manny pacquaio almost still fresh from the boxing ring he fought in to win over mosley in las vegas jumped into the fire called the RH Bill national debate after three steps on the NAIA.
he declared he is against the passage of the RH Bill on grounds of his religious beliefs. pacquaio is a catholic and according to him, he understood God’s words telling him to “go forth to the world and multiply, not only have two or three children”.
first off, i am glad pacquaio has time to listen to God, that is very good for him. it is difficult for us to imagine he has the time to listen to God considering he has so many fights to attend to, many training sessions, he has his singing career, he is a congressman and has lots of money to count, more than a billion by last count (and counting). ( plus to send occassional text to his friend krista who now lives in the US. see krista in a bikini here: http://bit.ly/jGaZIx)
manny pacquaio is of course one of the most popular pinoys in the country. the whole country stops to watch his fights. and that is the attraction of pacquaio to the bishops who oppose the RH Bill. this is after all a celebrity endorser crazy country. practically all the tv ads we see in the philippines has a celebrity as endorser, including pacquiao himself who appear in a countless number of tv ads for many philippine brands.
pacquaio even had an audience with the bishops to talk about we can only guess the RH Bill. we can only guess that the topic they had was on what pacquaio will do for the bishops in their fight to stop the passage of the RH Bill.
we are sure the bishops were very happy about pacquaio meeting with them. until, someone in media noticed pacquaio was wearing a purple necktie. purple is the designated color chosen by the pro-RH Bill movement. the color choice for the necktie was a paux pas. we are betting pacquaio did not realize the color of his necktie will be questioned by mediamen.
faux pas appear to be the norm by which pacquaio has defined his first day into the tough world of debate on national issues. just minutes after the internet was a buzz with pacquiao’s declaration of opposition to the RH Bill, netizens posted a Philippine Star article of some months ago where jinkee, manny’s wife admitted she is taking the pill.
“After Queenie, sabi ko kay Manny, tama na ang apat,” Jinkee volunteers. “Hindi pa ako nagpa-tali, pero nagpi-pills ako (ngayon). Nagpa-make-over ako (sa Belo) not for Manny or the people na nag-sympathize sa akin nung nangyari ‘yung intriga. I did it for myself. You should love yourself.”
ooops, another paux pas and this one we think is a major one. his wife admitting to be taking the pill runs directly against pacquaio’s anti-RH Bill position. he loses his credibility as someone who object to the RH BIll on the basis of his religious belief.
in some way the pacquaio couple’s situation is the situation among many married couples in the philippines. for many married couples – the man and woman would have opposing views on the need for contraception. for most men it is unnecessary while most women feel it is the one thing she needs very much in her relationship with her husband.
conttraception is something that very few pinoy men understand. the pinoy male does not understand it for a few reasons : he is ignorant of what it is, he feels macho enough that he feels it is unnecessary, in the case of condoms, it reduces the sexual pleasure or what the hell does he care, he is not the one who gets pregnant.
the last part is what every pinay understand very well. in many pinoy families, concerns about the family and children is the sole responsibility of the wife. the pinoy feels all he needs to do is earn a living and give his salary to his wife and the wife is suppose to take of everything. and “everything” includes getting pregnant.
with the pinay wife understanding very well what is involved in being pregnant, in many cases, the pinay decides to take contraceptives without the knowledge of the husband. the pinay wife thinks it is just too complicated and difficult to let the husband know about her contraceptive plans. we wonder if this the same case in the pacquaio marriage.
from this paux pas number three with his wife jinkee, he stepped into a third one. this time it is on the floor of the House Of Representatives where in his pristine suit, he interpolated the main author of the RH Bill, Representative Edcel Lagman.
pacquaio the whole time read his interpolation of lagman. the whole thing was scripted. nothing is wrong with reading from a script but it does show pacquaio’s weakness. he may have powerful hands to knock out men twice his size, but he did not appear to have the knowledge and the intellectual skills to even touch the face of lagman.
his questions were often times clumsy and unimpressive. he sounded lost and did not present his case against the bill in any clear manner. although these were mainly questions he posted to lagman, the point of the interpolation is not just to expose the weakness of the bill but also to state his position on the matter. he was unable to that in any measure. in fact, at one point he even gave a lengthy example of a case of the Amish in the US that was totally unrelated to the issued of reproductive health, lagman was very kind to pacquaio that he simply stated it is unrelated and said nothing more on it.
with all these things that pacquaio has done on the RH Bill issue – pacquaio badly needs a Florence Nightingale to take care of him. he only does not need direction, he needs content and very badly.
