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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Plagiarism Controversy - Nagtatanong lang po

Currently being shared over Facebook:

Pinoy Templars' open letter to Sen. Pia Cayetano on the Plagiarism Controversy and the RH Bill

The following open letter was published by the mysterious "Pinoy Templars" a few hours ago on their blog. I am re-posting the letter here, for a record of events. I have shied away from posting on the RH-related plagiarism controversy surrounding Senators Sotto and Cayetano, due to the lack of time more than anything else. This is a lacuna that I intend to remedy as soon as possible with 'retrospectives' on the matter. - CAP. 

Dear Madame Senator:

We read with amazement the transcript of your press briefing in reaction to the plagiarism case you are now facing before the Senate ethics committee. There’s no way to describe your defense, but—to borrow your own word — a rehash.

Let’s cut to the chase. Stop lying to the public, Ma’am. Last August, after we exposed your plagiarism, you did a poor job of covering up the evidence. You see, last August 19, we found out that a crucial paragraph of your World Environment Day speech was unceremoniously lifted from the website of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), without any attribution.

The following day, you scrubbed your website, and voila! Footnotes magically appeared on the online text of your speech. We noticed, too, that you rewrote the second paragraph defining “Green Economy,” to make it appear that it was attributed to UNEP. Ma’am, that is not a technical glitch. That is deception.

You know why we know you reworded your speech after the fact? Because we checked the Journal of the Senate. This was the original text, which you lifted verbatim from UNEP:

“Practically speaking, a Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.”

In your scrubbed website, you sandwiched the paragraph above between two new sentences:

UNEP defines a Green Economy as ‘one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing risks and ecological scarcities.’ Practically speaking, a Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. [1] The theme ultimately challenges people to understand and support actions that stimulate a more environment-friendly economy. [2]

You take issue with the fact that your speech on “The Status of the Philippines in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals” was never delivered on the floor. But that does not change the fact that you plagiarized a PowerPoint presentation of a Department of Health official via a webpage with your name on it.

In August, you said: “If at any time, I fail to attribute, I immediately make the necessary corrections and amends.” Well, it took you two months to correct the World Environment Day speech and three years to correct the Millennium Development Goals speech—after we exposed your cut-copy-paste habit. In our dictionary, “immediate” means “occurring or done at once; instant.” Two months or three years is not immediate, Ma’am.

By the way, you might have overlooked your speech titled “Raising Awareness on Breast Cancer” delivered on October 2, 2010. You sure sounded like an expert in medicine and medical equipment when you talked about mammography and biopsy, without citing sources. Ma’am, you lifted sentences word-for-word from medical websites. Is that a technical glitch, too?

We understand your situation, and we know you don’t want to apologize because that will put you in the same boat as your colleague, Sen. Tito Sotto, the subject of vicious character assassination by your lobbyist-friends. You are also running for reelection, and for someone who graduated with “academic distinction, #7 in her class,” and was a member of the Honor Society, Order of the Purple Feather, to admit to plagiarism is such a shame.

Are your lobbyist-friends gonna file an ethics complaint against you like they did to Senator Sotto? A million-dollar question. But we trust your brother and fellow pillar of the emerging Cayetano political dynasty—ethics committee chairman Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano—to ensure that no one, not even his sister, is above the law.

Because if you escape this, you’d be setting a bad example to our youth, who will remember you next time they pass a plagiarized term paper in school: “Sorry, professor, it was a technical glitch.”

You know what, Ma’am? You can still do the public a great service. This time, please stop denying.

Stop denying the foreign abortion agenda behind RH. The RH bill is being pushed by people funded by the largest abortion provider in the world, International Planned Parenthood Federation and other pro-abortion groups. The legal framework for state-funded contraception is the same as that for legalized abortion. Lawyers like you should know that.

Stop denying that hormonal contraception increases the risk of cancer. No less than the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the WHO has classified birth control pills as Class 1 carcinogens, the same as asbestos and formaldehyde. This is scientific research, not opinion.

