Aquino offers olive branch to RH bill foes



President Benigno Aquino

Showing magnanimity in victory, President Aquino on Tuesday extended an olive branch to critics of the reproductive health (RH) bill, including Catholic bishops, and called for unity in the implementation of the proposed law.

The Senate and the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the measure on Monday night after 13 years of fierce opposition from the Catholic Church in what Malacañang hailed as a “historic vote.”

Speaking at the Bulong Pulungan Christmas party at Sofitel Hotel, the President wished for the unity of Filipinos in the face of international financial challenges and after the acrimonious debate on the RH bill.

“That issue (RH bill), I think, has been finished and the last steps will be done probably by today or by tomorrow. When it becomes a law, let us move on … to ensure that all the positive attributes of the bill really is what happens,” Mr. Aquino said at the forum aired on government radio.

In an obvious appeal to critics of the bill, mainly bishops, the President said: “Let’s not treat our people who have divergent opinions as the enemy. There are no enemies within the country. Between Filipinos, we shouldn’t treat each other as the enemy, but, rather as people united by so many ways, amongst them belonging to the same race.”

“To those who agree with me, I’ve been asking, ‘Look, this is not a battle where there are victors and losers. This is a battle where the country, especially the women and the children, can be victors. We have to work to ensure that everybody’s committed to doing that,” he added.

After all, if all Filipinos were “united in facing so many problems, it makes my job that much easier,” the President said.

Both chambers of Congress were expected to immediately convene the bicameral conference committee to reconcile their versions of the bill.

Threat belittled

For his part, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, senior political adviser to the President, downplayed a threat by Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros to bring the fight to the Supreme Court.

“It’s rather strange that they are already threatening legal action when the bill has yet to be finalized by the bicam (bicameral conference committee) and ratified by both chambers of Congress,” Abad said in a text message.

He said it was premature to make such threats at this stage, “unless what they’ll raise to the SC is the very concept of this RH, which I think will and cannot prosper.”

In a separate statement, Abad said that with the approval of the measure, the administration was “closer to addressing high maternal and child mortality rates” in the country by giving Filipinos the “necessary means to plan their families better.”

“Too often, unwanted pregnancies result in abortions, which present real and immense risks for mothers, and which usually end in the tragic loss of an infant’s life. Meanwhile, babies from impoverished families are born with fewer opportunities for adequate education and healthcare, undermining their growth as productive members of Philippine society,” Abad said.

“At the moment, the administration spends billions to subsidize the basic needs of severely impoverished families, the majority of which are burdened by more children than their parents can afford to raise. Through the RH bill, we aim to properly educate married couples so they have a larger understanding of the choices available to them, allowing them to raise families they can properly manage and attend to,” he said.

The measure would also ensure wider government expenditure space for budgetary items such as education, healthcare and economic services.

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  • vince

    hay naku noynoy.. ititgil mo na yan contraceptives mentality mo..puro ka press released wala ka naman ginagawa..magtrabaho ka ng maayos!

    • pej1972


    • Marcela

      bakit sa tingin mo ba hindi maayos magtrabaho si noynoy? umangat ang economy, tumaas ang value ng peso, gumanda ang economic standing natin base na rin sa projections ng bang countries. noong time ba ng amo mo ganito ang pinas?nakakaawa ka naman pea-brain!

      • Recis Dempayos

        Umangat lang ang economy dahil sa mga measures na ginawa ng past administration, i.e., lahat ng positive economic chnages ngayon, result ng measures na ginawa ng past administration. Walang ginawa si Noynoy kundi angkinin ang rewards ng mga ginawang hakbang ng former administration. Effects in economics take time before they can be felt.

      • angie1875

        Puro scandal and corruption including maguindanao massacre ang ginawa ng past admin na sakit ng ulo ngayon.

