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Posts Tagged ‘House Bill 4244 Consolidated Reproductive Health Bill’

maria ressa of rappler.com interview with atty. imbong, lawyer for petitioners against the RH Law at the SC

January 3, 2013 1 comment

a few things:

  • atty. imbong keeps referring to the interviewer as “ressa” or in many parts as “riza”. the interviewer’s name is maria ressa.
  • the interview questions and answers are actually a rehash of the debates done in twitter on the rh bill specially those raised by the anti rh bill groups who claim to be devout catholics and to a large part those raised in the debates in the senate and congress also raised by the anti rh bill senators and congressmen.
  • the interview hardly touched on the points of law, arguments or merits raised by the petitioners against the RH Law at the SC.
  • in today’s interview maria ressa of rappler.com had asked the following questions from the #gangsters
  • from popi sunga at around 2:50

photo

  • ressa extends the invitation from #gangsters for a tweetup with atty imbong at around 5:25 of the 3rd video. ressa also says “guys, gotta get a name that is ano…”

photo (1)

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#gangsters celebrate rh bill passage into rh law – HOR champions attend

January 3, 2013 Leave a comment

House Of Representsatives (HOR) Champions win on RH Bill – passed on 2nd reading

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

RH Bill – tales of victory, apology and amendments

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

a few things happened yesterday at the House Of Representatives on the RH Bill (reproductive health bill) – the bill took a victory in congress when the anti rh bill congressmen were blocked by the house leadership and allowed the discussion to proceed on the rh bill. anti rh bill congressmen (and anti rh bill senators) have resorted to shameless delays and filibustering moves. but this time the house leadership finally did it’s job and got it going for the rh bill.

the end result was that the house has adapted the proposed amendments on the rh bill with no debate unlike what happened in the senate. this is the victory that the rh bill has claimed at the house.

read rappler.com article here:    http://www.rappler.com/nation/16804-small-victory-for-rh-bill-in-house

but that was not just what happened.

the other day, twitter was on fire when rh bill supporter rep. kimi conjuangco tweeted about her encounter with  majority floor leader (MFL) boyet gonzales when he apparently “threatened” conjuangco and told her to “shut up” on the rh bill. gonzales apparently also said that it was over for the rh bill in the current congress and should they just “repackage” it for the next congress.

read here : majority floor leader boyet gonzales “threatens” rep. kimi cojuangco to “keep your mouth shut” on rhbill

but a day did make a difference in this drama between cojuangco and gonzales. cojuangco after yesterday’s victory at the house tweeted this:

all is well that ends well – that can be applicable here. but we just wonder why cojuangco apologized to gonzales when the previous day she said gonzales has “threatened” her  and that from her tweets it was gonzales who had a few things to apologize to her for. this was quite a sudden change and in fact a complete reversal.

we suppose strange things happen in congress that us humans will never be able to understand.

we wondered what are the amendments that the house adapted. and this is where we are at on the rh bill.

New amendments

In a press statement, Lagman listed the amendments as the following:

1. The State guarantees public access to and relevant information and education on medically safe, legal, ethical, affordable, effective and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices and supplies which do not prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

2. The State shall likewise prioritize the needs of poor women and men in marginalized households as identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and other government measures of identifying marginalization, who shall be voluntary beneficiaries of reproductive health care, services and supplies for free.

3. The State shall also provide funding support to promote modern-natural methods of family planning consistent with the needs of acceptors.

4. The State shall promote openness to life, provided that parents bring forth to the world only those children that they can raise in a truly humane way.

5. There shall be no demographic and population targets and the mitigation, promotion and/or stabilization of the population growth rate are incidental to the advancement of reproductive health and sustainable human development.

6. Family planning information and services shall include as a first priority making women of reproductive age fully aware of their respective fertility cycles.

7. The teaching of reproductive health and sexuality education shall be promoted and conducted with due deference to cultural, religious and ethical norms of various communities.

8. Flexibility in the teaching of reproductive health and sexuality education shall be accorded to sectarian schools within the provisions and parameters of the Section on age-appropriate mandatory reproductive health and sexuality education.

