Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good,” it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.

Will we really continue to overflow with new students? The reality about our birth rate

For more on the Wall Street Journal op-ed referenced here, see this: Wall Street Journal op-ed slams RH bill!

Your bosses, the schoolchildren
By: Antonio Montalvan II
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Monday, July 30th, 2012

“You must also tell it like it is,” President Aquino, in a foul mood, was heard castigating media at the recent anniversary celebration of “TV Patrol,” a prime-time news program. That’s what we think: He must tell it like it is by getting his facts right, especially in a State of the Nation Address.

The shortage of classrooms, desks and textbooks will be over, but “sikapin nating huwag uling magka-backlog dahil sa dami ng estudyante.” This is the nuance of that statement: More students are coming into our schools even as we address the backlog.

What kind of selective data is being whispered into his ears? Reading the litany of statistics on his teleprompter (impressive), the President could not have missed one glaring data from the National Statistics Office (NSO). The multisectoral nationwide Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines Inc. (ALFI) took note of this discrepancy by comparing it to the government data from the NSO.

The data, easily accessed through the NSO website (, tell us that since the year 2000, the number of babies born every year has actually stopped increasing. Moreover, this has even dropped by 2.2 percent to 1.745 million babies born in 2009 as against 1.784 million babies born in 2008.

Finding new life unwelcome: a false understanding of responsible parenthood

Philippine Daily Inquirer
July 31st, 2012

On the front page of the Inquirer’s July 24 issue, a news article quoted President Aquino as saying: “We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase…. Perhaps the responsible parenthood bill can help address this.”

As I read this, the implication I deduced was that our student population must stop increasing and that the Responsible Parenthood bill can help stop this increase. Moreover, I gathered from the story that our lawmakers rapturously supported the suggestion.

I felt sad upon reading this news item. Which reflects a culture foreign to ours: one that finds new life unwelcome. Such attitude is the forerunner of the culture of death that overpowered the old world which seems unable to escape its grip. It is also the attitude of the defeated. This is so ironic. The President said, “Last year, I challenged you to fully turn your back on the culture of negativism; to take every chance to uplift your fellow Filipinos. From what we are experiencing today, it is clear: You succeeded.” And yet here are his legislators clapping their hands to show approval of the idea that we cannot educate an increasing population. They are showing defeat even before we have really fought the battle.

The Responsible Parenthood bill in its present form promotes contraception and not responsible parenthood. It is antilife. The term as used in the bill is a misnomer. Responsible parenthood as taught by Pope Paul VI means generously bringing into this world as many children that the parents are able to support and educate. And should they have good reasons not to have them for the time being or for always, then natural family planning is the option which essentially means discipline and respect of the spouses for each other, both of which are also signs of spousal love.

If the Responsible Parenthood bill espouses the original idea of responsible parenthood as taught by Paul VI, then it will be a bill worth supporting.


The contraceptive ideology

From the blog of Jemy Gatdula:

is the subject of my Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday (July 27-28, 201 -- CAP) issue of BusinessWorld:

Last June, the Department of Health issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 2012-0009. The declared goal of the AO was to reduce the “unmet need for modern family planning,” specifically the minimization of “maternal mortality.” But the same raises more questions than the answers it attempted to provide. Where is the need to control our population when it’s already unquestioned that it’s precisely that which gives the Philippines superior competitive advantage? Reduce maternal deaths? Then why not provide better medical facilities and services rather than contraception?

The entire thing smacks of mere ideological bias. I don’t think anybody reasonably believes anymore today that the push for contraception is due to economics or female health. Unfortunately, such bias runs on several deeply flawed assumptions. The first is that religious objections find no basis in reason. The second is that institutions are male-imposed creations. The third is that the empowerment of women requires detaching responsibility from sex. The first two are nonsense. It’s the third we shall focus on, not because it has any merit but rather due to the peculiar emotional attraction that underlies it. I would even go so far to say that the only reason this contraception issue has the support it allegedly has is simply because of this myth.

Two recent Manila Times editorials on the RH bill

26 July 2012 

ADB says, “Asia’s aging population is a development challenge, since caring for the elderly can be costly and economic growth and productivity depend on a labor force regularly replenished with young adult workers.”

That is the serious problem being faced by Western Europe and Russia. 

Japan and Korea, whose pensions and care for the elderly are among the world best, are suffering because they have overwhelmingly succeeded in the population-control programs. They now suffer from what experts call “the empty cradle” phenomenon. 

Japan and Korea may have policies and laws to provide generously for retired workers and the elderly but they are facing the problem of where to get the money for the pensions and the benefits from.

The pension funds, like those of our SSS and the GSIS, need contributions from young workers and employees so that the pensions for the retirees can be paid. But if there are no more millions of young Japanese and Koreans entering the labor force and enrolling in the pension funds how can the pensioners be paid?

Japan is increasingly depending on robots to do the work that used to be done by salaried workers. Robots are getting to be more efficient and competent—sometimes even more so than humans. Robots however do not contribute to the pension fund.

That is why the population control desired by proponents of the so-called Reproductive Health Bill must be recognized as a threat to Philippine development, to the economy and to the common good.

Last April, a World Health Organization official, warned that the Philippines must be ready for older people constituting larger and larger parts of the population.

More money would be needed to care for the aged in our country.

The heart-breaking movie Soylent Green 30 years ago offered a solution. Governments would just give seniors who reach the appropriate age a quiet and happy death. Then, because food would be scarce, their bodies would be processed into edible soylent green.

