Archive | January, 2013

Carolina S. Ruiz-Austria and WomenLEAD’s view of Women vs. the Unborn

31 Jan

Women’s Journal on Law & Culture
“From Mortal Sin to Human Rights: Redefining the Philippine Policy on Abortion”
Vargas, Flordeliza C., editor Ruiz-Austria, Carolina S. et al, authors
Women’s Legal Education, Advocacy, and Defense Foundation, Inc. Quezon City 2001

The authors studied certain provisions of the Philippine Constitution, the Revised Penal Code, the New Civil Code, and other special laws that pertain to the issue of abortion. Reference to international agreements was made, too. In an attempt to present a clear picture of the court’s viewing and handling of abortion, the article cited a 1961 decision of the Supreme Court where abortion was declared justified only when there is a “medical necessity to warrant it.” However, the authors opined that to limit access to abortion is an infringement of women’s human rights which include the exercise of full sexual and reproductive rights, the right to self-determination, the right to life and health, liberty, and privacy (p.91).

The article also examines the country’s policies on abortion and their effects on advocacy work, particularly with regard to women’s reproductive health. In RA 7305 or the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers of 1992, maternity benefits are not extended in cases of “induced” abortions, as the law so defines it. Discriminatory provision as this cannot be found in other legally mandated maternity benefit programs whether for the government or the private sector (p.95). The Population Act of 1971 or RA 6365 likewise leaves out abortion from what is acceptable contraception. The Medical Act of 1959 or RA 2382 allows for the reprimand, suspension, and revocation of a medical practitioner’s license upon performance of an illegal abortion or aiding in the performance thereof. The Barangay-Level Total Development and Protection of Children Act of 1990 or RA 6972, forewarns daycare centers against illegal abortions (p.95).

The article then presented the multifarious and conflicting views of various camps and authorities on abortion and laws relative to it. But the authors believe there should be no argument that the woman is a person. One must be given the right to decide over matters that concern her life and her body. They also find a dearth in laws that address the needs of women and even children who get impregnated as a result of rape (p.98).

The article culminated with recommendations for advocacy. It underscores how a reversal in the unfair treatment of women in the eyes of the policy environment can benefit women’s reproductive health advocacy in the country. As such, the authors call for a clear definition of State policy on public health – one that will represent a fair concept of women’s health. This can only be possible if women’s issues as reproductive health care and violence against women are not trivialized but are looked at with utmost priority.

Some points in my mind: what rights does the baby in her womb have? This doesn’t seem clear to me. It apparently does not consider a fetus to be a human being — not a living creature. Is it moral to kill someone who has no chance to defend himself but has every right to live?


Iglesia ni Cristo member Anthony Taberna defends Catholic rights in morning show segment

30 Jan


Here’s the transcript from INC member Anthony Taberna segment “Punto por Punto” on the morning show, “Umagang Kay Ganda”:

Mga kaibigan, nakaka-bilib po si Carlos Celdran. Siya lang po ang may lakas ng loob at tapang na gawin ang mapangahas na bagay na di kayang gawin ng iba. Ehemplo po siya ng isang tunay na Pilipino. Ang kaniyang ingina-ngawa kaya niyang tapatan ng gawa. Pinatingkad po ni Celdran ang tunay na kahulugan ng “kalayaan sa pagpapahayag at pagsasalita” na ikaw, bilang mamamayan ng bansang demokratiko ay may karapatan dumaing, mag-labas ng hinaing, manuligsa. At lalo po’ng naging mahalaga ang pantindig ni Carlos Celdran dahil ang isyu po’ng kaniyang tinayuan ay Reproductive Health na kailangan ng bayan ngunit mariing tinutulan ng Simbahan.

Ngunit hindi po absoluto ang alin mang kalayaan at karapatang ibinigay ng Konstitusyon sa mga mamamayan. Kapagka po ang karapatan ng sinuman ay tuwiran ng nakakayapak o nakakasagasa sa karapatan ng iba, dapat ay mag-isip-isip na siya. Hindi pupuwedeng sabihin ng isang residenteng mahilig kumanta na karapatan po niyang mag-videoke hanggang madaling-araw ng ubod ng lakas gamit ang trompa kung nakaka-bulahaw na po siya sa mga natutulog na kapitbahay.

Karapatan po ni Celdran ang tuligsain ng walang-puknat ang Simbahan. Eh lalo na po ngayon na andami na po’ng nagtu-Twitter o Facebook o di kaya’y sa pamamagitan ng rally sa labas ng simbahan. Ngunit, eh iyon po’ng ginawa niya, na ginulo ang isang… hindi man po iyan misa, pero isa pong seremoniya sa loob mismo ng simbahan na sagrado po sa manananampalataya eh ibang usapan na yata iyan kabarkada.