9. The FDA shall update the Philippine National Drug Formulary (PNDF) with respect to modern family planning products and supplies in accordance with standard medical practice.

The foregoing amendments are contained in the proposed substitute bill which was announced by Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales, Jr. in the plenary and distributed to all Members of the House.

First batch of amendments

1. Deletion of the provision on “Ideal Family Size” to assure critics that the bill does not impose a “two-child policy” like China’s “one-child policy”. The original version merely contemplates an ideal norm which is neither mandatory, compulsory nor punitive.

2. Deletion of the section on “Employer’s Responsibilities” to address concerns that a similar provision in Article 134 of the Labor Code is already adequate.

3. Deletion of the section on “Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines” to accommodate objections that such a prior classification cannot be made by law. In lieu of the protested provision, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with the determination of the safety, efficacy and classification of modern family planning products and supplies pursuant to existing law.

4. Deletion of the prohibited act on malicious disinformation in order to fully guarantee the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion.

5. Assurance of funding support to promote modern natural methods of family planning like the Billings, Sympto-Thermal and Standard Days methods.

6. Hospitals owned and operated by a religious group are given the option not to provide “a full range of modern family planning methods” in order to further guarantee religious freedom.

7. Imposition of penalties to pharmaceutical companies, whether domestic or multi-national, which collude with government officials and employees in the purchase, procurement and distribution of modern family planning supplies, products and devices, and/or contribute to partisan political activities, in order to disabuse the minds of critics that there is a pharmaceutical lobby for the enactment of the RH bill.

8. Deletion of the provision making the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as the mandatory source for the acquisition and operation of the Mobile Health Care Service vehicles to respect the differing views of Congresspersons.

9. Emphasis that the bill is not a population control measure.

10. Parents are given the option not to allow their minor children to attend reproductive health and sexuality education classes to accord respect to religious convictions and beliefs. – Rappler.com

read : http://www.rappler.com/nation/14386-more-amendments-to-rh-bill

there were a few things we learned from this incident:

  • there is a failure in the leadership of the House Of Representatives, the speaker of the house belmonte and majority floor leader boyet gonzales in marshaling the rh bill through congress. it is a failure as president noynoy aquino during the presidential election campaign and in the last SONA has said he supports the rh bill. belmonte and gonzales are aligned with aquino.
  • the other failure of belmonte and gonzales is their inability to get the congressmen to attend sessions in congress. the delay on the rh bill vote has been hampered very much by a lack of quorum on days when rh bill advocates wanted to take the bill up in congress. getting member to attend HOR sessions we think is one of the most basic responsibilities and duties of the house leadership.
  • the congressmen share the failings of the leadership on the responsibility of attending sessions in congress. as a taxpayer and citizen of the country, i am grossly disappointed that congressmen don’t seem to be doing their jobs. we know  that as they hardly attend sessions, so it seems.
  • the pro rh bill has the numbers in the house as shown from the vote that was taken adapting the amendments. that is, if there is a quorum.

majority floor leader boyet gonzales “threatens” rep. kimi cojuangco to “keep your mouth shut” on rhbill

November 22, 2012 1 comment

we are posting here the screen caps of representative kimi cojuangco’s tweets this morning as they were tweeted and in sequence. rep. conjuangco is one of the leaders of the pro #rhbill at the house of representatives. we are posting here the exact screen caps at nothing added, nothing taken away. readers can make their own conclusions by reading them.

“MFL” is majority floor leader neptali “boyet” gonzales

some points:

  • MLF gonzales is aligned with president noynoy aquino and the president has given his support on the rhbill. in fact aquino has bravely taken flak from the catholic church for this support. at one point a bishop even threatened to  “excommunicate” aquino for his stand. does this mean gonzales has broken away from aquino?
  • gonzales seem to be playing some “let-me-fool-you-let-me-fool-everybody” political game where he is saying two different things to the people and media, to speaker of the house gonzales, congress, congressman edcel lagman (main proponent of the rh bill) and representative cojuangco. and the things gonzales is saying cannot be described as “honest”.
  • gonzales “threatens” rep. cojuangco to “shut your mouth”. we were not there when these words were said but we should accept it as its recipient, cojuangco saw it as a “threat”. cojuangco is quite a lady, she has her own mind that she speaks out very well. threatening someone like cojuangco is really a very bad idea.
  • which begs some questions – how many more “threats” have been given by gonzales and to how many more congressmen other than cojuangco? what will come next if cojuangco’s threats are not heeded? the majority floor leader at the HOR gets  things done or undone through “threats”?
  • where is rep gonzales on the rh bill? he appears to be against it based on this tweets and his “threats” to cojuangco. he is then going against the stand of the party that he belongs to, that of president aquino who is pro rh bill. has he declared his position to belmonte and the president? or did he “shut up” on that too?