For a better future than that we must reject the mistake that the Western Powers imposed on mankind—population control through contraception and abortion. Instead, the new world order should favor population replenishment and the florescence of the Culture of Love.

World Health Organization sees the population of people 65 and older outnumbering children younger than five in our Western Pacific Region by 2017. By 2050, says WHO, 65 and older adults will outnumber children under 14.

“The older age group is becoming the ‘new normal’ for the world’s population. Populations are ageing fastest in low and middle-income countries. A transition toward an older society took more than a century in Europe and might take place in less than 25 years in countries like Brazil, China and Thailand,” WHO said.

Contrary to the population control lobbyists’ words, our birth rate has been declining steadily. It is now approaching the replacement fertility rate minimum of more than two births essential to avoid the ageing population disaster the West, Japan, Korea and even China have.


28 July 2012 

PROPONENTS of the so-called Reproductive Health Bill are now marshalling their forces to call for a vote on it in both houses of Congress. Their zeal had noticeably been petering out in the weeks before the President delivered his SONA on Monday. But they got a morale boost when they thought they heard him endorse the RHB.

The bill is not as much about reproductive health as about empowering women and giving them the choice to terminate their pregnancy so that they may more freely concentrate on doing what they want without the burdens of the “sickness” they call pregnancy and the sacrificial work of caring for unwanted babies and raising unwanted children. The RHB is also about being able to end unwanted pregnancies that are the result of their drunken husbands lust. It is also about so many wonderful goals to help women become more fulfilled human beings.

But the bill will result in the killing of human embryos, the killing funded by government and made possible by government fiat, as ordered by the RH law (if, God forbid, the RHB gets passed and enacted.) This will surely happen because the law would command that medicines in pill and other forms, and various means and tools, to prevent pregnancies be made freely available for anyone who has the money to buy them and for the government to give these gratis to indigent women. 

The reason human embryos will surely be killed is that these contraceptive pills have been scientifically proved to be destructive of them. They do not prevent pregnancies by preventing the fertilization of the female egg by the male sperm. What they do is snuff the life of the fertilized ovum, which is the beginning of a human being, the early embryo, the first stages of the baby, by poisoning it. Then, in case the embryo is not terminated by poisoning, the contraceptive medicines’ next effect is to coat the uterine wall with a toxic substance to keep the embryo from clinging to the wall of the mother’s uterus. 

Killing tiny babies in the womb

The tiny baby, which some people would rather think about as just cells and a blob of blood, and not the human life that it is, must attach herself or himself to the uterine wall to go on living. This attachment is the way the tiny baby can get sustenance from the mother and grow an umbilical cord through which the mother’s blood containing life-giving substances flows to make the baby grow. 

Opponents of the RHB have asked the proponents to make a list of contraceptive medicines that do not kill the fertilized embryo. They cannot supply a list. They say it is not the job of the law and the government to determine that scientific fact. It should be left to the pharmaceutical companies and the pharmacists dispensing the medicines to determine which contraceptives do what. 

That reply is irresponsible. Why pass a law that will cause the death of babies?

Now killing babies, even in embryo form, is a crime. It is a crime NOT because the Catholic Church and other religions say so. It is a crime because the Philippine Constitution says human life begins at the moment of conception and it is the duty of the Philippine state to protect and nourish human beings from the time of their conception to the time of their natural death.

Therefore, the Philippine government would be committing genocide against Filipinos if the RHB is enacted. Doctors who prescribe contraceptive pills that kill and the pharmacists who sell them, the government nurse and public health officer and caregiver who are ordered by the law to distribute the abortion-causing contraceptive pills, will become murderers of little babies in the womb.

Most members of Congress in both houses understand this. That is why the RHB has not been passed despite years of campaigning by Filipino population control and pro-choice activists supported by the foreigners who bankroll them.

Responsible Parenthood is not the same as RHB 

The President in his last SONA said nothing about supporting the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill. What he mentioned was “Responsible Parenthood.” He said: “Sa taon din pong ito, masisimot na rin ang 61.7 million na backlog sa textbook upang maabot na, sa wakas, ang one is to one ratio ng aklat sa mag-aaral. [This very year, we will wipe out the 61.7 million backlog in textbooks so that we will achieve the one to one ratio of books to students.] [Applause] Sana nga po, ngayong paubos na ang backlog sa edukasyon, sikapin nating huwag uling magka-backlog dahil sa dami ng estudyante. Sa tingin ko po, Responsible Parenthood ang sagot dito. [May it be, now that the backlog in education is about to end, that we strive not to face backlogs again because of the number of students. In my view, Responsible Parenthood is the answer. [Applause]”

Obviously, the President is asking Filipinos to do birth control and family planning. But he never said anything about genocidal artificial family planning methods proposed in the RHB. How can he endorse artificial birth control pills that not only cause abortions but also cause cancers on the women who use them?

RHB proponents have declared that they are not fighting the Catholic Church. They are saying that because a Catholic bishop has understood President Aquino’s mention of “Responsible Parenthood” in his SONA as the President’s and the RHB proponents’ “declaration of war” against the Church.

The RHB activists may not be waging war against the Church—only its values and moral teachings. But they are fighting common sense, scientific knowledge of what these abortifacient medicines do and the Constitution.

Erwin Tulfo: why the rush to pass the RH bill?

