Sotto warns he can filibuster on RH bill as regular senator


Critics demanding that Sen. Tito Sotto resign as majority leader for his stand against the population control bill should think twice.

Sotto said he could resign his post but becoming a “regular senator” would allow him to filibuster and block passage of the contentious measure.

An obviously peeved Sotto told the Philippine Daily Inquirer he has been getting a lot of flak on networking sites for his critical stance against the reproductive health (RH) bill that would require the government to distribute or make available contraceptives and other forms of artificial birth control pills to poor couples.

Columnist and therapist Dr. Margie Holmes, for instance, mockingly surmised in her blog at that Sotto lacked sympathy toward families with many children because his sperm behaved like “heat-seeking missiles” only when he wanted children.

Holmes dared Sotto to “train the sperm of your countrymen” to behave like his does.

Sotto and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile have been scored for allegedly causing the delay of the bill’s approval in the chamber despite debates on it for a year now.

The Senate closed the period of interpellation before Congress adjourned last June.

Enrile, however, clarified that Sen. Pia Cayetano, the principal RH sponsor, had agreed to reopen debates “if I have additional questions.” Enrile said he was then preoccupied as presiding judge in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona who was later ousted.

“They should not accuse me of delaying action on the bill because I just might call their challenge,” Sotto fumed in a phone interview. Sotto is to deliver a speech against the RH bill on Wednesday.

“As a regular senator, I would be more effective in filibustering than a majority floor leader. As majority leader, I still schedule discussions on the RH bill (despite my objections to it),” he said. “But as a regular senator, I could just throw a monkey wrench at the bill.”

Sotto said his speech would delve on his stand that contraceptives should be classified as abortifacients and not “special medicines” as provided in the RH bill; the P3 billion budget allotted for an information campaign on the measure; and the international groups and persons involved in a “sinister plot to try and lessen the population in Third World countries.

Sotto was reported to have named the UN Population Fund, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and a large pharmaceutical company as the groups behind the RH bill campaign.

“I would read into the Senate records the speeches and pronouncements of these leaders,” Sotto complained.

“When the RH proponents had their turn on the floor, they left a lot of questions unanswered. Now their supporters are charging us of being repetitive by reopening the period of interpellation. I will be asking questions because the proponents did not answer them,” Sotto explained. /INQUIRER

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  • indiosbravos2002

    Sotto is in big trouble. I just hope the Catholic bishops vote him back to the senate. With rougjly 7000-10,000 votes though that will be pretty hard to do. Napasubo na lolo eh.

  • Josefusjoselitus Zurczeraus

    The intent or the motive behind rh bill is something that is not necessarily health and reproduction  specifically in view of the so called free choice. Example, pro-rh propagates that the use of condoms will make users free from STD. They call this propagation pro-choice. Pardon, for it’s not. In being pro-choice, there must be choices. So, to be a pro-choice you are supposed to say; in avoiding STD, can use condom or 2.avoid having sex with sex partner other than your sex partner whom you are familiar with.
    Pro-rh said, IUD, pills, condoms and other contraceptives are the best to avoid unwanted pregnancies. They call it pro-choice. Wrong! To be pro-choice you need to say; in planning your family especially in terms of number of children, you may 1.observe God/nature design that is woman’s cycle, because woman’s cycle including fertile and infertile periods must have its own design namely having sexual intercourse at fertile periods is an act of desiring to produce a child, having sex in an infertile periods are acts avoiding pregnancy/child production or 2. use contraceptives.

    In this case, whether or not there is rh bill man can choose (i.e to use or not to use). Why insists on rh bill? Not all filipinos had the minds like josefus? That 70 or 80% of filipinos are sex-pleasure seeking mammals? Is anyone from among pro-rh dare say, 70 or 80% of pinoys incapable of knowing and understanding responsibility alongside sexual intercourse? dnt know and understand that sexual intercourse is not just about pleasure? Can anybody dare say? If it is, then, let’s go and do our share in telling them about the truth by bringing what we propagate (i.e pro-choice). We (churchmen, govt. people, and volunteers) can do this even without RH Bill!is

    Titosen must not turn his head back. His political career may be affected because pro-rh bill might be all out to destroy him, but if this 70 or 80% approximated of being not aware about responsibility alongside sexual intercourse will stand and tell the world they are aware and and can stand responsible, then Titosen. and all other anti-RH Bill has nothing to worry about.

    • GavinReynolds

      First off, let’s ditch the rhetoric. There is no such thing as “pro choice” in this debate.

      If you support the RH bill, then you support educating the people of the Philippines about the options and risks involved in sexual intercourse.  You advocate for universal access to contraceptives and health care support for those who choose to have children.

      If you are against the RH bill, then you believe that current setup is effective, that the risks associated with STDs can be mitigated through religion.  You also believe that all humans are able to rise above their baser urges and act accordingly.

      Now, let’s look at that through the lens of the RH bill.

      If it passes, the people in the former group get what they want.  Sexual education in schools with parental consent.  Access to condoms and birth controls guaranteed by federal law.   However what have those against it lost?  Nothing.  The bill in no way infringes on their right to believe or act how they chose.  Those who are able to rise above their baser urges, still can.  Faith and abstinence can still be taught by religious leaders.  Everyone wins, especially the country as it helps curtail the spread of STDs and reduce the strain on all aspects of the economy. 