Fr. Joaquin Bernas on #rhbill : serves the welfare of the nation and especially of poor women who cannot afford the cost of medical service
My stand on the RH Bill
I HAVE been following the debates on the RH Bill not just in the recent House sessions but practically since its start. In the process, because of what I have said and written (where I have not joined the attack dogs against the RH Bill), I have been called a Judas by a high-ranking cleric, I am considered a heretic in a wealthy barangay where some members have urged that I should leave the Church (which is insane), and one of those who regularly hears my Mass in the Ateneo Chapel in Rockwell came to me disturbed by my position. I feel therefore that I owe some explanation to those who listen to me or read my writings.
First, let me start by saying that I adhere to the teaching of the Church on artificial contraception even if I am aware that the teaching on the subject is not considered infallible doctrine by those who know more theology than I do. Moreover, I am still considered a Catholic and Jesuit in good standing by my superiors, critics notwithstanding!
Second (very important for me as a student of the Constitution and of church-state relations), I am very much aware of the fact that we live in a pluralist society where various religious groups have differing beliefs about the morality of artificial contraception. But freedom of religion means more than just the freedom to believe. It also means the freedom to act or not to act according to what one believes. Hence, the state should not prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their religious belief nor may churchmen compel President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious belief. As the “Compendium on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church” says, “Because of its historical and cultural ties to a nation, a religious community might be given special recognition on the part of the State. Such recognition must in no way create discrimination within the civil or social order for other religious groups” and “Those responsible for government are required to interpret the common good of their country not only according to the guidelines of the majority but also according to the effective good of all the members of the community, including the minority.”
Third, I am dismayed by preachers telling parishioners that support for the RH Bill ipso facto is a serious sin or merits excommunication! I find this to be irresponsible.
Fourth, I have never held that the RH Bill is perfect. But if we have to have an RH law, I intend to contribute to its improvement as much as I can. Because of this, I and a number of my colleagues have offered ways of improving it and specifying areas that can be the subject of intelligent discussion. (Yes, there are intelligent people in our country.) For that purpose we jointly prepared and I published in my column what we called “talking points” on the bill.
Fifth, specifically I advocate removal of the provision on mandatory sexual education in public schools without the consent of parents. (I assume that those who send their children to Catholic schools accept the program of Catholic schools on the subject.) My reason for requiring the consent of parents is, among others, the constitutional provision which recognizes the sanctity of the human family and “the natural and primary right of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character.” (Article II, Section 12)
Sixth, I am pleased that the bill reiterates the prohibition of abortion as an assault against the right to life. Abortifacient pills and devices, if there are any in the market, should be banned by the Food and Drug Administration. But whether or not there are such is a question of scientific fact of which I am no judge.
Seventh, I hold that there already is abortion any time a fertilized ovum is expelled. The Constitution commands that the life of the unborn be protected “from conception.” For me this means that sacred life begins at fertilization and not at implantation.
Eighth, it has already been pointed out that the obligation of employers with regard to the sexual and reproductive health of employees is already dealt with in the Labor Code. If the provision needs improvement or nuancing, let it be done through an examination of the Labor Code provision.
Ninth, there are many valuable points in the bill’s Declaration of Policy and Guiding Principles which can serve the welfare of the nation and especially of poor women who cannot afford the cost of medical service. There are specific provisions which give substance to these good points. They should be saved.
Tenth, I hold that public money may be spent for the promotion of reproductive health in ways that do not violate the Constitution. Public money is neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Muslim or what have you and may be appropriated by Congress for the public good without violating the Constitution.
Eleventh, I leave the debate on population control to sociologists.
Finally, I am happy that the CBCP has disowned the self-destructive views of some clerics.
