WHILE he may not have endorsed the Reproductive Health bill in Congress during his state-of-the-nation address, President Aquino expressed his desire for “responsible parenthood” to address the backlog in education. That seems enough signal for his lapdogs in the House of Representatives to hold a caucus and schedule a vote on the RH bill on August 7.

It is typical of the President, who thanked his Jesuit confessor toward the end of his Sona for giving him spiritual solace amid the challenges of leadership, to speak jesuitically. Last year, he expressed desire for the RH bill to be passed even if he had not certified the bill. This year, the bill remains uncertified yet he has signalled he wants Congress to vote on it.

The President has declared a policy of “daang matuwid” (straight path) but speaks with a forked tongue.

Typical of his jesuitry is his use of “responsible parenthood” in place of reproductive health. Responsible parenthood (RP) is a term coined by Humanae Vitae, the famous encyclical of Pope Paul VI in 1968 which condemned contraception and abortion. Humanae Vitae (Latin for human life) stated that the “direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children.”

In his five-point policy statement on responsible parenthood, Aquino says he opposes abortion and seeks to promote both artificial and natural family planning methods. But the Church opposes contraception and believes that RH promotes abortion.

RH is a very broad term; internationally it is used and understood as including access to abortion. It has a clear distinction with responsible parenthood.

The President expresses the belief that life begins at conception. But he does not mention that pills, Intrauterine devices, and injectibles prevent implantation and are abortifacients!

In short, RP is essentially against RH. By equating RP with RH, which promotes contraception, including abortifacients, and condones abortion (hospitals and physicians are compelled to treat women suffering from abortion complications), the President was being Machiavellian—brushing up his Catholic credentials while distorting Catholic teaching and turning it against the Church, where majority of Filipinos belong.

This jesuitic perversion was exhibited some years back by professors of Ateneo de Manila University who signed a statement backing RH, arguing that Catholic teachings on conscience and theology of liberation made them do so!

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Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said the President’s remarks were an open declaration of war against the Church. Supporters of the President lambasted the bishops for meddling in politics, but they seem impervious to the fact that the President and Congress are acting undemocratically and railroading the RH bill.

In the first place, RH was not part of Aquino's electoral platform. He was not voted on the basis of his promise that he would legislate and enact population control. If he had made his stand known then, then the electorate would have been given the democratic opportunity to evaluate his program of government and decide whether or not to vote for him.

Moreover, none of the questionable provisions of the bill, many of them going against the constitutional enshrinement of the natural law and human rights, has been junked. The bill has become longer in order to accommodate Aquino’s distortion of RP. For example, the bill was revised to include his concern that no demographic target should be set. But the questionable provision on the “ideal family size” of two children per couple has been retained. Isn’t that a demographic target?

Those who are saying the Church should shut up are betraying their anti-democratic colors, their liberal streak that rhetorically exalts democracy but on practice looks at government as nothing more than an arena for lobbyists with the fattest pockets, like bleeding-heart liberals such as Melinda Gates, whose group has just raised $3.5 billion for population control in the developing world, which is a form of imperialism.

Not true to his word

The President’s “daang matuwid” (straight path) should presuppose "isang salita" or palabra de honor. But the President is not a man of his word. His vocabulary does not include “honor” and “truthfulness.”

For example, nowhere in the Sona did he mention the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, which he promised to be his priority during the 2010 campaign.

The FOI bill, once enacted, will give the people the right “to information on matters of public concern, and adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.”

The Filipino people are his “boss,” as he mentioned in his first Sona in 2010, but he has conveniently let the FOI bill languish in the legislative mill because, like a true-blue traditional politician, he is averse to press criticism and dissent.

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Would the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which was started by his mother, suffer the same fate as the FOI? The President had Chief Justice Renato Corona impeached and convicted after the high court voted against the President’s Hacienda Luisita, an act of political pique if there was one. He said in his Sona he would distribute all lands when Carper, the CARP extension law, expires in 2014; but the pace of the distribution leaves much to be desired and indicates the target would not be met. Would his family’s Hacienda Luisita have been fully distributed to farmer-beneficiaries by then?

Condescending

What’s even more revealing about the Sona is the President’s condescending attitude toward poor Filipinos. In what part of the Sona did he situate his desire to have RH legislated because he claimed to be for "responsible parenthood"?

