On RH Bill… Sen Sotto’s argument.. In my opinion

Excerpt from Senator Sotto’s Speech Turno en Contra. 

Today, we will define ourselves again, Mr. President, as blah blah blah…..

We have heard these past months the sponsors of Senate Bill No. 2865 entitled An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health and Population Development popularly known as the Reproductive Health or the RH Bill.

Ang sabi nila ay ang mga sumusunod:

1. The RH Bill will save the lives of the mother and the unborn;
2. The RH Bill will provide Filipinos with information on reproductive health which they can use to make informed and intelligent decisions;
3. The RH Bill will provide Filipinos with access to health care facilities and skilled health professionals;
4.  The RH Bill does not promote or legalize abortion;
5. The RH Bill does not impose one mode of family planning method on every Filipino woman and that every person will be allowed to choose the method suitable to her needs and her religious belief;
6.  The RH Bill does not limit the size of the Filipino family;
7.  The RH Bill does not promote sexual promiscuity among the Filipino youth.

Under Section 75 of the Rules of the Senate, upon the closing of the period of parliamentary interpellation on a measure, a senator can take the floor for or against the bill as part of the period of general debate. I speak now against said bill, Mr. President, which we commonly refer to as Turno en Contra.

I strongly believe that Senate Bill 2865 is not necessary, not beneficial and not practical for our people. It will not serve the common good and, therefore, should be rejected. Deceptive information, as well as unreliable and distorted statistics, have been for the arguments of the RH bill. My main objections to the Reproductive Health Bill are as follows:

1. The RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty, the Philippine Constitution and existing penal laws;
2.  The RH bill is detrimental to the health of a pregnant mother and puts the life of the unborn on the line;
3.  The RH Bill violates our financial independence and the autonomy of local governments; and,
4.  The RH Bill transgresses Filipino culture and family values.


Article II, Section 12, of the Philippine Constitution provides: “The state shall EQUALLY protect the life of the mother and THE LIFE OF THE UNBORN FROM CONCEPTION.”

In the Records of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the l987 Constitution, Commissioner Bernardo Villegas in his sponsorship speech dated September 12, 1986, on the article mandating the State to equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from the moment of conception, stated:

“The first question that needs to be answered: is the fertilized ovum alive? Biology categorically says yes, the fertilized ovum is alive.”

Umpisa pa lang sablay na: Contraception as defined in freemedical dictionary


Contraception (birth control) prevents pregnancy by interfering with the normal process of ovulation, fertilization, and implantation.

So what is the issue? It is not yet even fertilized!

Biology and neonatal experts have also spoken on the beginning of human life and let me quote a few of them. (Whatever!)

“Individual human life begins at conception and is progressive, ongoing continuum until natural death. This is a fact so well established that no intellectually honest physician in full command of modern medical knowledge would dare to deny it. There is no authority in medicine or biology who can be cited to refute this concept. (Source: D.J. Moran, M.D., J.D. Gorby, M.D., and T.W. Hilgers, M.D., “Abortion in the Supreme Court: Death Becomes a Way of Life.” Abortion and Social Justice, Sheed and Ward, 1974.)

Medical textbook authors have also confirmed that the “formation, maturation and meeting of a male and female sex cell are all preliminary to their actual union into a combined cell, or zygote, which definitely marks the beginning of a new individual.” (Source: Lesley Arey. Development Anatomy, 7th Edition, 1974. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Publishers.)

“Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite, a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.” (Source: E.L. Potter, M.D., and J.M. Craig, M.D. “Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant,” 3rd Edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975,)

I suggest you skip verbosity Senator… 

My point is this, ovulation and fertilization can still occur despite pills intake. They do not prevent ovulation 100% of the time and thus, fertilization can still occur. There are women with abnormal bleeding and test positive in pregnancy tests despite taking the pill.