Finally, stop denying that life begins at fertilization, a clear constitutional precept. Conception is fertilization, as defined by books on law, biology, and pharmacology. This is important because pill manufacturers themselves have disclosed that hormonal contraceptives do not stop at preventing ovulation; they can also prevent implantation, which is an early abortion.

This is the truth. So, please, Senator Pia, stop lying. Stop denying.

Pinoy Templars
Posted by Elisa Sangalang

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On today's full-page ad on the RH bill amendments

Today, a full-page advertisement versus the amended RH bill was published in Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer. The advertisement actually consists of two statements published together:

1. The November 6, 2012 CBCP-ECFL Statement on the Amended RH Bill: (The first document in this postTwo recent statements by Bishop Gabriel Reyes on the RH bill and the Culture of Life)

For now, I'm not posting any image of the ad, as I have none with a resolution good enough to make it readable. At any rate, it simply reproduces the texts linked above. For those who simply want to see how the ad looks like, the website of CFC-FFL has a picture

Two recent statements by Bishop Gabriel Reyes on the RH bill and the Culture of Life (Updated)

(Update 15/11/12: I've uploaded an image of the ECFL statement on the revised RH bill)

Originally posted Nov. 12, 2012: 

Bishop Gabriel Reyes, Ordinary of the Diocese of Antipolo, is the current head of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL).

1. Statement of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life on the revised RH bill, November 6, 2012 (LINK)

A picture of the same statement, courtesy of Pro-Life Philippines: 

2. Lecture on the Blessed Virgin Mary in connection with the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death, June 21, 2012:

By Most Rev. Gabriel V. Reyes, D.D., Bishop of Antipolo

Culture of Life

Before talking about Mary in connection with the culture of life and the culture of death, let me review with you the meaning of the culture of life. in short, the culture of life is a way of thinking, a way of living that is in accordance with the Gospel of Life. To explain the gospel of life, I will depend much on the encyclical letter of Blessed John Paul II, "Evangelium Vitae" the Gospel of Life.

Basically the Gospel of Life teaches that human life has to be respected, promoted, and protected because of the human person. According to Vatican II, "man is the only creature on earth which God willed for its own sake." Because of the transcendent dignity of man "he is the subject of rights which no one may violate – no individual, group, class, nation or state." ("Centesimus Annus", 44) Human rights are rights inherent in every person and prior to any Constitution and State Legislation. The right to life is a primary right of the human person.

The dignity of the human person is based on my things.

First, man has been crated in the image and likeness of God. He is an image of God through his intellect and will. "You have made him little less than a god and crown him with glory and honor. (Ps. 8:5) The glory of God shines on the face of man.

Second, he has been redeemed by Christ, the Son of God, through His suffering and death. Furthermore, Vatican II says: "By his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every human being." This saving event reveals to humanity not only the boundless love of God who "so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (Jn. 3:16) but also the incomparable value of every human person (Evangelium Vitae, 2).

Third, man is called to share in God's own life, in divine life. "Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimension of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and inestimable value of human life even in its temporal phase. (EV, 2). Through the redemption wrought by Christ, God shared his divine life with man making him his son.

"We see here a clear affirmation of the primacy of man over things; these are made subject to him and entrusted to his responsible care, whereas for no reason can he be made subject to other men and almost reduced to the level of a thing." (EV, 34)

Life is not only God's gift to man but is also a sacred reality entrusted to man. He has to take care of it and protect it. He has to bring it to perfection through love and through the gift of himself to God and to his brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

For the record: Pro-Life Philippines versus the revised RH bill

Other position papers versus the revised RH bill:

1) CBCP - ECFL (see first document in this post)
2) CFC-FFL on the Revised RH Bill
3) World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific on the Amended RH Bill

Pro Life Philippines Foundation, Inc.
Position Paper on the New RH Bill Version
Filed at the House of Representatives
Greetings of Peace!

We have received a copy of the new RH bill version which was filed at the House of Representative  last October 23, 2012. For the education and information of our friends and all those who support us, we are releasing this statement in order to shed light on this new proposed RH Bill and it’s implications.