It was in the context of the gains he had allegedly made in filling up the backlog in education:

"We are ending the backlog in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase. Perhaps Responsible Parenthood can help address this."

In short, Aquino basically blamed the poor education system of the country on irresponsible parents who have too many children.

Former senator Mar Roxas, Aquino’s 2010 running mate and now his transportation and communication secretary, exhibited the same twisted logic, when in order to solve airport congestion, he wanted the number of flights reduced.

In fact, the backlog in the education sector has always been the excuse of the state to spend billions of taxpayer’s money on classroom infrastructure, instructors, and supplies, the better for kickbacks to be channelled to the pockets of bureaucrats, politicians, and contractors.

Now, Aquino is saying that poor Filipino parents are irresponsible for reproducing like rabbits and taxing the limits of free education.

The fact that young Filipinos go to school means that their parents are responsible enough to send them there so that they could have a better future.

Aquino is betraying the elitist liberal mindset that pragmatically sacrifices everything that the poor could absorb or be made to absorb in the name of progress and development. Such a mindset makes RH an anti-poor measure.

Sen. Pia Cayetano did not hide her condescension toward, nay, her utter contempt for, the poor when she said Aquino was calling for the passage of the RH bill.

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“So what does that mean? That parents should be planning their families, right? No matter [how many] classrooms you build, if a parent will be having 10 children who they cannot afford to feed and send to school then we will always have a shortage,” she said.

Cayetano therefore blames poverty on the poor and their overpopulation, not on fundamental matters such as mismanagement, lack of reforms and correct policies, incompetence and corruption.

Aquino and Cayetano blame the poor for the poverty of the nation, not for the self-interest of politicians and lawmakers who, while swearing fealty to the Constitution, do not bother to pass an act to enable the constitutional provision against the perpetuation of political dynasties, such as the Aquinos of Tarlac and the Cayetanos of Taguig.

Demographic suicide, economic trap

Not only do Aquino and his ilk betray their elitist, eugenicist, anti-poor mindset.

As Governor Amado Tetangco of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and a study by the Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Philippines may be reaping this early the benefits of having a robust population and a large young work force.

The demographic windfall owes to the fact tha Filipinos have not imbibed the contraceptive and anti-life, anti-family mentality that has affected much of the industrialized world, including China which has entered the stage of demographic winter owing to its draconian one-child policy of forced abortions, perhaps the worst genocide in contemporary history.

No less than the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has sounded the alarm on Philippine progress being derailed by RH.

In its editorial last July 24, “Keeping the Dream Alive,” the WSJ said that while investors are eyeing the Philippines as the newest growth hub, the Philippine government itself may undermine international confidence because of wrong policies.

The WSJ added that Aquino’s “promotion of a ‘reproductive health’ bill is jarring because it would put the Philippines in danger of following China's path into middle-income development followed by a demographic trap of too few workers. The Philippines doesn't have too many people, it has too few pro-growth policies.”

So is President Aquino leading the country along the straight path toward demographic doom and economic trap? The answer is obvious.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Obviously, the Varsitarian became a sharp critic of PNoy because of this RH Bill mess with the already powerful Catholic Church. Halata naman may galit ang mga prayle ng UST kay PNoy kaya pumayag ang mga ito na baliktutuin ang mga alituntunin para mabigyan ng Ph.D si dating CJ Corona.

  2. Aside from an obvious hate rant to the president, I think you’re openly criticizing the Jesuits themselves. Let us not put non-combatants in the battlefield. Unless you want a flame war to happen between sides of you know what and which.

  3. Wonderful writing from the Varsitarian, as always. If only the Jesuits can write like this. But they can’t, because their poor jesuitic mindsets only allows them to write jesuitically.

    • I am a Thomasian, but I do not agree with your statement that Jesuits cannot write well. Let us not come out comments that will make the Varsitarian less noble than it should be. Thank you my fellow Thomasian.

  4. Although I have to agree with you with some of whats written here, I’m deeply bothered by this statement in your article:

    “?This jesuitic perversion was exhibited some years back by professors of Ateneo de Manila University who signed a statement backing RH, arguing that Catholic teachings on conscience and theology of liberation made them do so!”

