RH bill: WTF

Update: I now support the RH Bill, the new one at least. Because of this revision: Conspicuously absent in the substitute bill is the provision that seeks to allocate an initial P3 billion for the procurement of pills and other contraceptives to be distributed to poor households.

I have long wanted to write about my stand against the RH bill being discussed in congress but felt that I didn’t have the time to reply to all the hate comments I am sure to get after I post my reasoning. As Pro-RH bill has all but stated that anyone who are against the RH bill are anti-women, anti-poor, religious fanatics, and basically are dumbasses. But honestly I view these pro-RH bill as people who jumps to support any bill that will insult the catholic church, never mind the merits of the bill. Let’s examine the RH bill first. Senators has been saying that the aim is to prevent pregnancy fatalities. Apparently according to their statistics, that fatalities due to pregnancy is at an all time high. This is why they say that the bill is pro-women, because they want to prevent pregnancy fatalities. With this in mind, I would have thought that the solution would be better and more affordable health-care services. But it seems that the solution to prevent fatalities due to pregnancy is to prevent pregnancy itself. I am now waiting for an anti car purchase bill to prevent rampant car-napping because what better way to prevent car-napping than preventing people from having cars? You think that is stupid, try reading again the proposed solution for pregnancy fatality.
RH bill is not only about contraceptives distribution.
Really? if you remember lagman and pacquiao’s debate, lagman has amended the proposed RH bill and removed almost every provision that the catholic church are against except for one part, the distribution of free contraceptives. As if it was the only important part of the bill.
Distribution of Contraceptives alone will solve population explosion
To me this is the reasoning that really irritates me. Rich and well-to-do people always assume that they understand how poor people think. They assume that these poor people are just horny because they have nothing else to do with their life, that’s why they have unprotected sex, giving them condoms would ensure that they can still have sex without the worry of having another child. At least that is what the rich and well-to-do would like to think. But here’s the thing, what if they have sex for an entirely different reason than just having nothing better to do? What if their actual purpose is actually having another child, as there are some who believethat every child is an asset that will take care of them in their old age. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of this reasoning. So how do we change this kind of attitude. Through education, of which lagman made an amendment, making sex education non-mandatory.
The bill is still pro-women as it gives women the freedom to choose when to get pregnant
Okay first off, the bill is proposing two contraceptives one is condoms, and the other is birth control pills. Now there have been studies that says pills causes cancer, to be fair there are also studies that says otherwise. I’m not 100% sure which of the two studies is true, but what can be taken here is that there might be some risk. And who will take that risk? men? No, the one taking the risk are women. Because honestly if men are to choose the contraceptive that they will use, they will almost always pick the pill. Why, cause it feels better, there’s no limit on the number of times they can have sex. Say it to me again with a straight face that this bill is pro women.
What I really don’t like about this bill is I really just don’t see how it will help in population control. For the record, I WANT AN RH BILL, but not this version. It will be a waste of 3 billion pesos every year. 3 billion that could have been used to the education budget or other more important things. I also hate the part where people are putting the RH bill on the same level of importance as the FOI bill.


My Report on the Senate Investigation on the Pajero Bishops

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on Wednesday criticized the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee for dragging Catholic bishops into the investigation on misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.

Yes, the same Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago who is the author of the Senate version of the Reproductive Health Bill.

Was it Unconstitutional?

According to the Senator, there is nothing unconstitutional with the Bishops receiving donations from government funds. The senator went as far as saying that just because you’re literate enough to read the constitution doesn’t mean that you can correctly interpret it and that it is the Supreme Court who is the only authority.

So what did the only authorize constitution interpreter said about the issue? Well, according to Senator Santiago (and also by Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, JSD), there was a supreme court ruling back in 1937 in a case filed by the Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent Church (that is a bad ass title, IMO) Mons. Gregorio Aglipay against the Director of Posts who ordered creation of stamps to commemorate the Thirty-third International Eucharistic Congress, organized by the Roman Catholic Church. Click here for the document.

What did the Supreme Court ruled? Well, it was legal because the stamps were not issued and sold for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church, nor were money derived from the sale of the stamps given to that church.

How were the “Luxury” Vehicles Used?

Now, were the “luxury” vehicles given to the Bishops for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church? According to Senator Santiago, no, and asked the people if they have even checked where these Bishops are located. The dioceses are located in some of the poorest mountainous areas in the Philippines where non-4×4 will have a hard time traversing.

Listening to Ex-Vice President Noli de Castro this morning, all he reported about the senate hearing from yesterday was that there was no Pajero and that the bishops are returning the vehicles. Ka Noli even reiterated that be that as it may, the question remains about how they are using these vehicles ignoring the fact that it was already stated from yesterday’s Senate Hearing that the 4x4s were used for charitable purposes and was particularly useful during the typhoon Pepeng.