1. There simple is no need for an RH Law. As Senator Tito Sotto has mentioned in his Turno en Contra speech, there are 23 existing laws that mimic the RH bill, and close to 8 billion pesos given to the DOH by the government to fund RH-like programs and projects. Then there is the Magna Carta of Women. The RH bill is simply redundant and unnecessary.

2. The RH bill is a population control measure that masquerades as a bill that will empower women. True women empowerment happens when there are enough jobs for women to support their families as well as education for their children. The funds to be used in purchasing contraceptives can be utilized in projects that directly alleviate poverty and empower women, like building classrooms and schools, roads, bridges, ports, and other infrastructure.

3. The provisions that will allow adolescents to have access to contraceptives are still present. Not that taking them off will convince us to accept this bill, but the presence of these provisions only reinforce our convictions that the RH bill is for population control. Aside from this fact, adolescents should not be given contraceptives as this would only reinforce teen-age sexual activities and lead to teen-age pregnancies.

4. The provision for sex education of adolescents is still present. The important points in sex education are already included in our present curriculum via our biology classes; what the youth need is education and formation geared towards the discovery and enrichment of their talents and skills, and personality development and self-mastery, which are all necessary in preparing them to be efficient members of the workforce. A student who is prepared both physically and emotionally for work will be an asset in any workplace, and if he is poor, he has more chances to bring himself and his family out of poverty.

5. The bill propagates the misconception of poor women needing contraception because they want to limit the number of children born to them, but are too poor to afford contraceptives. Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government professor Lant Pritchett says parents who have large families want large families, meaning parents want the children that they beget. It is also a misconception that poor women cannot afford contraceptives, hence the need for the RH Bill. According to the 2008 National Demographic Health Survey, only less than 1% of women cannot afford contraception.

6. The RH Bill has been a highly divisive issue, with both sides hardly yielding any ground. However, there are certain bills that are not as divisive as the RH bill but will also help this country move forward by curbing graft and corruption. We are referring to the Freedom of Information bill, and the Anti-Dynasty bill. Both the congress and senate would have taken the country a step forward in the right direction had they passed these two bills. Instead they chose to dwell on the RH bill, and because of this our politicians look like they are only after their own selfish interests.

The framers of the RH Bill presented this revised version of the RH bill hoping that they could pass it with the amendments in place. They are sadly mistaken. We still oppose the RH bill, and there shall be no compromise. We value life and the true dignity of women. No to the RH Bill!


Mr. Eric Manalang
President, Pro Life Philippines


This paper was originally posted last week (November 7, 2012) on the website of Pro-Life Philippines

For the record: World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific versus the revised RH bill

For the record: Ricardo Boncan on the RH bill as the product of male irresponsibility

Ricardo Boncan
(Originally published on Sept. 1, 2012)

The reason why we have so many men supporting the RH bill is because men have become wimps! That is right, there is now an epidemic of wimpiness in our society and especially among our legislators and alas our priests. This is especially true of men who pass on the responsibility and accountability of the consequences of having sex solely to women by supporting and persuading them to use oral contraceptives. The condom is no different. It’s the same lack of fortitude of the manly will when he says, “I can’t control my urges so I will use a rubber” to disrupt what God has created to be an act of real love. All these, rationalized as being “natural” or a “basic need” or some other psychobabble term but at the end of the day it is still wimpiness.

There is really no difference between Adam saying, “the woman made me eat it” and telling a woman to take the pill so she won’t get pregnant. It’s the same buck-passing wimpiness of men all over again! Before the pill came into being, men either abstained or owned up and took responsibility for their actions, either by working harder to support a bigger family, marrying the woman if they were not yet married or providing support if they couldn’t marry. A man who didn’t own up to his actions or who allowed a woman to take the fall for it, lost everyone’s respect including his own! That sense of this manly self-respect has been lost in this society.

Complications of pregnancy are a reality and no one wants to see a woman or her baby die from childbirth. However, no one, most of all, real men, would also want to see women risk their health by using oral contraceptives.