    First of all, do you even know what “Liberation theology” is? As a student of such a guiding model for theology myself, I have to affirm that the RH Bill actually can be supported by Liberation Theology.

    Second, are you intentionally being condescending by using the term “Perversion” to describe their [professors] decision to stand for the RH Bill? Ateneo students AND Faculty are given a freedom of choice within this institution. As much as Ateneo emphasizes catholic teaching as a basic guideline for everyone, the institution gives Freedom of Thought and therefore a choice a greater importance.

    Lastly, as much as this is an opinions page ergo your own views on this/these issue/s, it pains me to read an article full of hasty generalization, especially on specific statements of certain political figures. What I mean by this is the fact that you commit, and I have to admit several times, a fallacy of equivocation.

    Given all of these, I still praise you to have a bold stand on such current issue. Thank you.

  5. The same WSJ article that you cited says, “The Philippines doesn’t have too many people.” Right. Because we’re ~not overpopulated, right?

    Because we do ~not rank 4th in terms of highest population density among countries who are over 100,000 sq. km., right?

    Because we’re ~not the 12th most populous country in the world, right?

    Because Metro Manila does ~not have a population of approx. 16,000,000 right? (Which is almost twice the population of the most populated European city in the world London, triple the population of Berlin, and triple the population of the entire Finland.)

    We clearly need MORE PEOPLE! Why not aim for 1 billion, right?

    /sarcasm

  6. The Ateneo as an institution still backs the Church on RH issues so I have no idea what any of this “jesuitry” babble you proclaim has anything to do with the article, apart from introducing the possibility of ad hominem attacks just for the sake of ripping apart the Ateneo.

    Here’s the article where the Ateneo president himself supports the Church’s stand. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/255108/ateneo-backs-church-on-rh-bill)

    If there’s anything we Ateneans have learned, it’s to think critically and be updated with what’s needed in times like the present. Exegesis can evolve. We try to be more rational at times where reason is most needed in decision making. We can take personal stands separately from the institution, something we do to encourage dialogue and serious thinking.

    You’ve been throwing the wrong statistics and have been building on slippery slopes to show your point.

    And the gall – the gall – to even call it Machiavellian. Tell me where the RH bill supports the use of abortifacients, please. If you can, that may still be revised to appease your needs slash wants. If you say that introducing the RH bill will increase abortion rates, then it’s not the bill you should be questioning – it’s the people and the lifestyles, the cultures they have, and the mindets they have in choosing to decide to do so. It’s not supposed to be government’s fault.

  7. 1.) What is Jesuitic perversion? Are you claiming that the Jesuit order is some sort of demon? :))

    2.) NOT ALL artificial contraceptive methods act AFTER fertilization. Since the Church defines the beginning of life as the moment of fertilization then NOT ALL contraceptive methods=abortion.

    3.) The RH issue has been pending for more than a decade now, how is the voting a form of railroading?

    4.) Just because the president did not include the RH issue in his campaign platform that does not mean that he can push for it. Are you saying that the president, even with his legitimate mandate, cannot work for the people that voted for him in a way that his conscience believes is right? Then we should just hire an administrator and not vote for a leader anymore. :))

    5.) The bill is in the period of amendments, if any party has any objections on the current form of the bill then now is the time to reach out to their representatives and voice their complaints. Seriously, intelligent dialogue can go a long way.

    6.) The bill RECOMMENDS an ideal family size of 2 children. If a couple wants to have a dozen children, no one is stopping them.

    7.) The Gates spends BILLIONS of their money to help the less fortunate of the underdeveloped world, how is that imperialism?

    8.) The final decision on the Hacienda Luisita case came out AFTER the impeachment procedures began.

    9.) If couples understand the repercussions of having too many children that they cannot support and if they choose to plan/space their children properly, then yes, that would help with the problems of our educational system since the government has a finite amount of resources. Btw, some of the government’s money also goes to the DSWD that takes care of the children that are unable to be supported by their parents.

    10.) It would be more responsible for the parents to be able to provide for all their children.

    11.) Nobody said that the RH Bill will fix all the problems about corruption etc. but it is a step forward.

    I hope you can respond to my questions and opinions, thank you!