representative kimi cojuangco of the 5th district of pangasinan

  • we have to admire congresswoman cojuangco for her tweets today. it may be a few days late (she said this happened some days ago) but revealing them today is good enough.
  • she has the courage to go against the “boys club” (we hesitate to call it a “gentleman’s club” for its sleazy connotation and also, gonzales was no “gentleman” in this event. but then again, isn’t the HOR through this event is being very sleazy?) and spoke her mind and tell the twitter world what happened.
  • it not only shows her courage, it shows her commitment to the cause of the rh bill and her strong and unwavering stand on principles and what is right.
  • the rh bill we believe will benefit women, the poor, the pinoy family and the nation at large. cojuangco is standing up for those.
  • courage as she is standing up against the majority floor leader who is also a seasoned politician and leader of the house.
  • cojuangco will defend and uphold the principles she believes in and risk everything as a congresswoman. she knows the revelation can put her position in jeopardy but she is willing to put that on the table just so she defends what is right and what is principled.

 

Read more…

kerry kennedy : sotto plagiarized words of my dad, offended at distortion of Robert F. Kennedy’s words

November 10, 2012 Leave a comment

source: http://www.rappler.com/nation/15858-kennedy-to-sotto-this-is-a-clear-case-of-plagiarism

—–

makes me wonder what disappointed kerry kennedy – the plagiarism that senator sotto did or that senator sotto didn’t understanductivand misused the quoted text?

my son asked me about this when he saw the nes on tv. i explained to him kerry is the daughter of the great robert kennedy and that she sent out a letter regarding the plagiarism that senator sotto did on the kennedy speech. i told my son kerry is also the president of this group called Robert F. Kennedy Center For Justice & Human Rights.

i told my son kerry called out the sotto on two things – that senator sotto no doubt plagiarized the speech of her dad and that sotto used the words he plagiarized to stop the rh bill which among other things promote free and open choice for women on their reproductive option while the passage that was plagiarized was meant to promote freedom and human rights.

my son who is 15 years old looked at me and plainly said : “it’s the opposite!”.

this is a 15 year old son who reached the correct conclusion on what sotto did just a split second after i explained to him what happened. how can a 63 year old and a senator at that not get that?

the kennedy name and family is one of the icons of America and of freedom. they  occupy a large part of what is right and good about america. for robert kennedy’s speech used the way sotto did must be the one that hurts the most for kerry.

i don’t think she would have minded so much if the speech was plagiarized for the same values and reasons their family stand for and have been known for. but the plagiarized parts were actually used for things the kennedy family have been against for generations.

in twitter i said that the tagalog translation of kerry’s letter on the sotto plagiarism is this “nangopya na, tanga  pa”.

and   yes, senator sotto, kerry writes in tagalog too.

MANILA, Philippines – Long is the saga of Sottogate, yet allegations against Senator Tito Sotto continue.

Now 4 US copyright holders have spoken out, including the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights: RFK’s daughter, Kerry Kennedy.

All this began again the other day, when Sarah Pope, Janice Formichella, and Peter Engelman issued a joint statement alleging that Sotto had “infringed on our intellectual property rights and plagiarized.”

Their protest was swiftly dismissed by Sotto and his staff, who, according to GMA News, “questioned its authenticity, pointing out that it did not even have an official letterhead.”

read full article here: http://www.rappler.com/nation/15858-kennedy-to-sotto-this-is-a-clear-case-of-plagiarism

sotto on rh bill is the laughing stock of social media, he victimized himself – patricia evangelista

September 9, 2012 Leave a comment

The lightning rod

 By  

Tito Sotto is a victim, or so Tito Sotto claims. He believes he is the focus of a concerted effort by the heavily funded supporters of the Reproductive Health bill, all of whom are desperate to demonize him and weaken his resolve. He suspects he is the first senator to be made victim of cyberbullying. He has been insulted, criticized and threatened with lawsuits. His history has been exploited. It is a hatchet job, he says, a demolition job.