Erwin Tulfo's July 27, 2012 column for the Manila Times does not necessarily commit support for the Catholic position towards the RH bill and still shows acceptance of the "overpopulation" argument. Nevertheless it asks many serious questions regarding the RH bill and its unwarranted costs, and clearly states that it should not be the government's priority:

What’s the hurry? 
I really can’t see the logic why PNoy and his allies in Congress are in a hurry to pass the Reprodcutive Health Bill when there are other pressing matters that need attention such as the alarming increase of minors involve in crimes, incest-rape cases in the far- flung barrios, solving the massive poverty problem, building more schoolhouses, hiring more qualified teachers, curbing inflation, making the price of electricity cheaper, territorial dispute with China, etc . . . 
I agree that we are facing problems in the growing number of maternal mortality, upsurge in teenage pregnancies, and definitely the population explosion within the next few years if it cannot be controlled by the government. 
But aren’t condoms and other contraceptives already available in the market? 
Besides, passing the RH Bill in both houses will mean another several billions of pesos to implement the law to solve or prevent the problems presented by RH bill advocates. 
How about the other problems plaguing the nation today? Doesn’t it need special attention too and funding like the education of barrio folks to reduce the alarming increase of incest in those areas? 
Or perhaps the unending problem of unemployment and our very poor health care system that needs rehabilitation fast? 
So to our top lawmakers . . . Your Honors, let us put our priorities in proper perspective.

Doctor and former contraceptive user turned pro-life advocate: the edifying example of Dr. Dolores Octaviano

Published by Manila Times on July 1, 2012:


Editor’s note: Every Wednesday (5:30 p.m.), Saturday (10:30 p.m.) and Sunday (10:30 a.m.) the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) Global Catholic Network features the program “Catholic Lives Asia.” It is hosted by Chi Chi Robles, who interviews a guest whose inspiring life story is an example of how a Catholic should live.

Spirituality Times offers a retelling of the televised interview story for the printed page. Today’s life story is that of Dr. Dolores “Dolly” Octaviano, an endocrinologist of Iloilo City who is also a champion for life. The show appears in TV stations of the Catholic Media Network.

AN endocrinologist, Dr. Dolores “Dolly” Octaviano holds clinic hours in many hospitals in Iloilo City.

“I am the 9th of 10 children. My mother was a housewife, my father a farmer. If we had the foreign family planning program then, I would not be here, ” Dr. Octaviano shares.

Now parents of four, Dr. Octaviano and her husband, a former seaman, are deeply involved in the prolife movement. 

“Initially I was not really all that prolife. I was a nominal Catholic. I even used the pill and had a ligation. But the grace of God touched me,” Dr. Octaviano confesses, and adds, “God’s grace will touch any life he chooses and he gave me the grace to recognize that being a Catholic is a defense of Jesus, it’s a defense of everything noble in us.”

Monday, July 30, 2012

Archbishop Jose Palma: "There is an ill portent for the nation when government does not look at its own population as a source of grace and blessing."

Every birth is a gift from God; every new life, a blessing; every birth a cause for rejoicing and praising God who creates new life only out of love.

Our country’s positive birth rate and a population composed of mostly young people are the main players that fuel the economy. A fact that even the government itself acknowledges as it is determined to feed, educate and keep the young people healthy.

And rightly so, for even our Constitution acknowledges that human resource is a primary social and economic force.

Earlier this year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that the hard earned salaries of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that were sent to their families for the first 11 months last year amounted to $18.3 billion, which is a 7.3 percent increase in the same period in 2010.

Filipino men and women who endure the travails of working on foreign soil play a significant role in propping up our economy.

The country’s robust population is a big boost to our economy, according to former US President Bill Clinton, local and international financial institutions and the public sector.

It is therefore quite disturbing when the country is told that having too many school children is a burden to the national budget.

Can we have enough of schooled, skilled, diligent and highly driven young people who are a driving force of economic progress?

The draconian population control policy of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill would only curtail our economic growth. The problem of countries with former robust economies is the lack of young workers for their industries and inadequate support for their aging population.

The issue on maternal deaths is a serious concern. The solution does not lie in suppressing births as provided in the RH Bill.

Providing proper and adequate maternal care could be done without passing the RH bill, but by strengthening and improving access to existing medical services.

There is an ill portent for the nation when government does not look at its own population as a source of grace and blessing.

There is a grave reason to worry when government would rather suppress population through an RH bill instead of confronting the real causes of poverty.


Archbishop of Cebu

President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

Statement on RH Bill - Bishop Palma

Former Senator Francisco Tatad: RH bill will cause "religious persecution, pure and simple"

An op-ed published today on Manila Standard:

By Francisco S. Tatad
July 30, 2012

In the biggest international conference ever held, some 50,000 delegates representing 190 countries in Rio de Janeiro last month, and under the leadership of the Holy See, the G-77, and some G-20 countries,  delivered the most stunning  blow against the war on population being waged  by the world’s neo-Malthusians, eugenicists and racial supremacists in the name of  reproductive health.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, otherwise known as the Earth Summit, deleted the term “reproductive rights” from the outcome document after it was shown that it was nothing but a code word for “abortion,” as openly admitted by the US State Department.

It was a global victory for plain common sense.

In most of the First World, beginning with Russia, Japan, and Western Europe, the real emergency today is the ageing and shrinking population, known as the “demographic winter” and caused by falling fertility and birth rates.  Contraception, sterilization, abortion and the introduction of same-sex “marriage,” now championed by many governments, are directly responsible for this.

UN forecasts predict that by 2050 there will be more seniors (65 years old and above) than younger people around the world, with the possible exception of some African countries and perhaps the Philippines, if they are able to escape the sustained attack of the global population controllers.

been spared.  Recent demographic studies using data from the United Nations Population Division and appearing in the June 1 issue of Policy Review show that 48 of the 49 Muslim-majority countries and territories have undergone steep fertility decline over the past three decades.