Were they really Luxury Vehicles?

So do they really need luxury vehicles like a Pajero and all to do that? First of all, define Luxury Vehicle. I’m not very knowledgeable with cars since I do not own one and is certainly not in a financial position in buying one so I’m inept in identifying what is a luxury vehicle and what is not. Is a ten year old, second hand utility vehicle bought for an amount of Php 280,000 considered a luxury vehicle?

Oh you didn’t know that it was actually a ten year old Pathfinder? Well, blame the media for that. I checked the website of Inquirer, GMA news, and ABS-CBN news, and there wasn’t any mention that a second hand utility vehicle was purchased. It was stated by both Senator Santiago and the Bishop of Bontoc-Lagawe during the senate hearing that they purchased a second hand vehicle for less than 300 thousand but was conveniently omitted in any of the article made by these websites.

 Was it unethical?

For non-Catholics, maybe.

But for Catholics, here is what St. John Bosco has to say: “If Satan would appear to me and give me money. I will accept the money and spend it all for the poor. The devil remains to be my enemy but I will use his resources to feed the poor.”

Does anyone remember who Mother Theresa was? Well, here is what she has to say when asked if she accepts donation from the Mafia, “It is not the practice of the church to ask donors where their donations come from. Our duty is to make sure all donations go the poorest of the poor.”

These two statements was the answer of Cardinal Sin when asked why the church was accepting donations from PAGCOR.

Receiving is different from asking.

It was said that the Bishops actually asked for the vehicles, and not offered. The bishops stated that they were informed that it is possible to ask PCSO for funds if the purpose is for social services. Of course, the Bishops applied for it as they really do need the 4x4s to reach the people they are trying to help.

If it was not for Personal Use, why were the Cars Registered Under the Bishop’s Names?

Here is another one that was explained but the media conveniently forgot to include in their news. They were the ones who reported about the cars being registered under the Bishop’s name but when Senator Vicente Sotto said that LTO does not accept registration of vehicles under any name besides a person’s name, no news article was written about it.

My apologies for not providing links on some of the statements written here. The media sources opted to omit some information that would have put the bishops on a better light.

It is a good thing that I am now finally working from home. Now I can monitor the news and actually listen live to senate and house investigations and not depend on what the media writes. Remember the Pacquiao vs Lagman?

Pacquiao vs Lagman on the RH Bill

By now, you have probably read the articles of different news site regarding the pathetic fight Pacquiao put up against veteran Congressman Lagman. If not, you can read the article of ABS-CBN News, and GMA News about the said debate by clicking on the links provided.

What you’ll find in common on both articles is that it both ended with Lagman saying that Pacquiao may not have been up to date with the latest amendments on the House Bill 4244 or the Reproductive Health Bill.

With that, I think it’s a fair conclusion that Pacquiao was clearly outclassed by the veteran lawmaker. Just basing on the articles made by the 2 giant networks, Pacquiao clearly didn’t know what was going on or was not updated with what was already amended.

On my part, since I have been following the RH bill’s progress in congress, tried to find the amended version of the bill. During my searches, I found this article from the CBCP website.

According to the article, after the part where Lagman stated that Pacquiao has not been updated with the amendments, Pacquiao questioned why there were amendments to the bill when they were still in the period of interpellations. During the 2nd reading of a bill, there is a chance of amending any part of the bill that the lawmakers want to amend AFTER the period of interpellations. See below:

In an unexpected turn in the line of questioning, the pound-for-pound fighter then asked the solon from Albay why there were amendments to the bill when they were still in the period of interpellations. Once a bill has passed the committee level, amendments may only be proposed and accepted during the period of amendments that comes after the period of interpellations.

Lagman responded by relating the March 22 deviation he and ACT-TEACHERS Party List Rep. Antonio Tinio carried out in which the proposed amendments were merely voiced out. This took place after the Committee on Population and Family Relations had already formally approved the Committee Report.

Pacquiao then asked Lagman by what rules these supposed amendments were accepted, as the period of amendments were yet to be reached. Lagman was unable to provide an answer.

In other words, the so-called amendments that Lagman and the bill’s co-authors have been insisting are still proposed amendments. The current version of House Bill 4244—which contains provisions on mandatory reproductive health and sex education (Sec. 16), ideal family size (Sec. 20), and employers’ responsibility to provide RH services to employees (Sec. 21), as well on malicious disinformation under “punitive acts” (Sec. 28)—stands

Unfortunately, I could not verify from other sources this part of the speech as most news network cut their coverage after Lagman said that Pacquiao wasn’t updated.

I have read several claims in the past that the mainstream media usually tailor their coverage or what they show to their viewers to get their desired public opinion. Was Pacquiao a victim of this practice?