The senator is correct when he says that plagiarism has become the issue, instead of the nuances of the bill itself. He is also correct when he talks about the online response to his speeches. He is the laughingstock of cyberspace. “Sinotto” is a trending hashtag for plagiarized lines. The face that once decorated blockbuster movie billboards is a Facebook meme. When the senator used translated-into-Filipino chunks of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1966 Affirmation speech in his latest privilege speech, the online community responded with a slew of translated song lyrics and movie lines from Lady Gaga to Cherie Gil, all attributed to Tito Sotto.

He also finds it odd that none of his opponents, not a single one of his critics, has attempted to rebut the ideas he has put forward in his privilege speeches.

“I have not heard a response to any of the criticisms I have thrown against the RH bill.”

The senator is not correct. It is true that the plagiarism issue has made him less believable, far less credible, but advocates of the Reproductive Health bill have refuted his ideas point by point, in columns and blogs and television interviews, establishing his sources as outdated, his claims misrepresentations, and his statistics misinterpreted, while pointing out the fundamental factual error in his emotional claim that his child died in 1975 because his wife had ingested birth control pills. The pill he specified, Diane, was yet to be distributed the year he lost his son.

Read more…

fr. bernas answers bishop reyes & the CBCP : points out where the bishop erred on rh bill

September 9, 2012 2 comments

we have been waiting for the answer of fr. bernas on the 3/4 print ad released by the CBCP and bishop reyes of antipolo. we have marked the important points made by fr. bernas. (click to read: CBCP answers fr joaquin bernas on rh bill via print ad at philippine daily inquirer)

we have a few more:

  • fr. bernas is incorrect when he said this: “Third, the Church teaching on contraception is based not only on Faith or revelation but also on natural law.”  in fact the bishop admits its opposition to the rh bill is NOT based on faith or revelation, ” It is also good to point out that the church teaching regarding contraceptives is not based on Faith or revelation, although it is confirmed by our Faith.”
  • fr. bernas being a catholic priest is anti rhbill but he is also a professor of law, a constitutionalist, a pinoy and a human being. he answers the bishop being all of those, each one on 20/20 vision.
  • every time fr. bernas writes about the rh bill, he makes us think and reflect on our positions on the rh bill and from which we either confirm or change our positions. the point is fr. bernas always makes us think and reflect no matter what our position is on the rh bill.

CONVERSATION WITH A BISHOP
Fr. Joaquin Bernas S.J.

A couple of days ago Bishop Gabriel Reyes of Antipolo diocese, writing under the stationary of the Catholic Bishops Conference, published an ad in the Inquirer and Philippine Star, expressing his disagreement with the views of an unnamed columnist on the merits and demerits of the RH Bill.  The regular readers of my columns in the Inquirer immediately recognized that the Bishop was referring to me. I too recognized it immediately as referring to me.
Not that I object to the reference to me nor to being quoted.  In fact I welcome the bishop’s ad and take it as an invitation to dialogue.  Dialogue among Christians, high and low, is highly encouraged by the Church today.  “In the modern world, the scandal is not that Vatican officials would engage scientists who disagree with church teaching, but rather that such engagement is regarded as taboo.”
The Bishop takes exception to my statement that “the state should not prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their religious beliefs nor may churchmen compel President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious beliefs.”  The Bishop says that he “would be happy if the (non-abortifacient contraceptives) were banned” but that the Church is only against the state promoting contraceptives and providing free contraceptives to people.
From the bishop’s ad, I gather three points for dialogue. First, the bishop says that now “anyone can buy contraceptives from drugstores or even from ‘convenient stores.’”  Second, (but this is implicit) the state should not use public money to make contraceptives freely available.  Third, the Church teaching on contraception is based not only on Faith or revelation but also on natural law.
Let’s converse about these.
First, on easy availability of contraceptives in drugstores.  The clear implication is that the world is free and anyone can buy these.  This is simply not true.  Only those who have the money can buy them.  Legislators, however, are thinking of the vast majority of poor people who need help to be able to practice responsible parenthood.