Many governments now agree that “depopulation” is the next global crisis.  This was pointed out during the Russian government-supported Demographic Summit in Moscow on June 29-30, 2011, and the sixth World Congress of Families in Madrid on May 25-27, 2012.

The Moscow Declaration issued at the end of the summit noted that “42 percent of all humankind live in countries where even simple replacement of old generations is not taking place.  The destructive process of swift drop of fertility and birth rates has swept all the continents on our planet. In the nearest historical period, the negative demographic trends can bring about extinction of whole peoples, destruction of States, and disappearance of unique cultures and civilizations.”

The Declaration called on “the government of all nations and on international institutions to develop immediately a pro-family demographic policy and to adopt a special international pro-family strategy and action plan aimed at consolidating family and marriage, protecting human life from conception to natural death, increasing the birth rate, and averting the menace of depopulation.”

The Declaration called for an end to “State interference in the private life of the family under the pretext of so-called ‘family planning,’ ‘protection of the rights of the child,’ and ‘gender equality.’  We consider it inadmissible to continue to policy of birth control, which is one of the greatest threats to the survival of humankind and a means of incursive discrimination against the family,” the document said.

For its part, the Madrid Declaration of May 27, 2012 affirmed that “our societies need more people, not fewer,” and that “human aging and depopulation is the true demographic danger facing the earth in this century.”

It further declared that “lasting solutions to human problems, including the current economic crisis, rise out of families and small communities,” and “cannot be imposed by bureaucratic or judicial fiat.  Nor can they be coerced by outside force.”

The Philippines has a robust population of not less than 95 million, growing at 1.9 percent per annum. At least eight million work overseas, contributing at least $18 billion to the national economy every year.   The fertility rate stands at 2.3, which means the average Filipino woman is capable of bearing 2.3 children during her reproductive years.

This is a valuable resource that is no longer available to so many other countries.  In Japan, the Philippines’ No. 1 trading partner, investor and source of Official Development Assistance, Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada told Vice President Jejomar C. Binay during their talks in Tokyo on July 17 that their two countries need to complement each other because the Philippines has something which Japan no longer has, namely  its “young labor.”

The median age in Japan is 45 years, while it is 22.7 years in the Philippines.  Provided the Philippines invests properly in its population, and does not throw away its demographic dividend, it will become one of the strongest Asian economies in less than 40 years, predict the economic forecasters.

However, the country’s politicians could still throw away this demographic advantage. After their defeat in Rio, the global population controllers have redoubled their efforts to reduce the population of developing counties. In London, US billionaire Melinda Gates, together with the UK Department for International Development, organized a family planning summit where she raised $4.6 billion to fund population control programs against poor women in developing countries.

Part of that money could end up funding RH activities in the Philippines, not excluding the campaign to enact the population control cum reproductive health bill.  There could be no shortage of NGO- or political takers either.

The House of Representatives has decided to cut short the floor debates on the RH bill and ram it through for immediate passage, after President Benigno S. Aquino III said in this July 23 State of the Nation Address:  “We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase.  Perhaps Responsible Parenthood can help address this.”

Responsible parenthood, properly understood, is not controversial at all.   Article XV, Section 3 (1) of the Constitution 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.”  But it is not for the State to prescribe, regulate or supervise.

Responsible parenthood normally refers to “an attitude toward parenthood—not separated from the practice of virtue—that encompasses God’s plan for marriage and family…” It may be exercised “either by the mature and generous decision to raise a large family, or by the decision, made for grave motives, and with respect for the moral law, to avoid a new birth for the time being and for an indeterminate period.”

This is well explained in Humanae Vitae, a 1968 encyclical by Pope Paul VI, which condemns contraception and sterilization as “intrinsically evil.”  The encyclical marked its 44th anniversary on July 25, the same day the House leadership decided to fast track the RH bill.

Anti-RH advocates like to point out that Paul VI’s prophetic warnings about the ill effects of contraception have all come to pass.   True to his warning, contraception has led to widespread conjugal infidelity and a general lowering of morality; men have ceased respecting women in their totality and have begun treating them as mere instruments of selfish enjoyment rather than as cherished partners; the widespread acceptance of contraception by couples has encouraged unscrupulous governments to intrude into the sanctity and privacy of families.

The Pope, however, had failed to predict that widespread abortion, which follows universal contraception, would kill more unborn children than all the fatalities in all the wars ever waged by man since war began.

No government enacts a law to divide the nation. Thus far, the RH bill has already deeply divided the nation.  But the administration appears hell-bent on enacting this highly divisive measure.  What exactly is the rationale? The ultimate game plan?  Even the highly prestigious Wall Street Journal worries it could derail the country’s economic takeoff.

The RH bill has been promoted as a health measure, but it is in fact nothing but a population control measure.  It prescribes birth control as an essential requirement and component of marriage, which is a natural human institution, not designed nor instituted by the State.  It also prescribes the compulsory sex education of children by the State.

In theory, the bill leaves to the individual the choice of method or means to use, but it prescribes birth control as something all must practice, under pain of certain penalties.    Opponents of the bill liken it to the reproductive laws imposed by communist regimes on their populations or by totalitarian regimes like the Nazis on their helpless captives.

So patent and non-debatable is the constitutional offense.  Sec. 12 of Article II of the Constitution 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 parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.”

Under this provision, the State is the constitutional protector of conception, just as parents are the primary educators of their children.  As such, the State cannot be a party to any program of contraception. The RH bill, on the other hand, makes the State the first provider of contraception and sterilization——-the first and ultimate preventer of conception.  It also makes the State the primary educator of children.

