Sotto taunts ex-DOH chief: You’re callous, insensitiveBy Cathy C. Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Tuesday described as callous and insensitive former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral’s challenge for him to produce the death certificate of his son.
Cabral issued the dare a day after Sotto revealed in the first part of a turno en contra speech on the reproductive health (RH) bill that his firstborn, a son named Vincent Paul lived for only five months because his wife Helen took contraceptive pills but still got pregnant.
Sotto said a doctor later confirmed that the pills that Helen had taken caused Vincent to be born with a weak heart that required daily blood transfusions.
Cabral sent the Inquirer a copy of her reaction to Sotto’s disclosure. She noted that Helen’s obstetrician, Dr. Carmen Enverga-Santos, died many years ago and “cannot confirm or belie” the senator’s claim.
“However, an inspection of the hospital records and death certificate of Vincent Paul may help show the real cause of his death. I hope the good senator will make these public,” Cabral said.
She stressed that artificial methods of birth control including condoms, contraceptives and IUDs “have not been shown by scientific methods to cause ‘weak hearts’ in babies any more than brushing or not brushing your teeth in the morning has been shown to cause ‘weak hearts’ in babies.”
Sympathy for Sotto
“Is she implying that I’m lying about the death of my son? If Doctor Cabral is challenging me then I am ready to declare war,” Sotto said in a text message.
“Her reaction speaks more about her more than about me. Will she lie if she lost a child? She’s too callous and insensitive,” he added.
Sotto asked Cabral to read “The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed On Women” by Barbara Seaman that mentioned studies proving that mothers who got pregnant while on the pill “have more abnormal children (with) lower I.Q.”
Sen. Pia Cayetano, principal author of the RH bill, told reporters on Tuesday she sympathized with Sotto.
Cayetano said she wasn’t on contraceptives when she gave birth to her son who was later diagnosed with a chromosomal disorder.
Lots of research
“In the seventies, they did not have the capacity to diagnose it the way they did when my child was born in 2000. My son… had a hole in his heart and large kidneys, cleft lip and cleft palate, and was perceived to be deaf and blind. But it had nothing to do with contraceptives,” Cayetano said.
She said she had done a lot of research but saw no relationship between child disabilities and the use of contraceptive pills.
“There is no well-founded belief, there is no grounded research that shows that children with disabilities—and I put this on record in the Senate during the interpellation with Senator [Lito] Lapid, and again, I also commiserate with him, because I also lost a child—there is no evidence that shows that link,” Cayetano said.
“All the issues that Senator Sotto raised have been settled in the previous interpellation,” she said. With reports from Norman Bordadora, Katherine Evangelista, INQUIRER.net
Originally posted: 8:36 pm | Tuesday, August 14th, 2012