the copy empire of google senator tito sotto

September 8, 2012 2 comments

life on twitter has not been this interesting since google senator tito sotto revealed himself at the senate floor a few weeks ago. aside from the continuing drama that sotto has been doing, a few other things have evolved that we should all know about.

we are putting here for your “dagdag kaalaman”.

we saw this on twitter from @isupportRHBill

we do not know the location of the above and we also do not know if that is where all the sottohan happens.

read more about google senator tito sotto and his achievements in the senate:

serial plagiarist Senator Tito Sotto plagiarizes AGAIN in his september 5 speech, this time robert f. kennedy #rhbill

September 5, 2012 40 comments

this just exploded once again on twitter just a few hours after senator sotto delivered his 4th and last privilege speech at the senate floor just today. apparently senator sotto, the hero plagiarist of the anti rh bill advocates and the serial plagiarist in the philippine senate  did it AGAIN today. this time he plagiarized the last part of his speech from a speech by the great Robert F. Kennedy, “Day of Affirmation Address” speech delivered on june 6, 1966.

abs-cbn’s TV Patrol reported tonight that senator said the english parts were just “texted to him by a friend”. also of interest was his answer to senator jinggoy estrada’s question to him if there was any part of his speech was plagiarized. sotto replied there was none and the way he made sure of that was he delivered the speech in filipino.

of course he lied. his speech did contain plagiarized parts.

sotto also probably thinks translating it to filipino is not plagiarim.

here is the side by side comparison of the speeches we got from here : https://twitter.com/ChiliMedley/status/243281155581935618

the above pic was posted by Michel Eldiy (@ChiliMedley)

senator sotto’s speech todayhttp://anc.abs-cbnnews.com/articles/605/sen-sottos-turno-en-contra-speech-on-rh-bill-parts-3-4-as-prepared-for-delivery/

speech of robert f kennedy herehttp://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Ready-Reference/RFK-Speeches/Day-of-Affirmation-Address-news-release-text-version.aspx

the plagiarized parts of the kennedy speech is on paragraph #34 (at around the last 1/4 of the speech; the paragraph starts with:  “Give me a place to stand,” said Archimedes….” ) of the kennedy speech while sotto said them on the second to the last paragraph of his speech (last paragraph is “Maraming salamat po.”)

PDI article, september 6:

Sotto does it again, channels Robert F. Kennedy in Filipino

 By 

Did Robert F. Kennedy know how to speak Filipino?

This appears to be the gist of Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III’s defense amid new allegations of plagiarism after he delivered the fourth and last part of his “turno en contra” speech against the reproductive health bill.

It took bloggers less than two hours to find out that Sotto did it again.

A tweet from a certain Michel Eldiy at 5:30 p.m., more than an hour after the Sotto speech, triggered online discussions on the supposed intellectual dishonesty of the senator.

“Not true that last part of Sotto’s speech is original. See Day of Affirmation speech of Robert Kennedy in 1966 in South Africa,” said Eldiy, who goes by the Twitter handle, “ChiliMedley.”

She then tweeted a link to the Kennedy speech and later compared it with the speech of Sotto.

Sought for comment, the senator said: “It was texted to me by a friend.

“I found the idea good. I translated it into Tagalog [Filipino]. So what’s the problem?” Sotto told the Philippine Daily Inquirer when asked about his reaction to the fresh accusations.

“Ano? Marunong nang mag-Tagalog si Kennedy? (What now? Does Kennedy now know how to speak in Tagalog)?” he added.

In a separate text message, the senator lamented that proponents of the RH bill were nitpicking

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/264818/oops-sotto-did-it-again

news article from abs-cbn, september 5.

Sotto’s last speech copied from Kennedy?

by Jojo Malig, ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 09/05/2012 6:57 PM | Updated as of 09/05/2012 6:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines –  Did Senator Tito Sotto, who has been accused of plagiarism, copy yet again from someone else in the last part of his “turno en contra” privilege speech against the reproductive health (RH) bill on Wednesday?