To the country’s Roman Catholics, the bill is an undisguised anti-Catholic measure. It savages an important doctrine of their faith, and then requires them to provide the tax money to fund the program that would attack their faith.  The bill is arrogantly telling Catholics not to learn their faith from their Church but to learn it from Congress instead.

It is religious persecution pure and simple, a perversion of Church-State relationship, and the victim is not a small religious minority but rather the overwhelming majority of 95 million Filipinos.

President Aquino has been told not to fear the Catholics. The bishops issue no fatwas, and there are no suicide bombers among the laity, they are not even armed like some Muslim Filipinos.  Neither are they as politically organized as some powerful politico-religious sect, which votes as a bloc during elections. “There is no such thing as a Catholic vote,” Aquino has been told.

Indeed, in a predominantly Catholic country where almost everyone running for office is a baptized (even if lapsed) Catholic, people do not vote as “Catholics.”  But should the Aquino government ever enact a law that attacks a doctrine of the Catholic faith, as surely as the sun rises in the East, there will be a Catholic response. It could be a Catholic vote, a Catholic protest, or maybe even a Catholic revolt.  No one can say, but there will be a Catholic response.

In February 1986, a post-election statement by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), questioning Marcos’s continued stay in office after the flawed snap presidential elections, provided the “moral basis” for the Edsa revolt that ultimately installed PNoy’s mother, Cory Aquino, as revolutionary president.  It seems only fair to hope that Mr. Aquino has not forgotten his own history, and that not all the encouragement of his foreign patrons will prompt him to tempt Providence.

Former Senator Aquilino Pimentel on true Responsible Parenthood

Responsible Parenthood (Nene Pimentel)

Bernardo Villegas: Vote No to RH Bill!

Vote No to RH Bill (Bernardo M Villegas PhD)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

For the record: Bishop Broderick Pabillo et al in defense of the Church's position towards HIV-AIDS and HIV-AIDS victime

In recent days a variety of articles have appeared in the Philippine media, blaming the Catholic Church for the spread of AIDS! Why? Because, according to these reports, the Church condemns the use of condoms, and thus it can be assumed that this condemnation is obeyed by men who have sexual relations with other men! A patently illogical criticism, as practicing homosexuals are evidently not obeying the Catholic Church in the first place. 

Philippine Daily Inquirer
Monday, July 23rd, 2012

This refers to “Overlooked epidemic” (Inquirer, 7/8/12) on the rising number of HIV/AIDS cases in the Philippines. Surprisingly, the editorial failed to focus on where the disease actually is and those most at risk. Without focus, we end up just shooting in the dark. The Church also becomes victim of the haphazard criticism that it “has not been of much help, with its continued opposition to the use of condoms.” This statement overlooks vital facts.

Worldwide, the Catholic Church provides over 25 percent of all health care for those living with HIV/AIDS. In the Philippines, the Catholic bishops have shown concern on the issue as far back as 1993 with its pastoral letter “In the Compassion of Jesus” and “Who is my Neighbor?” in 2011. The Philippine Catholic HIV & AIDS Network (PhilCHAN), under the guidance of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, is engaged in a values-based prevention campaign in schools and parishes; actively promotes voluntary counseling and HIV testing for early diagnosis and treatment, as well as behavior change; provides psycho-spiritual accompaniment to those newly diagnosed with the virus, and has set up a modest fund for livelihood support. The Church is at the frontline of the battle against AIDS, helping—and supported by many NGOs—in government efforts to combat this deadly disease. It may thus be unfair, even a sign of ignorance or prejudice, to claim that the Church has not been of much help.

On condoms, well, it does not support the widespread distribution of condoms because there is no evidence that the strategy is effective at a population-wide level. Dr. Edward Green, former director of the prestigious AIDS Prevention Research Project at Harvard University, wrote that scientific studies in the Lancet, Science and British Medical Journal confirmed that “condoms have not worked as a primary intervention in the population-wide epidemics of Africa.” This can be explained by inconsistent condom use and by the phenomenon of “risk compensation” whereby an individual who thinks he is protected actually takes more risks.

The editorial surprisingly also overlooks the group most at risk of HIV, the so-called MSM, males who have sex with other males. Eighty-five percent of the new cases of HIV in the Philippines this year involve MSM. If we want to target the epidemic, we need to target the most at risk groups. The USAID report from 2001, clearly stated that “the Church is not a hindrance to the high-risk groups…. where the rise in HIV is happening…. Those men probably do not have hesitations about condoms because of their Catholic faith.” It would thus be ludicrous and rather short-sighted to blame the spread of HIV in the MSM group on the Church.

Those who blandly promote condom use as a magic panacea for the MSM group are doing our brothers a great disservice and an injustice.

—BISHOP BRODERICK S. PABILLO, bishop-advisor and CBCP-NASSA national director; DR. JAMES MCTAVISH, FMVD, MD, FRCSed, MA(Bioethics), STL; SR. PILAR VERZOSA, RGS;

Catholics do have brains, Ms. Evangelista.

For the record:

Philippine Daily Inquirer
July 6th, 2012

This is in reaction to Patricia Evangelista’s column titled “Contraceptive morality” (Inquirer, 6/24/12).

There is definitely a Christian and Catholic stand on the issue of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. The faithful are a thinking, intelligent lot; and, above all, they realize the inherent dignity of man, each of whom is unique in his own way.