My dear women, if you think for one minute that contracepting is empowering, think again, what stake does a man have in that deal …the risk of blood clots, the mood swings, loss of libido, cancer risk… what? Women who support the RH Bill are condoning this culture of unmanly wimpiness. Please don’t, please stop, just say no! Now to the men out there, MAN UP and account for your actions responsibly and morally and stop being wimps!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A student paper's courageous stand versus the RH bill

The recent editorial of DMMAxim, the official Student Publication of DMMA College of Southern Philippines (source):

“The long-term solution”

Despite the condemnation of some religious sectors, the congress has been speeding up the passage of the“Reproductive Health Bill” or otherwise known as the “Responsible Parenthood Bill” as they stand on their objective to provide an immediate solution to the exploding population of our country which is pointed out to be the root cause of poverty.

Part of the content of the bill is the prevention of the widely spread sexually transmitted disease, information on sex and reproduction, unwanted pregnancy, and other reproductive health concerns through the use of modern contraceptive methods.

People might wonder, however, what the real drive of the bills.  As it has been observed, anyone today can freely purchase a condom and other forms of contraception whether in a pharmacy or in a convenience store. In fact, some parents have been using condoms and other forms of contraception in order to space the birth of their children. Also, some of the youth today who engaged in pre-marital sex are already knowledgeable about these. On the other hand, some religious sectors have already recommended an alternative way in controlling population which does not violate the tenets of the church, such as the existing family planning program which uses natural and scientific knowledge and methods.

Taking these into consideration would lead to the question: Is the population of our country really the root cause of poverty?

A huge part of our population belongs to the ranks of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). In the year 2009, remittances from the OFW sector reached a record of US$ 16.4 Billion which is equivalent to 10 percent of the gross domestic product of our country that year. If these remittances were only used appropriately for the people, it would have been of great help, if not totally address, poverty.

What really happens in the Philippines is a grave unequal distribution of wealth. The rich gets richer, while the poor gets poorer and remain vulnerable, while the powerful politicians have a stranglehold control over the Philippine government. When they should be formulating resolutions to solve the poverty, they keep on grabbing the resources left from our treasury. At the end of the day, they fail to deliver what the people really need.

Indeed, RH bill cannot be placed as an address to our countless problems. The rising poverty rate cannot be blamed on the population, but on the corruption that takes place in the high offices of our government. What our lawmakers have been doing right now is formulating an instant solution to poverty without addressing the root cause of it. If our lawmakers are sincere enough in addressing this problem, then they must instead strengthen our laws on corruption cases to prevent some of our corrupt officials from dipping their dirty fingers into the nation’s coffers. Only by then can genuine change and long-term solutions come into existence.

"Against the RH Bill" by Howard Go

From the blog of Pauline Cauton, Catholic by Choice

Against the RH Bill 
by Howard Go

Part 1

A lot of people think the RH Bill is such a practical law, but it isn’t.

Is it easy to teach people to use condoms? It seems like the answer is so obvious, but it isn’t. Improper use of condoms was a big problem before and introducing it to communities that have never been able to afford it will mean that it will be a problem for them, too. Check out: So, someone might say, we’ll spend more to teach them. But here’s the problem, the RH Bill is not just a distribute-condoms-to-those-in-need-and-teach-them-to-use-it law. It is not just about family planning. It is also about providing better health care to pregnant women in areas with poor hospital services (and this aspect is actually the better part of the law). But, let’s try to see how far family planning as an objective in our country can go; in particular, the artificial contraception way.

For the record: CFC-FFL on the Revised RH Bill

Scrambling to get the Reproductive Health Bill approved before the Christmas break, its authors in the House of Representatives have dangled an enticing gambit by unveiling a ”tamer, watered-down version” of the controversial measure.

The re-packaged Bill aims to bait acceptance from detractors and approval from the general public, on the strength of compromised amendments.

On surface, the amendments appear to bridge the gap separating the proponents from the objectors. But upon closer scrutiny and beneath the veneer of an attempted compromise, the revisions really do little to save the Bill. The reason is simple: THE AMENDMENTS MISS THE POINT.

Some secular reasons for opposing the RH bill