RH bill debate-A A +A
Sunday, August 5, 2012
ENGAGING in more debates on the reproductive health bill won’t be productive with arguments having hardened into positions of faith. If one is Catholic, one should adopt the morally correct position of the Roman Catholic Church. No ifs. No buts.
Still, I like to present some unsolicited advice to anti-RH bill advocates. Presenting arguments that is based on a wrong reading of the bill is counterproductive. It actually turns off ordinary citizens who take care to hear the arguments of both sides and intelligently assess what is right or wrong.
For example, one radio commentator claimed that the RH bill provided for only one child per family like China and eventually will lead to a drastic reduction in our population. Eventually, he said, there will be no more Filipinos. Based on this claim, he proceeded to attack the RH bill as anti-Christian.
Others might accept this hook, line, and sinker. But it turned me off.
In the Facebook group Maghisgot Kitag Politika, Bay, a member presented perhaps in jest a rather extreme interpretation of the provision: “Prohibited acts. (3) Refuse to extend health care services & information on account of the person’s marital status, gender, sexual preference, age, religion, personal circumstance...” A doctor who refuses to ligate a gay asking for it could be sued, he said. Another group member pointed out that ligation simply cannot be performed on a gay person.
Maybe, lawyers should not debate on things medical in nature, especially at the halls of Congress.
Anti-RH bill advocates would rather gain support by stressing the need for faith in the church that is our moral compass today. With millions of Catholics who believe in what is spoken at the pulpit, legislators who are politicians would rather not earn the ire of the Catholic hierarchy.
Outspoken pro-RH bill advocates, however, are convinced about the scientific basis of their position. I don’t know if political considerations like a show of force of the faithful could sway them.
I went through the photos of Tommy Osmeña’s recent birthday bash posted in his Facebook account. An earlier snide remark from the opposite camp focused on the political impact or non-impact of inviting guests from Manila. But I think the objective was not getting additional votes. It was more about convincing Manila politicians whom to ally with and financiers whom to support in Cebu City.
While Tommy playfully displays political strength during his birthday, Mayor Mike Rama’s lineup for 2013 is still wanting. He needs to have a strong challenger to Raul del Mar. Ayaw nang paukyab sama kang Annabelle tawn.
Has BOPK finally decided on a congressional candidate in the south? Some quarters are saying Tommy reportedly chose Councilor Bebot Abellanosa because the latter can easily shell out several millions for the campaign.
Hmmm, but there could be a deeper play somewhere because some 165 homeowners’ groups in the south identified with BOPK signed a covenant with former undersecretary Totol Batuhan and his Abante Barangay Movement during an Urban Poor Summit last Saturday.
Liberal Party spokesman and Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada (in a statement read by former Cebu vice governor Mocring Barcenas), Akbayan nominee and political affairs undersecretary Ibarra Gutierrez, and National Anti-Poverty Commission Cebu representative Marlene Paracueles praised the covenant-signing. They said it bound Batuhan to what he promised to work for like the creation of a Department of Housing that would elevate the concern of housing to the Cabinet level. Batuhan, during his speech, lamented that President Noynoy Aquino failed to discuss housing in his recent State of the Nation Address.
The loss of boxer Marc Anthony Barriga at the London Olympics left the Philippines with only three players with the change of bringing home a medal. They are Marestella Torres in the long jump competition, Rene Herrera in the 5,000-meter race, and Daniel Caluag in cycling.
Many blame lack of government support for sports programs as the cause for our lack of a medal harvest every Olympics. But I understand that’s not the only problem. Our players have also to contend with the politics involving sports programs. Hangtod kanus-a man ta mag-ingon ini tawn?
At least, we successfully competed for international attention with yesterday’s Ironman triathlon race. I experienced some inconvenience when I couldn’t cross the Cebu South Coastal Road in the morning. But I think it was negligible compared to what Cebu gained.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 06, 2012.