      • Winzum Daoas

        Anong ginawa ng past administration? If this is the work of the past administration, then more of the benefits should have been felt during their administration. As far as the comments from international institutions are concerned, the present situation is the work of the present administration.  The credit rating upgrades for example was not the work of GMA’s administration. If so, the country should have gotten at least three credit rating upgrades during her administration since it lasted for more than nine years. The increase in the efficiency of the governments revenue collection for example were instituted by this administration. Your GMA’s administration was in fact the administration that earned us the nickname of the “Most Corrupt Country in Asia”. 

      • JuanTamadachi

        well said..

      • Shynon

        After 9 Years ng amo mo, you still think na ngayon lang effect ng ginawa nya.  Lets say may nagawa sya sa 1st term nya dapat sa 2nd term naramdaman na natin yang pinagsasabi mong economic changes.

      • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        Actually, it did.

        I compared that of the World GDP vs Philippines GDP using Google (google pala, you can access it for your self, keyword World GDP), you can see that although we are a small portion of the world, we actually were following world standards (world goes up, we go up, vversa). That was the nine years of the GMA.

        Even when the global dip of the 2008-2009, we felt it too.

        Comparing naman percent difference (change), medyo nakakataas tayo during those time, even on regional (asia).

        I would say we did good during the 9 years except when the entire world dipped.  Probably because affected tayo sa US economy.

    • wilfel

      Look who is talking. Can you see how the country is now as the world comment about us compare to before.

    • angie1875

      Crab mentality talaga. Yung past admin, puro scandal at scam. Yan siguro ang trabaho na inaasahan mo.Maayos naman ngayon, puro ka reklamo.

    • EC

      Magbasa ka ng maayos.

    • Pons Corpuz

      Typical crab. 

      Magtrabaho ka kasi para maramdaman mo.

  • Sunn

    We are now in the” Age of Reason” and its not too late for our counrry to go with the flow of time. It is high time for the R.C to reflect…RH bill is very much needed..Secularization is good when it is utilize for the benefit of citizenry afterall religion is universal and its not one single entity.

    • Guest

      Secularization is good, period.

  • simondj

    gaya gaya kasi ang pinas, tanong lang po,,, ilang taon na ba ang RH LAW na ginagaya natin sa ibang bansa? may 100 years na ba? may patunay na ba na gumanda ang family, at bansa nila?

    • angie1875

      Maganda ang buhay ng mga mayayaman na 2-4 lang ang mga anak. Ang buhay naman ng pamilya na may 10-13 na anak ay napakahirap.Basahin mo ang mga studies dito pa lang sa bansa.

      • simondj

        siguro may mga pinsan ka sa amerika, tanungin mo ilan ang mga anak nila,, siguro isa o dalawa lang, bakitpo sakop din sila ng economic crissis? at tanungin mo rin mga ugali ng mga anak niya.

      • Boy Dalius

        Walang kinalaman ang liit ng pamilya nila o birth control sa economic crisis nila. Ang dahilan ng crisis ay ang housing bubble kung saan masyadong naging over-valued ang real states nila. Yung ugali ng mga anak – wala rin kinalaman sa dami o liit ng pamilya. Ito ay nahuhubog sa kung pano pinalaki ang bawat miyembro ng pamilya sa pamamagitan ng mga kinagisnang kaugalian ng bawat bansa. Makakatulong pa nga ang maliit na pamilya para mas lalong magabayan ng husto ng mga magulang ang mga anak nila.

      • Jane Tan

        Nice explanation. Happening in Singapore as well.

      • simondj

        so,, sakop pa rin ng economic crisis.

      • Jane Tan

        Kung 1-2 sakop na ang economic crisis, pano pa kung 6-10?

      • simondj

        so, sakop parin hindi ba? worst nga lang dito sa atin. but i still monitoring the economic booming status of asia. dito kasi ang developement.

      • Jane Tan

        The rich usually have 2-3, not even 4. Favoring quality over number. Even with number food and money, diving your attention between 3 kids is hard enough as a parent unless you’re going for househelper-raised kids, which isn’t what I’d want for my kids.