May kalayaan din po ang Simbahan sa isang mapayapa at matahimik na pag-samba. Mabuti po at idinaan sa legal na proseso ang kaso ni Celdran at simbolikal lang po naman ang sentensiya kung tutuusin dahil hindi naman po siya makukulong dahil meron po tayong pamantayan tungk… o panuntunan tungkol sa probation. Ang mas mahalaga, sana po’y matuto ang bawat isa: galit man tayo kay Damaso, huwag mo’ng gayahin ang diskarteng ito.

The video to the whole Punto por Punto segment is here:


A Small Discussion on Celdran’s Conviction

30 Jan

Update: my friend found this post and has somewhat taken offense for having said “that was too low for him.” and has apparently taken it personally. If this was misunderstood, then I apologize deeply. However, to clarify, I would never get into personal attacks. As Fulton Sheen said, “Intolerance applies to principles, never to persons.” and I would like to keep it this way. I was only pertaining to the mention of the ‘cover-ups’ and the Inquisition which are not concerned with the topic, hence the words, “Such a pity.” since I feel for my friend whom I have high regard for because of his wide thinking and voracious appetite for reading. Again, if any of this is misinterpreted at any point, I apologize and clarify that I will not get into personal attacks.

My friend, a Born Again Christian, is an ally of Carlos Celdran and of the RH-groups. I tried to respond to his objections to the decision handed to Celdran and how he explains that this does not merit jail time. But as a Catholic, I understand why he does not get it.

1. I cite, as an example, the Eucharist or rather The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. To a Protestant, it is nothing more than just a piece of bread. But to a Catholic, it is Jesus Himself! Should a Protestant throw away a piece of consecrated host, it means nothing to them. But to a Catholic, it would be sacrilege.

2. Saying that he does not intend to do such a thing, (I didn’t say he would. I’m merely illustrating the situation in a different way.) he tells me that my example is misplaced. So I give another example: me slapping two women where one woman is his mother. Naturally, he reacts violently against this but insists that this is even more far-off than the first example. My only point in the example is if you put yourself in the shoes of a good Catholic who recognizes that something, say a church (or his mother, in my example), is sacred or important to you, then desecrating it (or slapping her/insulting her) is a “notoriously offensive” act. Again, this doesn’t seem to be clear to him. I somehow understand why since this isn’t in his culture or set of beliefs as a Protestant.

3. He continually notes jurisprudence in the case of People vs. Baes in 1939 and shares the dissenting opinions of Laurel and Imperial which questions what is “notoriously offensive” to a religious group. Be that as it may, the explanation in the same case notes the testimony of Baes where he felt the “grave profanation of the place.” A place consecrated for holy things is set apart. That is why we have a parish hall for meetings and programs and the liturgy inside the church itself — precisely because we do not want to desecrate what is sacred ground!

In this light, I would like to illustrate this with Moses’ encounter with God through the burning bush. If you believe in the sacredness of the land on which you stand, you will do as Moses did. If you do not believe in it, you would find it without difficulty to stand up and put up a sign saying DAMASO! in front of Moses himself.

4. In the end, there cannot be blame on my friend for not understanding how this is offensive to a Catholic. A REAL CATHOLIC. Not a Cafeteria Catholic. It is such a pity how one can be so passionately against strawmen. He also continually mentions the ‘cover-up’ of sex abuse by priests and even mentions, in passing, the Inquisition. I really thought that was too low for him. Reminds me of an article by Robert Hutchinson I read how atheists simply revert to their one-liner attacks. This is what I saw in my friend. Such a pity.

Carlos Celdran is Guilty and Netizens Will Revolt

28 Jan


1. Because it is an injustice to jail a man who has “done nothing wrong but express his views” though in an improper venue.

2. Because it is justifiable to offend Catholics and their faith.

3. Because it’s a conspiracy and the Church has the judge paid off like the other judges and parents of priest-abused children.

4. Because it’s narrow-minded conservatives who want revolutionary minds in jail. Take Jose Rizal.

5. Because Carlos Celdran is a good man.

6. Because Carlos Celdran is right.

i just love fiction, don’t you?

“Apart from his stunts, you hardly see Celdran on TV or elsewhere discussing the issue of reproductive rights and health soberly and intelligently. That sort of thing is done by the honorable men and women in the RH community who might think that they’ve found an ally in Celdran but who, I believe, are increasingly getting tired of his nincompoopery.” – James Cordova