Unfortunately, the pill-whether oral, patch or injectable- renders the uterus hostile to implantation. When the fertilized ovum is prevented from implanting in the uterus because of the effect of the pill, this ovum is expelled. This is plain and simple abortion. Morning after pills, on the other hand when taken in large doses within 72 hours after sexual intercourse, no longer prevents fertilization but implantation. In the case of the Intra-Uterine Device (IUD), it does not prevent ovulation, and so fertilization may occur several times in the span of time the device is in the womb of the woman. However, most fetuses will not be able to implant themselves because there is an “appliance” in the womb that prevents them from doing so. Isn’t it that in science, we have the term, “matter occupies space”? Kung may umookupa na, pano pa makakapasok ang fetus sa bahay nya? Kung tayo nga na malalaki at matatanda na, maraming pa ring naririnig na nag-aagawan ng bahay, may nakatirang informal settlers at meron pang professional squatters na tinatawag… pero tayo, ipinaglalaban pa rin natin ang karapatan nating tumira doon.  Itong mga fetus na ito, di sila makalaban sa mga foreign objects na umaagaw ng lugar nila. At ang mga pills na nagrerenovate ng bahay dapat nila, ginawa itong non-livable.

Are you taking pills Senator? Ignorance excuses no one. The more you need to pass this bill. This will teach you how and what kind of contraceptives you should use! Morning-pill *Both types of emergency contraception work by keeping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation.  

Kung tutuusin, hindi ito nakakatulong sa reproductive health ng mga kababaihan, sa katunayan nakakasira pa nga ito sa kanilang kalusugan. There are numerous side effects of contraceptives which unfortunately are not made known to the general public. Unahin natin ang side-effects ng pills. There are numerous studies showing its carcinogenic properties since the development of the synthetic estrogens in 1938 by Sir Edward Charles Dodds. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on July 29, 2005 that after a thorough review of the published scientific literature, it has concluded that combined estrogen –progestogen oral contraceptives (and combined estrogen-progestogen menopausal therapy) are carcinogenic to humans (Group 1 category. This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.) The listed major adverse effects of the pill on women are the following: Breast cancer, cervical cancer, liver cancer, premature hypertension and coronary artery disease resulting in heart attacks and strokes, thromboembolism/pulmonary embolism. Other adverse effects are decreased libido, infertility, leg cramps, gallstone formation, nausea, bloatedness, etc.

Next are the side effects of the IUD. Intrauterine devices have been said to have the following effects: Cramps, bleeding between periods, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and tear or hole in the uterus.

Given all these harmful effects to women, are we going to allow our government to spend billions of money to purchase condoms, pills and IUDs for the sake of what they call “reproductive health”? Hindi ito ang sagot sa sinasabi nilang 11 mothers die every day, kung totoo man yang 11 mothers die everyday na yan. Kung maiipasa itong RH bill, malamang higit pa sa 11 mothers ang mamatay kada araw. Akala ko ang RH bill ay para sa ating mga kababaihan.

I think this bill is more for men, so they can understand why they cannot push their partners to have sex with them. Men never really cared if their partners get pregnant, all they know is that they have this big urge to release!!

Many could attest to the negative effects of these contraceptives to their children. Senator Lapid revealed during one of the interpellations of this measure that his wife became pregnant despite the use of contraceptives and thus was born their third child who turned out to be a “blue baby.” He said that while they were told that the baby would live for many years if it manages to reach age 14, the baby succumbed to a heart attack at age nine. He and his wife attributed the death to the contraceptives that his wife took. Senator Lapid believes that contraceptives cause the increasing number of child abnormalities and genetic disorders such as cleft chin, multiple births, and conjoined or Siamese twins disorder, which were not that many before contraceptives were introduced.

RH Bill is the best bill ever, it promotes awareness for womens’ health and responsibility for men. It also gives women the chance  (for free) to  consult a doctor, or health worker on the proper and right usage of contraceptives.  The choice will be, which is more effective, what is more suitable to our needs, and proper check up is done.

