Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sotto Resumes RH Harangue


Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III yesterday continued his scathing attack on the proponents of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

Concluding his 57-minute speech yesterday afternoon, Sotto said he has adequately shown that “the proponents of the RH bill have been misled by deceptive and misleading information to push for the bill’s passage.”

Sotto cited several international organizations and institutions as sources of policies or funding to advance their family planning programs in developing countries, including the Philippines “or surreptitiously impose their hidden agenda through this bill.”

During the interpellation case of the RH bill, Sotto said he discovered that a local organization, the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN), had submitted a budget proposal to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) “containing a budget allocation for ‘nurturing legislators’ to expedite the passage of the RH bill.”

“from the provision to nurture legislators, there are also monetary allocations for development production, and dissemination of information segregated into target audiences for media, professionals and communities mobilizations,” he said.

He also cited the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as the principal instrument of the US on population control through birth control.

“There were NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and government agencies in the Philippines that have been contacted, supported and funded by it (USAID),” he said.

“USAID, World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and all economic agencies were given a directive to gear their policies and programs towards promoting the reduction of the world’s population especially in less developed countries (LDCs),” he added.

Sotto said the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has for more than three decades lobbied for the liberalization and eventual repeal of all laws that place any restrictions whatever on access to abortion.

“Currently, IPPF is operating in the Philippines through its member, Family Planning Organizations of the Philippines (FPOP), which had actively participated during committee hearings,” he added.

Debate on the Sotto “turno en contra” was effectively cut off when he said that he would deliver the last two parts of his position against the RH bill being pushed by Sen. Pia S. Cayetano.

Before he resumed his tirade, Sotto took time to hit back at his detractors, particularly former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral and “a certain Congresswoman Garin” who had demanded proof that the death of his first son, Vincent Paul, more than 30 years ago, had nothing to do with birth control pills that his wife, Helen, took.

“I find their statements callous and insensitive and it is unfortunate that the reproductive health debate has come to this level. They should have given the sorrow of my family more respect,’’ he said.

“Diane is the name of the birth of the birth control pills that my wife took. Her taking the drug was supervised by the doctor. She knows how to use it. It is clear what her doctor said that pregnancy carries the possibility of complications, prematurity and may cause the death of our son. Why should I invent the truth?” he said.


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