Social media users called out Sotto anew, accusing him of only translating parts of a speech originally delivered by the late US Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

de la salle university professors support the rh bill – “rh bill is pro-life”

September 4, 2012 2 comments

THE RH BILL IS PRO-LIFE — Statement of DLSU Individual Faculty Members

by RH Bill Portal on Friday, August 31, 2012 at 8:20pm ·

We, the undersigned Faculty Members of the De La Salle University, acting individually, and with reasoned conviction, cognizant of our role in society as champions of enlightenment and in pursuit of our mission to create a haven for critical Christian thinkers committed to serve society, particularly the poor, assert that:

  • The right to life is a fundamental Christian tenet that finds full meaning when combined with the inherent rights of humans to a decent, safe, and productive existence as well as to an all-round development. Thus, beyond protecting the very important right of the unborn, it must extend to a recognition that a life that is weighed down by poverty, sickness, and social inequality – now compounded by environmental stresses – deprives humans of agency to transform themselves and the world for the common good.
  • A key dimension of the democratic ideal at the core of our community and country is the promotion of pluralism and diversity. In a society marred by great imbalances of power and wealth, the freedom that comes with choice has become a privilege. Empowering the poor and the marginalized, women in particular, requires opening up opportunities for their self-actualization. In this modern day, it is alarming that death from childbirth continues to claim 4,500 women every year or about 12 every day. Lack of access to quality and affordable reproductive health services and timely information as much as poverty has kept many women from finding their own voice, exercising their basic rights, and taking their place as full members of society.
  • The current population level, ranged against the level of our physical, environmental, and natural resources, is only one – albeit important – factor to the worsening quality of life of Filipinos. While our population growth rate has declined somewhat below the two percent threshold, it is still higher relative to the increase in the incomes of families in the 7th to the 10th decile groups – the segment of the population with the highest proportion of those living in absolute poverty as well. Here, among these groups, the quality of life is severely compromised due to an increase in population.
  • Part of a meaningful celebration of life itself is the affirmation of the inherent moral standing of every human being, who has the capacity to make reasoned decisions, guided both by moral and ethical considerations, as well as by scientific truths and conventions. The ability to make moral judgments, however, requires knowledge and information, and for those living in materially constrained circumstances, requires further support from the society. The capacity to provide that support now rests with the State and its instrumentalities.

Our belief in the above mentioned premises leads us to express support for the Reproductive Health Bill in both houses of Congress as a much needed step toward the attainment of a just and democratic society which celebrates life at its fullest range and quality. Our support to the RH Bill is grounded on the following convictions:

  • Enacting the RH Bill into law would strengthen the capacity of the State to assist women and their partners to make informed choices, thereby helping them to become healthy and responsible parents and attain a life of quality for themselves and their families. This is achieved by providing women and their partners, particularly the poor, with information and other forms of reproductive health support, including safe and affordable methods that do not violate the Constitutional provision declaring as illegal abortion and, by implication, the sale and promotion of abortifacient birth control technologies. Read more…

CBCP answers fr joaquin bernas on rh bill via print ad at philippine daily inquirer

August 31, 2012 2 comments

this was published as a 3/4 page print ad at today’s philippine daily inquirer on page 11.  it is a direct reaction to the articles that fr. joaquin bernas, a jesuit has been publishing in his column in the same newspaper on the rh bill.

fr. bernas is a prominent filipino jesuit in the country respected and admired by all for being one of the country’s most authoritative on philippine law. fr. bernas teaches law at the ateneo law school and was a member of the constitutional convention that drafted the current constitution of the country. fr. bernas is often called by the courts and other lawyers for his opinion on matters of law.

we have printed here many of the important articles fr. bernas has written on the rh bull. (click here : https://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/?s=bernas)

this is the first time that the cbcp has directly answered fr. bernas on his views on the rh bill. fr. bernas has been publishing his views on the rh bill for many months now without a reaction from the cbcp. we give an explanation on this “sudden” reply by the cbcp to fr. bernas.