August 16,2012 (Part II)

Mr. President, my dear colleagues:

Before I proceed Mr. President, I would like to take exception to the statements made by Dr. Cabral and to a certain extent by Congresswoman Garin, in reaction, to my disclosure and confession on the death of my first son, Vincent Paul. 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.

Linawin ko lang mabuti:

Diane po ang pangalan ng pills na ginamit ng aking asawa noon. Supervised po siya ng doktor habang ginagamit nya ito. Intellehente naman po ang asawa ko, alam niya kung paano gumamit nito. Malinaw po ang sinabi sa amin ng kanyang doctor, katuwang ang aking ina, Dra. Herminia Castelo Sotto, **  na ang pagbubuntis niya kahit may contraceptives  ang maaring naging sanhi ng kumplikasyon, prematurity at eventually pagkamatay ng anak namin. Bakit ko po iimbentuhin ang katotohanang ito?

Maliwanag, nagko-contraceptives, nagbuntis. Yun ang issue.

This was when? 1970’s?  Besides, Why would your wife resist getting pregnant?  It should have been your first child.. tsk tsk tsk! Despite the given consequences your wife choose to continue to use it? didn’t you even ask if she wanted to get pregnant? Or because you cannot control your libido that she choose to use pills? Are you aware of your wife’s need that time? did you consider it? or you just let your wife do the thinking and you the pumping..

Doon po sa mga bumabatikos at nang-gagalaiti sa akin, sagutin ninyo yung mga yun, punto por punto, at hindi atakihin ang persona ko. Sa facebook.. sa twitter.. kung anu-ano ang sinasabi, hindi naman nila naiintindihan ang punto ko. May mga nananakot pa. Kung sa mga drug-lords nga hindi ako natakot, sa kanila pa? Ang lambot nga ng dating ng umpisa ng turno en contra ko, tapos gagalitin nila ako?

Gusto kong bigyang diin na hindi ko tinututulan ang paggamit ng contraceptives dito sa Pilipinas at lalong hindi ko pinagbabawal ang paggamit nito. Hindi ko intensyon na panghimasukan ang personal na bahagi ng buhay pamilya ng bawat Pilipino. Ang sa akin lamang, bilang mambabatas na pinagkatiwalaan ng nakararami, obligasyon ko na suriin, busisiin at pag-aralang mabuti ang pangkalahatang implikasyon ng bill na ito sa lahat ng mamamayan, ngayon at sa susunod na henerasyon.
Today with your kind indulgence, allow me to proceed to the second part of my turno en contra. Last Monday, I mentioned that I will show how the RH Bill violates Philippine sovereignty. My point in stating that is we should not be pushed over by any state or international organizations in determining what is best for our country. Hindi po porque ginagawa na nila sa kanilang bansa, ay dapat gawin din natin.  Tandaan natin na may iba’t iba tayong kultura, kasaysayan at tradisyon, at higit sa lahat, pangangailangan. Sino sila para magdikta sa atin? Hindi tayo gaya nila na iba ang pagpapahalaga sa pagkakabuklod-buklod ng pamilyang Pilipino at pagpapahalaga sa buhay ng tao.

RH Bill is intended  for families who cannot afford to go to OB-GYN doctors, to educate women about their health and men to be conscious about their partner’s need. Senator, you don’t even know kung ano nangyayari sa mga batang ikinakalakal ng magulang nila just to have food in the table! 

Ang concern ko lang naman, sana mapagkakatiwalaan ang mga data na ginagamit natin sa bill na ito. Because of the delicate nature of the measure and its eventual impact on the future and well-being of the country and the people, we should be assured that the statistics presented to support the bill are beyond doubt. These statistics should be gathered, compiled, analyzed and synthesized by persons or institutions with no personal biases or motives in the bill.  We cannot simply rely on these questionable institutions to provide the statistics for us, since these statistical data would help us make intelligible and accurate judgment on the issue at hand.