15 March 2011
HON. ROGELIO J. ESPINA
Committee on Population and Family Relations
House of Representatives
Constitution Hills, Quezon City
Dear Chairman Espina:
The principal authors of House Bill 4244, the consolidated substitute bill on “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011? met yesterday to formalize voluntary amendments to the bill in order to preclude misconceptions and protracted debates. The authors have also authorized me to inform you that the following amendments be adopted as Committee amendments at the proper time:
1. Section 13 on “Roles of Local Governments in Family Planning Programs” found on lines 9-14, page 12, of the bill, which reads: “The LGUs shall ensure that poor families receive preferential access to services, commodities and programs for family planning. The role of Population Officers at municipal, city and barangay levels in the family planning effort shall be strengthened. Barangay health workers and volunteers shall be capacitated to give priority to family planning work.”
should be amended by deleting the phrase “give priority to family planning work.” found in the last sentence of the Section, and should be substituted with the phrase “help implement this Act.” This would obviate complaints that family planning is given inordinate priority.
2. Section 15 on “Mobile Health Care Service” found on page 12, lines 20-25, and page 13, lines 1-6, reading “Each Congressional District may be provided with at least one (1) Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to coastal or mountainous areas. The MHCS shall deliver health care supplies and services to constituents, more particularly to the poor and needy, and shall be used to disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health. The purchase of the MHCS may be funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of each congressional district. The operation and maintenance of the MHCS shall be operated by skilled health providers adequately equipped with a wide range of reproductive health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including, but not limited to, a television set for audio-visual presentations. All MHCS shall be operated by a focal city or municipality within a congressional district.”
should be amended to read as follows: “Each Congressional District may be provided with at least one (1) Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to coastal or mountainous areas, the procurement and operation of which shall be funded by the National Government. The MHCS shall deliver health care supplies and services to constituents, more particularly to the poor and needy, and shall be used to disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health. [The purchase of the MHCS may be funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of each congressional district.] The operation and maintenance of the MHCS shall be operated by skilled health providers adequately equipped with a wide range of reproductive health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including, but not limited to, a television set for audio-visual presentations. All MHCS shall be operated by a focal city or municipality within a congressional district.”
The reason for this amendment is to liberate the PDAF without prejudice to Members of the House who may still wish to use a portion of their PDAF for the purchase and operation of the MHCS.
3. Section 16 on “Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education” found on page 13 from lines 7-25, and page 14 from lines 1-13, which reads: “Age-appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall be taught by adequately trained teachers in formal and non-formal education system starting from Grade Five up to Fourth Year High School using life skills and other approaches. The Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall commence at the start of the school year immediately following one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act to allow the training of concerned teachers. The Department of Education (DEPED), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), TESDA, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH) shall formulate the Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education curriculum. Such curriculum shall be common to both public and private schools, out of school youth, and enrollees in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) based on, but. not limited to, the psychosocial and physical wellbeing, demography and reproductive health, and the legal aspects of reproductive health.
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Fr. Joaquin Bernas SJ for Ombudsman
Man of God, legal maverick keeps his faith in the law of man
By Alya Honasan
First Posted 10:29:00 05/14/2006
Published on page Q1 of the May 14, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
MORNING sunlight is dappling the leaves of the trees outside the Jesuit Residence inside the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Quezon City, and the nation’s recently christened “guru of destabilization” is basking in the almost ethereal glow, talking about good things.
“One of the reasons I joined the Jesuit order is because of their belief that man is good, and the world is good,” says Reverend Fr. Joaquin Guevarra Bernas, SJ. Then he laughs, an easy, hearty chuckle that emanates from his belly and somehow cushions this intellectual giant’s gravitas, bringing him back to earth and within our reach. “That, and the fact that we’re all really nuts.”
Hardly what you would expect from a prophet of doom, but anybody who assumes that this priest, lawyer, constitutionalist, teacher and respected amicus curiae—literally, a “friend of the courts”—is one-dimensional is destined for trouble.