the print ad reply of the cbcp must have been triggered by the recent controversy that is still brewing right now on the ateneo professors’ stand on the rh bill. 192 ateneo professors have recently released a statement saying they support the rh bill and are calling for congress to immediately pass it into law. this is the thrid time that the ateneo professors have released such a statement but this one was different in that a large number, 192 in all have signed on to the statement. the first statement of the ateneo professors only had 60 professors signing up (“catholics can support the th bill in good conscience”)

read relevant articles on the ateneo professors support on the rh bill here: (click to read)

a bigger controversy was sparked when a permanent member bishop of the CBCP called for the ateneo to investigate the ateneo professors for their stand on the rh bill and said that they should be sanctioned, in fact fired from their jobs for their stand. the bishop also said catholic schools that do not teach the stand of the church on the rh bill should lose their “catholic” status.

the very next day the bishop made the threat of removing the “catholic status” of the ateneo and asking for the ateneo to fire the professors from their jobs, fr. jett villarin, president of the ateneo de manila university published an open letter to the ateneo community at the ateneo website.

fr. villarin in his letter did not say the ateneo professors will be given any sanction, will not be fired from their jobs and instead he even appreciated the efforts of the ateneo professors at forwarding their stand on the rh bill. the ateneo president also reiterated that as a catholic school, the ateneo is anti rh bill but respects the individual stand of the professors which was contrary to the university’s stand.

some things on the CBCP statement:

  • we find it strange that the name of fr. bernas is mentioned in this statement posted at the CBCP for Life website but has been deleted in the print ad released at the Philippine Daily Inquirer. we wonder what the reason is for that change.
  • this statement admits the CBCP stand against the rh bill is not based on theology,  “It is also good to point out that the church teaching regarding contraceptives is not based on Faith or revelation”.
  • it confirms our view that the CBCP’s opposition on the rh bill is based on Humanae Vitae, the encyclical pope paul VI released in 1968. (click to read here: Humanae Vitae encyclical – the catholic church’s basis for it’s stand on birth control)
  • it specifically basses its objection on “natural law”
  • humanae vitae and natural law while talke about by the church are not infallible and not dogma. a pope need to declare a church teaching to be infallible or dogma. no such thing has been done for both.
  • infallible encyclicals or dogma need to be followed by all catholics. it is a sin for catholics not to follow them.
  • since humanae vitae and natural law are not infallible and not dogma, catholics can treat these only as guidelines or food for thought. they have the freedom to follow it or not.
  • the above has been the position of fr. bernas and the ateneo professors.

(note : highlights are mine)

Defense of the Stand of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on the House Bill 4244 (Reproductive Health Bill)

Bishop of Antipolo defends the CBCP.

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

First of all, by opposing the RH Bill, the Catholic Church is not moving for the ban of contraceptives (the non-abortifacient ones), although she would be happy if these contraceptives were banned. At present, in the Philippines, anyone can buy contraceptives from drugstores and even from some “convenience stores”. What the Church is against, I repeat, is that government should promote contraception and provide free contraceptives to people. Therefore it is wrong to say that the Church wants the government to “prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their religious belief” and that the Catholic churchmen are compelling “President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious beliefs.” What the church does is to try to convince President Aquino and our senators and congressmen not to enact a law that directs the government to promote contraception and provide free contraceptives to people.

It is also good to point out that the church teaching regarding contraceptives is not based on Faith or revelation, although it is confirmed by our Faith. This church teaching is based on natural law, which we know through natural reason. By studying through correct reasoning the nature of the human person, we arrive at this teaching regarding contraception. All human beings, Catholic or not, are obliged to act according to right reason. By the efforts of the Church to go against the RH Bill, the Church is not imposing her religious beliefs on others. She is trying to stop a bill which is against natural law, a law which all human beings, Catholic or not, should follow. The RH Bill, judged from the principles of natural law, is against the good of the human person and the common good. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its “Doctrinal Note regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life” tells us that all citizens, including Catholics, have the right “to base their contribution to society and political life – through the legitimate means available to everyone in a democracy – on their particular understanding of the human person and the common good.” In a democracy, any group of citizens has the right to campaign and lobby so that what they consider to be good for the country are enacted into law and what they deem to be harmful for the country are not enacted into law.

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