      If it doesn’t passes well the religious side wins but the country as a whole does lose.  The existing hand-to-mouth poverty continues to crush the Philippines as the population grows faster than the economy to support it.  The existing medical system remains ineffective, overworked and understaffed.  Three lethal incurable but preventable STDs will continue to grow and spread within the still very-much vibrant prostitution rings. There’s a reason why all the developed nations have the lowest birth rate among the world and it has to do with keeping the population in check relative to the economy’s capacity to support it.  

      The point of the bill is that it enshrines the right to access this knowledge to every Filipino equally.  It is to give tools and options to anyone who wants them.  Currently the existing law does not work as many local mayors, provincial officials can override it through the existing political corruption that exists.

      I believe that all of humanity, not just one cultural group or another, are pleasure-seeking animals.   Sex is seen among as the universal measuring stick by which we compare how ‘good’ something is.  How many times in a TV show or movie has a star uttered “that’s better than sex” or some other line?  How often have we used sex to measure how ‘successful’ someone is?  Sex is a fact of life.  We all will have it.  

      This is a bill that costs you nothing, morally speaking.  But to not pass it, you are condemning your fellow countrymen to a vicious cycle of suffering, poverty, and even death.

      Think well on that. 

  • Griv Pikarszky

    tito sotto, if you want more babies to come………usse your pork barell for their daily needs……including their education !

  • Griv Pikarszky

    using contraceptives does not mean killing of unborn children……contraceptives means to prevent conception between egg cell and sperm cell…plain and simple……when did we save sperm and egg cells? unless needed for future purposes……anybody committed crime, murder when a sperm or egg cells died? are egg cells and sperm cells consider human beings? revisit the anatomy of human being and let’s findout what is the true meaning of egg cell and sperm cell… both cells form into a fertilized cells…….and when it is called a fetus……

  • Griv Pikarszky

    if the catholic church dctate how boy friends/girlfriends and married couples about their bedroom activities, it’s absolutely against the law, totally wrong…….not even in the constitution states that any religious sect have the authority to control or plan sexual reproduction. if we have an uncontrolled population, with less opportunity in the labor market, what will happen to the newborn babies living without food, shelter and clothing plus their education and medical needs? who will shoulder their needs? the catholic church? no way, they have trillions of pesos invested in mining and etc etc etc…..and never heard of helping the calamity victims? the hungry children in the streets? let’s face it… church dont want family planning because nuns and priests don’t have their own families……

  • Josefusjoselitus Zurczeraus

    It’s not about the wrong perception that curtailing egg cell and sperm developed is a murder for it can never be a murder but it’s about the natural design designed for instance in woman’s cycle including fertile and infertile periods. Informing people about this is not necessarily telling them not to choose the other method. This is just reechoing pro-rh bill’s amplification of free choice. Because it’s no longer a choice when one will only say, “Use contraceptives for your family planning”. It may be difficult to say no to a sexual desire, but it is not impossible because one can set aside at a moment his/her desire for sexual intercourse for instance when he/she is still in the work place, otherwise he/she should no longer be of any difference from brutes. In other words, with a well founded principle, one can still set aside desire for sexual intercourse even if he/she is already at a proper place and time to do that. Teaching people about management is never wrong. This includes teaching them manage their body with the proper use of intellect, emotion and abdomen.
    For instance, a couple in a remote area were asked about how conscious and aware they are on family planning. They said, they hear of family planning and even hear of condoms, IUD’s and pills. Unfortunately, they didn’t hear the use of other means other than the contraceptive ones. The woman was asked whether or not she is familiar of her cycle. She answered yes. When asked, “Do you think you can you can always be impregnated when you do sexual intercourse anytime within the cycle”? She answered she cannot tell because there were times that they do sex almost daily before her husband leave for about 3 months somewhere in Indonesia fishing. She wondered why she was not pregnant in those instances as she was sure that she got pregnant only after about 5 months because her husband already backed home after 3 months anyway.
    With brief but clear explanation she was made to realized that there are days where she is not in fertility. When asked are these days hard to familiarize? She said no because she is familiar of her cycle.
    Nature designed fertile and not fertile periods on woman. Is it wrong to tell couple about this as an option to avoid pregnancy? Or is it wrong to tell people about this? Or is it because only good people in the church felt obligated to tell all the people about this?
    The point here is that people should be informed and made to understand about these options and leave them the choice afterward. What is important is it should be made known to the people that mastery of ones body is great than being dependent of something else.
    Man or woman may say, sexual intercourse is pleasurable of all pleasurables. But with the intellect and will endowed upon them, they are supposed to be aware of consequence in every act. But if they are only made to believe that there is only one perfect option i.e condoms for instance to avoid acquiring STD without helping them realized that STD can only be acquired when one will have sexual intercourse with sex partner other than that whom one is familiar with, then, it should be wrong.
    The real problem. Proponents of RHB concluded that because many people seemed unable to control sexual desire, there should be condoms for them to do sex to whoever and whenever they desire without the fear of acquiring STD. There should be condoms, IUD’s, pills, etc. for them to be freed from the fear of having big number of children. Anti-rhb opposes.
    Why not meet halfway? Or why not discuss on when can free choice really free choice as known and understood option? Rather than discussing on many things.

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