Tag Archives: politics

Condoms and the Presidential Election

This is the news, “Women activists present condoms to Philippine bishops.” What’s new? The Philippine Catholic bishops have been waging a bitter war with the government against the use of contraceptives. The Catholic church has never been weakened with its stiff stand against Family Planning and the use of artificial methods of birth control.

The Philippine Catholic Bishops have always been critical of any administration or political parties that support birth control and family planning. In fact presidential aspirants in the like of Senator Noynoy Aquino have been very careful with their stand with regards to population issues. The Bishop can always call on the Catholic faithful some 75 millions out of the 90 to 100 million Filipinos not to vote for any candidate who supports the family planning program of the government. One of the important criteria the good Bishops are looking to any politician vying for an elective position in the government is his policies and stand on the issues of family planning and birth control.

Even if President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo knows the significance of high birth rate in combating poverty problems in the Philippines, having been once a DSWD secretary, she tends to be careful with its population management program so as not to provoke the ire of the already critical Clergies to her administration. The bishops also took advantage of the government soft stand on Family Planning and birth control by calling for a ban on the advertisement of condom however the Arroyo’s administration only shrugged off their demands.

As if trying to maim the bishops stiff opposition on birth control and contraceptives, here comes Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral (former DSWD Secretary) “handing out condoms on February 13 as part of an information campaign on HIV-AIDS.” Her action may not necessarily be the collective stand of the government but nobody in the bureaucracy stood up to sanction her. She had not violated any law, she just exercised her political independence to promote actions responsive for the health and general welfare of the entire population. Yet the Bishops angrily called for her to resign.

But Health Secretary Cabral found allies on women’s health and rights advocate groups like the Party of the Workers who picketed and presented two baskest full of condoms at the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops Conference.

Judy Ann Miranda, the party’s secretary-general asked the bishops to “bless the condoms as a conciliatory gesture to unite for reproductive health and women’s rights” but unfortunately no bishop was around to receive/bless it.

As a response to the women activists action the bishops said, through spokesman Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, that they could not compromise on the church’s opposition to birth control devices. Again, a manifestation of the unwavering Catholic dogma on contraceptive devices which are perceived to tamper with the flow of nature and life. They the bishops however have no specific response on how to promote women’s reproductive health and quality of life.

“If contraceptives are immoral, nothing can change that… not even the vote of the whole country can change that,” Quitorio said. But should he not consider also immoral to see the health of women deteriorate just because couples are denied on the used of contraceptive devices. I think there is nothing more immoral than allowing spread of diseases and overpopulating the limited space we have in this country just because we can not control our rapid population growth.

And going back to politics, is the issue on contraceptives a leverage for a politician to improve his chances of winning in the presidential race? Will the good bishops support senator Manny Villar if he makes a covenant with the Catholic Church in the Philippines never to support legislative measures that advocate the use of contraceptives and other birth control devices? What will happen to the leading presidential candidate on surveys now should he decide to go against the bishops on their resistance to contraceptives and population control programs of the government?

So there we go, peace on earth and condom to all!

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Filed under Community life, democracy, education, Philippine government, Religion, Religion and sexual behavior, Reproductive Health, social justice, Wealth, Poverty, women

Run after the killers… Maguindanao Massacre

I don’t know what kind of people are those who perpetrated the senseless killing of women and innocent victims. I don’t know if those people who killed journalists whose only reason to be there was to inform the public have hearts and soul? They could do things more than what the devil could do; rape and kill women just to sow fear and send a message to their political rivals–don’t go against us.

Politics, political rivalry nothing else is the reason behind the Maguindanao Massacre according to media practitioners, political analysts, law enforcers, and ordinary citizens. Why?

A portion from abs-cbnNEWS.com report yesterday has this to say:

Buluan vice mayor Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu told ANC that his wife, Jenn, his sister, and some relatives were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy on his behalf when a group of about 100 armed men abducted them.

Mangudadatu, who is running for governor of Maguindanao, said some 15 media men who went to cover the event were also seized.

The Mangudadatus believe the abduction was politically motivated. Madaser “Toy” Mangudadato, a member of regional legislative assembly of ARMM, told ANC that they sent their female relatives to file the certificate of candidacy for “Toto” in the hope that their political rivals would not harm them.

Toy said they were warned that if Toto will personally file his candidacy, he will be hurt

Meanwhile president Arroyo declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat to prevent further blood-shed. “There is an urgent need to prevent and suppress the occurrence of several other incidents of lawless violence,” according to Press Secretary Cerge Remonde. This (indefinite state of emergency) will give the military and police adequate powers of arrest and detention for peace and justice.

On the other hand senators who have been very critical to this administration expressed concern of possible whitewash on the massacre as those suspected to have to have masterminded the crime are closest allies of the president. So they dare the president to go after her political allies the Ampatuans. But Malacanang however assured the public that there’s going to be no sacred cow to be spared in the investigation. All of the suspected perpetrators will be brought to justice to answer for their crime.

As of this writing, 24 more bodies have been recovered by the authorities in the area and that the massacre toll already rose to 46.

The entire nation is watching, the world is observing us, the president has no other prerogative but to arrests the perpetrators including those political leaders suspected of masterminding it. At this time when president Arroyo’s acceptability rating is plunging down to the lowest, her resolve perhaps to run after these ruthless killers and lock them behind bars may help in any way reverse public’s negative perception of her administration.

Perhaps before her term ends, at least the public will be aware that the president has done one great thing in her country in the dispensation of justice for those senselessly killed.

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Filed under democracy, government, Justice, Muslim Religion, Philippine government, politics, rape, women

Our Glimpse of Tomorrow of this Politically Divided Country

A year ago my students debated in the class whether or not the entry of showbiz personalities in politics is a disaster to Philippine legislature and governance. It was a heated debate which lasted for two sessions especially when former president Estrada was dragged into the scene.

The “wealthiest” (those coming from the well-to-do families) called it a disaster for Estrada to be elected president. But the majority “middle and lower class (children of OFWs, government employees, and ordinary street vendors, etc.) defended the actor who they believe is the “champion of the common tao.” But both group agreed it was Erap’s dethronement which paved way to the Arroyo’s administration haunted with accusation of human rights violations, graft and corruption, and perpetuation into power.

In view of this I asked both leaders of the debating group again: Is the entry into politics of showbiz personalities a disaster in Philippine politics, governance, and legislation? The entire class roared with different dissenting opinions.

After the class I was left laughing but deeply disturbed inside. What had just transfired is a reflection of reality in this land. This is democracy in action. This is congress in session. And this is the Philippines today… after the Americans “restored our freedom.” A country “run like hell?”

More talks less action. We have good plans but no implementation. We have all the laws to punish the corrupt and notoriously undesirable but only the little fish is caught. Is this our vision of free and progressive Philippines for the future generation?

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Filed under Economic Survival, education, ethical standard, government, Justice, Philippine government, politics, social justice, Trust, Wealth, Poverty, World Bank

Ceasefire from Politics « Secondlady’s Weblog

Ceasefire from Politics « Secondlady’s Weblog

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