Ask Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, the man who christened Bernas with the aforementioned monicker.
an interesting discussion ensued at facebook at this site http://www.facebook.com/i.oppose.the.RH.Bill. we are a member of that group to get better informed about the RH Bill and how it’s supporters are thinking about it.
some data was posted by the administrator and we are posting it here. we will be posting here on the above title as the topic.
this ad defines the RH Bill squarely on the positioning of helping the poor.
it says the RH Bill will give those born in poverty a chance in life, chance to continuous education, to eat properly, to have ambition and not just dreams, and a chance to get out of poverty and in summary – a chance to life.
after that list, it said “yun lang naman ang hinihingi natin” (those are just the things we are asking for).
poverty alleviation or as we prefer to put it, to give the people the tools to help themselves get out of poverty is what sectors of the pro-RH Bill is promising. we don’t entirely agree with that thinking as we do not think the RH Bill is the lone silver bullet for poverty alleviation, we think the RH Bill as we have said previously is just one of many tools that the government can give the poor ro use in taking themselves out of poverty.
the cause of poverty in our view is mutli-faceted and its solutions need to be multi-faceted as well. the government, civil society and the poor themselves need to offer multiple solutions, from all sides and levels to solve poverty.
this outright positioning of the RH Bill as poverty alleviation solution while we think it makes sense at a certain level brings it right smack to what anti-RH Bill proponents are saying about their opposition to the RH Bill. one of the things they are saying is that the RH Bill is not the solution to poverty. that there are many other solutions that the government can employ to solve poverty,
we are not however saying the ad is making the wrong argument, we are just saying this jumps directly into the frying pan of debate that anti-RH Bill proponents can have very good arguments for.
we like the ad just the same for the very idea of redefining the RH debate in favorable terms for the RH Bill. it is a very clever advertising strategy – this ad defines the RH Bill as a pro-chance, adding a new term to the debate and a dig at the traditional debates lodged by the anti-RH Bill proponents in saying the RH-Bill is anti-life, they are pro-life and that the RH Bill is pro-choice.
actually these terms “pro-choice” and “pro-life” are being misused in the RH debate in the country. pro-choice in the western countries mean women hace the choice to abortion while pro-life is anti-abortion and protecting the unborn child.
in the philippines, the anti-RH Bill proponents have demonized it to mean the RH Bill is pro-abortion, which it isn’t and modern methods of contraception as abortifacient, which they are also not.
this ad in a way corrects the misinformation advanced by the anti-RH Bill proponents and very smartly re-defines the debate by making the RH Bill to mean pro-chance for the poor to remove themselves from poverty,
it is excellent strategic thinking and excellent copywriting. we applaud PLCPD and the ad agency who developed this ad.
~~a mindscape landmark~~
visit the site here: http://rhbill.org/
we don’t even know why the bishops or malacanang started this dialogue in the first place, but the bishops apparently has decided to no longer attend the discusssions being held in malacanang on the RH Bill.
we are saying they should have not engaged in thei dialogue at all as their positions are irreconcilable and unmovable. the bishops will not move even a centimeter from church dogma, that is the meaning of church dogma – it cdannot be briken, canot be questioned, can only be followed unless changed. the doigma states the church is against modern methods of contraception, period. the bill and the government looks at modern methods of contraception as acceptable. there is no way will the church change it’s mind on that.
In a press conference Tuesday, Figura announced that the bishops no longer saw any reason to continue a “serious study and dialogue” with the administration on the reproductive health bill.
Reading a statement from the bishops, Figura said HB 4244 and Mr. Aquino’s responsible parenthood agenda were “deemed to be basically the same.”
In the last meeting with Malacañang in March, the CBCP agreed to form a team that would take part in a focus group discussion to study and discuss the RH bill, which the Palace calls the responsible parenthood bill.
Cavite Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, chair of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Doctrine of Faith, Parañaque Bishop Jessie Mercado, chair of the Episcopal Commission on Laity and Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes were designated to the CBCP team.
But the three bishops no longer attended the scheduled meeting Tuesday with Malacañang. Figura and Imbong went to the Palace but only to deliver the bishops’ message ending the dialogue..
understanding what the bishops are saying here, they are saying they are withdrawing for the discussions as malacanang has not changed it’s position. that says the bishops are blaming malacanang for remaining firm, exatly the way the bishops are. whatr is unsaid here is that the bishops joined the dialogue with the sole purpose of convincing malacanang to change it’s mind, not to seek clarification and find a compromise. malacanang on the other hand was willing to draft it’s own RH Bill as a result of the dialogue with the church.
it was a dialogue destined to fail as each one side had a pre=concieved position that cannot be changed unless the bible itself has been rewritten.