From Philippine Demographics


103,775,002 (July 2011 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 34.6% (male 17,999,279/female 17,285,040) 
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 31,103,967/female 31,097,203) 
65 years and over: 4.3% (male 1,876,805/female 2,471,644) (2011 est.)

Population growth rate

1.873% (2011 est.)

Birth rate

24.98 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 18.75 deaths/1,000 live births 
male: 21.21 deaths/1,000 live births 
female: 16.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 71.94 years 
male: 68.99 years 
female: 75.03 years (2011 est.)

Total fertility rate

3.15 children born/woman (2011 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate

less than 0.1% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS

8,700 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS – deaths

fewer than 200 (2009 est.)

The fact that the numbers are growing it means that it is becoming a major problem.

Sa totoo lang, yung mga figures na sinubmit dito sa plenary tungkol sa number   of   unintended  pregnanies, induced  abortions, hospitalizations due to complications of  abortion, mistimed  births  or  unwanted  babies, or maternal deaths  ay mahirap din na tanggapin. They appear to be mere estimates or extrapolations of figures and are not mathematically exact.

I have been severely criticized when I questioned the truthfulness of the claim that 11 mothers die every day. Ngunit bakit naman hindi ko ku-kwestyunin ang figure na ito, kung alam ko na hindi ito tama? Kung sa figures pa lang, sumasablay na sila, what more sa contents na mismo ng bill di ba?

The proponents of the bill are saying that 11 Filipino women die every day when they talked about maternal mortality. They have not, however, supported this claim with accurate and consistent data.

I suggest Senator to see the statistic on hospitals like Quirino Memorial Medical Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, Fabella, and the like. Hospitals that caters to poor people and those of that in the provinces where Health care is not readily available. From there you can see the bigger picture!

Uulitin ko lamang po, hindi po sa wala akong pakialam sa mga nanay na namamatay, ang punto ko po ay ayokong gamitin nila ang maling figures at statistics na ito para lamang hikayatin ang nakakarami na ipasa ang RH bill.  Maling konklusyon po ang kahihinatnan nitong maling figures.  Gaya po ng nasabi ko nung Lunes, malamang kapag naipasa ang RH bill ay mas marami pang kababaihan ang mamamatay dahil sa contraceptives. Ayaw ko po mangyari yon.

Should we wait for millions of people to die before we do something? Isn’t it better to have an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

Despite the fact that the movement was gaining popularity in a society with a serious poverty crisis, Gandhi was an outspoken critic of artificial birth control. His general attitude was that “Persons who use contraceptives will never learn the value of self-restraint. They will not need it. Self-indulgence with contraceptives may prevent the coming of children but will sap the vitality of both men and women, perhaps more of men than of women. It is unmanly to refuse battle with the devil.”

Between a person who had been actively promoting free sex, eugenics and birth control and a person who had been an advocate of nonviolence, discipline, chastity, control of the palate, sino ba ang dapat nating paniwalaan? Kanino bang yapak ang dapat nating sundin?  Kaninong mga pangaral ang mas akma sa ating kinagisnang kaugalian at paniniwala? Klarong-klaro naman po, di ba?

Sana you practice this para your wife need not to take pills 😦

Sana wag tayong magbulag-bulagan sa katotohanan na iniimpluwensyahan tayo ng mga banyaga sa pamamagitan ng bill na ito. Gumagamit sila ng mga mapanlinlang na impormasyon upang sa ganun ay tayo ay makumbinsi nila na tanggapin ang kanilang mga baluktot na paniniwala.

At sana wag ka rin magbulag-bulagan na malaki na talaga ang problema ng bansa, sa food, shelter, basura at kung ano ano pa na ang pinag-ugatan ang kawalan ng kaalaman sa pagplaplano ng pamilya.

The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about


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