Tampering with a wonderfully made body of a woman—through the use of contraceptives to avoid getting pregnant, which is not a disease—is unethical. The integrity of her body deserves respect. Her reproductive organ is made for a good purpose. In line with chastity, only within marriage can the conjugal act be performed. And marriage is the total, permanent, unconditional self-giving of a man and a woman. Sacrifice, through abstinence or the use of natural methods like the Billings method, may be used to space childbirths, for serious reasons. Such sacrifice further enhances the love between a husband and his wife.

It is sad to note that the women-senators are aggressively endorsing the bill. These women were voted into office to take care of the wellbeing of Filipino women. And yet they aggressively seek passage of the RH bill that promotes the use of contraceptives that have been scientifically proven to be abortifacient and to cause cancer in women. What a disservice to womanhood. The senators are duty-bound to uphold the mandate they were sworn to perform.


Condoms can't be eaten

Saturday, July 21, 2012

For the record: Fr. Gregory Gaston on World Population Collapse

World Population Collapse: Lessons for the Philippines

Gregory D. Gaston 
Reproduced with Permission 

A hundred countries today face increasing economic, socio-cultural, political and security problems while their populations age and start to decline, a result of Total Fertility Rates (TFR´s) falling below replacement levels since the 1960´s. As their population pyramid gradually becomes inverted, their ageing workforce, which foresees little replacement, needs to support a growing number of elderly. To resolve these difficulties, their governments desperately encourage their citizens to raise more children. If ever they succeed, their few working people in the future will be doubly burdened, as they must support not only the many elderly they already have, but also the many children they wish to have.

All this the Philippines will also have to experience after its fertility rate sinks to levels below replacement by 2025, brought about by today´s general trend of parents bearing less children, coupled with increasing emigration of individuals and families. It would be pointless to abandon the normal population pyramid we still have today, and then, like rich countries at present, wish to regain it by all means.

A serious study of the latest world demographic data will reject population control as a quick-fix solution to poverty in the Philippines, and hopefully encourage efforts towards good governance, both in the public and the private sectors: steps that will allow the Philippines to take full advantage of its rich human resources, which it can share to ageing countries desperately in need of them. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

The de-facto legalization of the RH bill?

From CBCP for Life:

MANILA, July 19, 2012–With RH bill proponents facing imminent defeat in Congress, the Department of Health (DOH) has circumvented the legislative process with the sudden release of an administrative order laying out a nationwide strategy for the distribution of artificial contraceptives.

This was bared by the lawyer heading the legal office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), who described DOH Administrative Order 2012-0009 as practically the implementing rules of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill which has yet to pass Congress.

“Its issuance at a time when Congress and the Senate are deliberating on RH bills mocks and disrespects the authority of a co-equal branch of government,” Atty. Jo Aurea Imbong stated in her preliminary critique of the DOH order.

Misleading people with the “unmet need” myth

Moreover, the DOH is peddling the myth of “unmet need” to justify the surprise order, whose strategy of “subtle coercion and undue influence” could impinge on religious freedom, she added.

Citing a 1996 study presented at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health by Prof. Lant Pritchett, professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Imbong said millions of women may want to delay or avoid pregnancy, but that does not mean they want 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 study said.

Imbong said that “In the Philippines, non-use of a ‘modern’ family planning method among women does not mean they have an ‘unmet need.’ There are myriads of reasons why women do not use artificial contraceptives.”

“Some women refuse to use a method for reasons of religious conviction. Others refrain because of aversion to the side effects, others for fear of mortal consequences to health from the carcinogenic substances. In these cases, there is refusal, hence, there is no ‘need’ to speak of. And yet, all cases of non-use is routinely interpreted as a gaping ‘need’ to justify a massive family planning program such as this,” she pointed out.

The pill has been labeled by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 1 carcinogen along with asbestos, formaldehyde and other harmful substances.

More recently, a large-scale US study found that injectables more than doubled the risk of breast cancer. In the Philippines, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths.

If there is really an unmet need, Imbong questioned why the order explicitly mandates the Commission on Population (POPCOM) to make sure that there is always “increased demand” for contraceptives.

Strategizing to overturn cultural, religious values

Imbong warned that the new DOH program’s communication plan involves “behavior change,” which means people will be encouraged to turn against their religion.

“The ‘communication’ program described in the Administrative Order is clearly patterned after the WHO strategy of neutralizing and overturning the citizens’ traditional religious, cultural and family values. These are considered by WHO as barriers or obstacles to the population control agenda,” she said.

For instance, DOH teams will go door-to-door to “preach” and exhort couples and individuals in the ethos of contraception in a manner that is person-to-person, “client-centered, life-cycle approach on delivering family planning services at any point of contact.”

“This is a highly unethical and unlawful act of ‘meddling with the private life or family relations’ of spouses and individuals,” the lawyer said.

Imbong also said the DOH’s plan would be a “betrayal of the poor,” who need livelihood more than condoms and pills.

“The incessant targeting by DOH of poor families for contraception and sterilization abuses and exploits the moral dependence, indigence, and other weakness of the poor. This is an open violation of human rights of the poor,” she said.

“If the poor and indigent families have an unmet need, these are for food on their table, medicine for common ailments, nutrition for mothers, infants and children, clean drinking water, electricity, sanitation, education, and means of livelihood.” (Dominic Francisco)


The following is an initial critique of DOH Administrative Order 2012-0009

PRELIMINARY CRITIQUE OF DOH ADMIN. ORDER 2012-009 “National Strategy Towards Reducing Unmet Need for ...

How's this for real change and development?