  8. The term “Responsible Parenthood” actually precedes the publication of Humanae Vitae. Much like a legislative body, the Roman Catholic Church follows certain procedures in formulating Church policy. RP was actually first coined by the Majority Report of the Papal Birth Control Commission, an advisory committee composed of the foremost theologians and other Church experts of the day. The Papal Birth Control Commission was similar to a legislative committee, in that it was commissioned to conduct an in-depth and honest study on birth control. Their output was meant to guide the Pope in crafting a definitive birth control policy grounded in both science and proper Catholic morality.

    The Majority Report of this commission, released during Vatican II and supported by the vast majority of the renowned and respected theologians it was composed of, actually supported the right of married couples to use contraceptives:

    “The regulation of conception appears necessary for many couples who wish to achieve a responsible, open and reasonable parenthood in today’s circumstances. If they are to observe and cultivate all the essential values of marriage, married people need decent and human means for the regulation of conception.” (Schema Documenti de Responsabili Paternitate, Pt. I, Ch. II, Sec. 2)

    However, Pope Paul VI disregarded the findings of the majority and sided with the conservative minority of the committee, reinforcing the Catholic ban on contraceptives in his influential Humanae Vitae, which was published a couple years after the Majority Report was released.

    Thus, both Responsible Parenthood (by its original expert definition) and Reproductive Health condone the use of contraceptives, yet in varying degrees and situations. For your information.

  9. I have read your position, your opinions about the state and the government. While I am against some of the president’s stands, I adhere and yield to his end goal: to make the Philippines into a developed country. The RH bill will only make us a better nation, it will only give us more choices. More choices are what developed countries have in comparison to poorer countries. Choice can make us great or be the destruction of us. But as a developing country, a country ridden with poverty, sexually transmitter diseases, numerous abortions because of the main fact that the child is unwanted and a low maternal health rate, don’t you think it is time to try better options? I am a Roman Catholic by birth and I believe in God with all my heart. As taught in my school, God is a God of life. He is pro-life. The suffering must stop and we are the only ones who can end that suffering. As Senator Santiago mentioned, countries are supposed to move forward, not backwards. Your hypothesis is that the RH bill can only bring numerous abortions but what is currently observed are numerous abortions already and even more so, compromised maternal health. I know why the bishops and the CBCP are black listing certain the academe who go against their will. They do this because they are afraid of change, of what might become of this if the bill is passed. So much freedom given to the masses might be deadly. But as they have taught me, the greatest weapon of Catholics is their faith. Have faith in the RH bill. It will only bring us good. Stop for a moment thinking about rewards of the after-life and start thinking about the solutions to the hell that our country is in. My friend told me that priests are nothing more that preachers of death, because they only preach about doing good deeds that are rewards for the after life. They are concerned only about the unclear future and not the clear and painful present. They should be preachers of life and stop the suffering of the masses of this country. Support the RH bill for a better Philippines and a Better World. Be a Realist. Wala ka bang paki-alam?

  10. I recommend the students here who are interested in demography to take time in studying the publication of the Harvard PhD Dr. Villegas entitled “Positive Dimension on Population Growth”, publications of Nobel laureate economists such as Simon Kuznets and RAND Corporation and many more which are all pointing towards the future of the country with an above-replacement fertility rate and below-replacement rate.

    Reliable statistics and researches today are all favored towards to the lack of correlation of population growth and economic growth as well as the long-term advantage of a growing population with short-term disadvantages.

    More powers Philippines!

  11. Why did you state ‘jesuitic perversion”? You’ve been criticizing Ateneo in different points. You’ve been throwing unfavorable statements, I think you should start thinking rationally.

  12. Just because the rich and powerful do not like the poor and weak to procreate as they consider these people “wretched” does not mean to say that they are right. Yah, you guys may be rich and ride in fancy cars and attend fancy schools and all these give you a sense of know it all that you wish to impose your condescending views upon the poor and the working class, but that doesn’t mean that you’re right. If you give a chance for abortion to slowly slide through the crest of the dam then that’s your choice. Nothing will ever change your mind. I guess you won’t ever discourage rich people like yourselves from enjoying the privilege of deciding for one’s own how many children one wishes to have precisely because they are just like yourself- are rich. Behind the apparent or seeming concern for the poor is actually perhaps the scorn and disbelief over how can they even think of raising a family as if this were not their human right.

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