Wrong investment

No point denying it: the RH bill is about population control

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide: "Even with rising population, this is no problem in my view"

The US Catholic magazine National Catholic Register published an interview (conducted by Brian Caulfield) with Hilario Davide on July 2. Davide was Chief Justice of the Philippines from November 30, 1998 to December 20, 2005. The last 3 exchanges in the interview are very relevant to the topics covered by this blog:

The Philippines stands out as the only nation, besides the Vatican, to prohibit divorce.

Our constitution prohibits divorce and abortion. We are anti-divorce, anti-abortion; we are pro-life, pro-family and pro-marriage under the constitution. The right to life of the unborn from the moment of conception is in the Bill of Rights. But, unfortunately, at one time, the Philippine legislature enacted a bill providing for the implementation of the death penalty for some heinous crimes; but it was repealed much later because it reflected badly on the Philippines, especially among the Catholics.

Has your Catholic faith guided your public service?

I would attribute what I have accomplished to my Catholic faith. I have full confidence in the providence of God. We are told by Jesus how to love our neighbors, and we have to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It is only by the grace of God that you can say that your life has been fulfilled. Even in our family, our children and our grandchildren are brought up being taught how to pursue this life of faith and service to others.
What do you see as the future of the Philippines, which is often called poor and overpopulated?

I am very hopeful for the Philippines and her people. In a recent survey by the University of Chicago, it was demonstrated that, of all the peoples of the world, the Philippines has the greatest level of belief in God. The people’s faith in divine Providence has sustained them, in time of calamity, in time of adversity. So you can see the Filipino people as the most “smiling” in the world. … Even with rising population, this is no problem in my view. We will have more workers, more people and families to work for the greater glory of God.

Blame the unborn!

English translation:

I'm the one who's seen
I'm the one who gets blamed
I'm always the one at fault

I am not an illness.
Pregnancy is not an illness.
NO to the RH bill!

The first three lines come from a song that is very well known in the Philippines.

RH bill: a bill that assumes that men cannot control their passions

RH Bill deception: anti-reproduction, anti-women, anti-prosperity
Dr. Quirino Sugon
June 23, 2012 (from his blog Monk's Hobbit)

Reproductive Health Bill is a deception: it is not for reproduction but for contraception. A woman is sexually healthy if she can conceive a child. This is a simple, objective definition, so I don’t know why the RH Bill wishes to muddle this by adding the woman’s psychological and social well-being. Is pregnancy a sickness that must be cured or the hope of our nation that must be supported? Is pregnancy a privilege only of the rich and not of the poor? Is pregnancy an invention of man and not a gift to be thanked for? Many women who cannot conceive turn to IVF treatment costing fortunes but with low chances of success, resulting to many fertilized embryos dying or remaining frozen in test tubes. Many women who are rich do not wish to have children because this will divide their wealth and double their figure. And many women who wished to stop pregnancy with pills suffered breast cancer.

The RH Bill claims that it is pro-women, but it is actually anti-women. Contraceptives makes sex-before-marriage easier: the woman is not anymore assured of being married by the man, for there is no more pregnancy that shall act as witness to the promises of love made in the heat of the night. Contraceptives makes sex-outside-marriage easier: the wife is not anymore assured that his husband is faithful, because there is no pregnancy that shall cry out scandal in the entire neighborhood. Where does men enter into the picture in the RH Bill? Nowhere. RH Bill assumes that men are weak: they not strong enough to control their passions. RH Bill assumes that men are dumb: they can’t understand the mathematics of the woman’s fertility cycle. And RH Bill assumes that men don’t earn enough: they can’t support a family of eight. This is an insult to men in general and husbands in particular.

The RH Bill promises a prosperous future with only one or two children per family. But without children, there would be no laborers in the fields, workers in the factories, soldiers to defend our country, and priests to offer masses. There are only schools without children, industries without workers, barracks without soldiers, and seminaries without priests. Two children work hard to feed a family of six, which includes their parents and grand parents. The pension system collapses, and the government will be forced to raise the retirement age to 70 or 80 or even 90. It’s a bleak future: the collapse of the Western civilization due to its cultural suicide of not having babies. As Rachel cried out to Jacob: “Give me children or I shall die!” (Gen 30:1)

Thus says the LORD:
In Ramah is heard the sound of sobbing,
bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns for her children,
she refuses to be consoled
for her children—they are no more. (Jer 31:15)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Congressman Roilo Golez on RH, Maternal Deaths and Child Labor

Update 4/7/12: this press release has been picked up by Sun Star Manila: RH 'not a magic wand' vs child labor, maternal deaths

(For background, see this: Lawmakers attribute rise in child labor to lack of RH law)

From Congressman Roilo Golez:

Press Statement on RH and Child Labor, UNFPA, Maternal Mortality and HIV

The pro RH group is blaming the lack of an RH law on the child labor problem in the Philippines. They claim that with an RH law, the child labor problem will disappear. 

What they don't disclose is that child labor is a major problem worldwide, including in countries with strong RH and abortion laws especially in China, the model for RH of many RH advocates in the Philippines.

In their latest available report, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that "around the world, about 250 million children between the ages of five and fourteen work. Of these 250 million children, 120 million of them work full time, with 61% of them working in Asia, 32% in Africa, and 7% in Latin America . In Asia, with China being a leader in the manufacturing business, it's no surprise that they would house 61% of the 120 million full time child laborers. An article by Ching-Ching Ni of the Los Angeles Times describes how the Chinese government forbids child workers under the age of sixteen, but it is also states that this law isn't enforced very well. It's estimated that as many as 10 million children are working in China 's factories, contributing their part to keep China a low-cost manufacturing powerhouse. The employers of child laborers make as much as they can, for as little as they can, as if a life of a child is considered “little” at all." 

After decades of pro- RH, and one-child policy backed by a strong pro-abortion program and more than ten years of 10% economic growth, China still has more than ten million child workers. With that record in China, how can the pro-RH group call the RH bill a magic wand against child labor?

The pro RH group keeps on quoting reports from the UNFPA which is headed by Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin who is from Nigeria. Mr. Babatunde was a recent visitor to the Philippines and he lectured us on the "merits" of RH such as maternal mortality and HIV. The UNFPA office in the Philippines is also headed by a Nigerian, Madam Ugochi Florence Daniels and she is one of those vigorously promoting the RH Bill in the Philippines.

Nigeria has a strong RH program.

But how can said UNFPA officials lecture us on RH when Nigeria has a dire record on child labor, maternal mortality and HIV?

Nigeria has a population of around 170 million compared to our 95 million, but per latest United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) report on Child Labour, Nigeria has "a staggering 15 million children under the age of 14 were working across Nigeria and that many were exposed to long hours of work in dangerous and unhealthy environments. These children, according to the report carried too much responsibility for their age." 

On Maternal Mortality, Nigeria is a very high number 9 in the world while the Philippines 
is a very low no. 76, yet the pro RH group idolizes the UNFPA head who is from Nigeria. 

On HIV, Nigeria has more than 2,000,000 cases, one of the highest in the world while the Philippines is among the lowest. 

Yet, the RH group is listening to the UNFPA executive director and the UNFPA country head for the Philippines, both of whom are from Nigeria where child labor, maternal mortality and HIV rates are severely high and among the highest in the world. RH in Nigeria is apparently a big failure in the fight against child labor, maternal mortality and HIV.

Archbishop Palma of Cebu on the RH and Child Labor Issue

(For the background to this article, see this: Lawmakers attribute rise in child labor to lack of RH law)

From CBCP for Life:

Use funds for RH to address child labor problem – bishop

MANILA, July 2, 2012— Spend funds intended for contraceptives to solve the burgeoning problem of child labor, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Jose Palma told government officials during a recent interview over Radio Veritas.

The Cebu Archbishop was reacting to an announcement made by the Department of Health (DoH) in June that the agency had allocated some P500 million for the distribution of contraceptives.

Palma made the suggestion following an International Labor Organization (ILO) report during the Batang Malaya campaign for child labor-free Philippines that there were 5.59 million children working in the Philippines.

“Instead of buying condoms, the government must use the funds to provide worthy programs for the employment of the parents of these working children,” Palma said.

The prelate expressed disappointment over the government’s incapacity to solve child labor and suggested that the government focus more on urgent issues instead of trying to appease foreign interests, particularly government funding of contraceptives as part of Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

“We should address urgent issues first rather than providing deficient solutions, which are not really the answer to the problem,” he pointed out.

Palma further questioned the notion of contraceptives as the solution to the problem of child labor.

“Is this really a solution or are we doing this because we are commanded by other countries to do so? Or are we doing this because there is, you know, so much money involved?”

The archbishop advised that instead of pouring funds into contraceptives, the government  create better opportunities for parents to eliminate the need for their children to eke out a living. (CBCP for Life)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Upcoming event: NCR Youth Day for Life

UPDATE July 17, 2012: Newer article on CBCP regarding this eventYoung people gear up for NCR Youth Day for Life


From CBCP News (June 15, 2012):

MANILA, June 15, 2012—Young people from the 10 ecclesiastical territories of the National Capital Region are set to gather for the 1st National Capital Region (NCR) youth day that will highlight a discussion on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill as the leading problem of today’s Filipino youth.

Slated on July 22, the youth event is dubbed “The National Capital Region Youth Day for Life! Live. Love. Learn.” The theme is taken from 1 Timothy 4:12 (“Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.”)

Aside from getting together the young crowd, the event is also aiming to gather different leaders of the parish youth ministries or commissions, the leaders of different campus ministries of parochial, private and public school in the region, as well as the leaders of the different transparochial groups or organizations to reflect on the NCR youth’s stand regarding the RH bill.

The NCR youth ministry believes the gathering will serve as a venue for the youth to discuss in depth the content of the consolidated statement of the region on the issue of RH bill and the effects of the controversial measure on the lives of the youth

Aside from that, they will also provide the youth an opportunity to share their inputs and to better understand their statement as well as recommit themselves in the efforts of educating the young people on the region regarding the issue.

According to Peter Eric Pardo, regional youth coordinator of NCR, there will be three talks and three workshops that will be scheduled during the event.

Pardo will be one of the speakers together with Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, country director of the Human Life International and Ms. Renelyn Tan, regional director for Asia of World Youth Alliance.

For the workshops, speakers and facilitators will be Mr. Peter Capistrano, former NCR Youth Leader and Coordinator of the Diocese of Pasig Youth Ministry; Ms. Ann Rosselle Cortes, diocesan youth coordinator of Novaliches and Mr. Dani Villanueva, diocesan youth coordinator of Antipolo.

Scheduled talks are “RH bill, saan ka nanggaling?,” “RH bill, ano ka ba talaga?,” and “RH bill, bakit di kita ma-take?,”. The workshops are about “Live, Love and Learn.”

Pardo added that they are targeting 200 young people ages 15-39 from each ecclesiastical territories of NCR. No venue yet has been announced by the organizers at the moment.

NCR is comprised of Archdiocese of Manila, Dioceses of Parañaque, Pasig, Antipolo, Novaliches, Cubao, Kalookan, Imus and Apostolic Vicariates of Puerto Princesa and Taytay in Palawan. (Jandel Posion)