      • philip hernaez

        kailangan mabigyan ng gobyerno ng hanapbuhay para maging bala sila a paghahanapbuhay..ang mga mayayaman eh wala n time sa pagtatalik..

  • bgcorg

    It would not be strange, contrary to what Secretary Abad was saying, if the Catholic laymen and even the bishops, would bring up the unconstitutionality of a proposed rh law, at the opportuned time.  The sanctity of life is a fundamental doctrine of the Catholic Church and any artificial meddling to suppress human births is against that “openness to life” central to Catholic teaching, as we were all made to the image and likeness of God.  Some critics say that there is no human life yet to speak of before the zygote implants in the endometrium of the uterus, justifying contraception. But, contraception itself is preventing life to happen, artificially frustrating the creative action of God.  Poverty and responsibility could be addressed not by artificial contraception, but by directly providing jobs and livelihood opportunities, housing, empowering the poor to have more in law, respecting his right to life, speech, from want and religion.  Human development under a just social order is not achieved by artificial contraception, eugenics, abortion, euthanasia: it is respecting life and developing the capacity of existing human resources which would lead to greater awareness of family responsibility and economic productivity.

    A deep chasm dividing the country has just been created.  Wounds may heal but the issue of an important moral problem remains.  The life of mother and child, like the unborn human, is also important for the Church.  The inability of government to provide adequate maternal and child care, especially in remote areas is something the government should have worked on first, before saying the Church is not concerned about the life of the mother and infants. If anti-poverty programs had been effectively put in place, there would have been no need for a measure that is not necessary at all. Additionally, sex, contrary to radical feminists’ opinion, is not regarded as a “hard” duty by the Church without sexual “satisfaction.”  So much misunderstanding of the Church position, due to media attack and sycophants and cynics and atheists, have made the triumph of the pro-rh easier. Even so, life is important at any stage and the Constitution will confirm this.

    • Jane Tan

      Let me ask you this, should the government provide free housing to the homeless forever?  

      The government can only provide so many jobs while keeping costs low so as to keep taxes from going up. You will have to rely on private entities who also want to keep costs low in order to make a profit.

      Though I have no right to say, based on the entirety of the Bible, I don’t think God’s plan for us was to keep on having sex, creating babies that we cannot feed. What kind of God is that? Not my God. My God created the earth, the sky, the trees, food and resources enough for His people. If there aren’t enough resources, isn’t that a stopping point until we can generate more. If a child is God’s gift, isn’t that a sign to stop taking and taking from God and start giving back to His children; your children?

      • Pope


        the RH Law helps ensure that each couple would be able to provide for their children by giving couples the ability to plan their families.

        Supporting your family by being responsible parents, this is in line with the teachings of the bible.

        (as mentioned by @dprotector:disqus )

        1 Timothy 5:8 New International Version (NIV)
        8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    • angelfish1105

      no matter how much resources we devote to anti-poverty measures, if each poor family will have 12 kids that they cannot support, this will always be a huge problem. no state can support a population which is growing at this rate. more than the supposed moral problems that come with the use of artificial contraception, it should be a greater moral concern to stop parents from having children that they cannot support – children doomed to a life of extreme poverty and begging in the streets.   

  • mangtom

    bgcorg: ang haba naman ang B.S. mo. Nagpakapagud ka lang wala ka namang na-accomplish.  Hindi mo pa ba nabalitaan na talo la kayo? Kaya itape mo na ang big mouth mo.

  • Kevin Aquino

    Oh my Philippines. Your beauty will soon disappear. Though you are clad in poverty, you remain happy with your family. Ngayon, baka mapalitan na ng panglabas na kagandahan. Oh Philippines, my beloved Philippines. How poetic can I be when I see my Philippines under destruction!

  • mad_as_Hamlet

    Only a hunger strike by the catholic bishops and priests will prevent PNoy from signing  the final version of the RH Bill into law. 
    For when they do, PNoy will just affix his right thumb mark on the bill.

  • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

    Why don’t they just excommunicate everyone who they think isn’t worth saving.

    That should be interesting.

    • Janch

      Mawawalan sila ng parishioners.

      Tutuyo ang donations sa simbahan.

  • Albert Einstien

    CBCP…mag-exorcism na kayo…marami sa FAITHFUL nag-wear pa ng yellow ribbon…..

    ·        “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.” Revelation 13:18

    the CHURCH should advice the FAITHFUL not to WEAR yellow ribbon anymore….if they want to defeat the devil….better yet ISSUE a pastoral letter….

    MARK of the DEVIL……………..yellow ribbon……!

    yellow RIBBON symbol number equivalent is 666…
    ( symbols are used for SUBLIMINAL mind control )

    .yellow ribbon isa symbol for WAR,DEATH, CHAOS, SUICIDES,GENOCIDE, DISASTER…it is a sign of hardship & negative feelings…negative feelings give power& strength to EVIL..

    write 6 on a piece of paper = 6

    at the back write 6 at the same spot of the first 6 = 6

    turn it to front and trace second 6 = 6

    VIOLA! = 666

    yellow ribbon symbol –the MARK- the KEY

    Tie a yellow ribbon song…in biblical sense

    Bus driver, please look for me’ Cause I couldn’t bear to see what I might see I’m( DEVIL ) really still in prison, and my love ( zombies ) she holds the KEYA simple yellow ribbon’s what I need to set me FREE…!

    yellow ribbon gives strength, summons & FREE the DEVIL…..!

    TRIVIA : 2 prominent figures with names number equivalent is 666

    :miguel (6) tuason (6) arroyo (6)

    noynoy ( 6 ) simeon ( 6 ) Aquino ( 6 )

    • mad_as_Hamlet

      Hamlet (6), Christ (6),  and of course, Albert (6).

      • magsasakasanayon


      • Albert Einstien

        nice one my friend….lol

    • Fred Mil

      B A L I W!

  • Ommm

    What’s amazing is the President has to appeal to the church to remain calm and rational and UN-vindictive….. while the church of course is supposed to be preaching patience,love and understanding… except when they are having their toes stepped on as one would observe…

    Then again the sudden realization THEY do not run this country is probably a massive shock, so they are stomping their feet like spoiled children.

    We condom users should understand their plight and treat them with patience, love and understanding….

  • Albert Einstien

    TAMA ang CBCP ……TALAMAK ang KURAPSYON ngayon

    sabi din ng COA ngayon panahon ni pnoy…..101.8 billion ang kurapsyon sa 2011 AUDIT nila….HIGHEST CORRUPTION in our HISTORY daw….at ni-reappoint pa nga ni pnoy yung ..chairman ng pagcor NAGUIAT ..kahit alam ng boung mundo yung alleged INT’L BRIBERY sa macau…nasa internet pa nga ang FREEH report na isinubmit sa gaming compliance committe…allegedly tumamangap ng pang-gaming ( pangsugal ) at pang -shopping sila naguiat at current pagcor sept at oct 2010 visit nila kasama pa nila mga pamilya nila…INAMIN naman nila kaso INDUSTRY PRACTICE daw…don pa lang GUILTY na sila ng KRIMEN na INDIRECT BRIBERY…PINILIT pa ITAGO ang pangalan ni NAGUIAT..alias INCOGNITO inilagay para MAKAPAGTAGO……di lang yan me VIDEO report pa si TABERNA ng abs-cbn sa paggamit for PERSONAL & PRIVATE use ng pamilya ni naguiat sa mga KOTSE at EMPLEYADO ng pagcor..allegedly 2 years na…GRABE…DOJ at NBI ..tulog po ba kayo….O….BULAG,PIPI at BINGI po ba kayo…….

    yan KALAMIDAD ni pablo ….mahigit 1,000 namatay ……..dahil yan sa logging at mining ….na PROTEKTADO ng mga KKK…….YUN NFA SCAM di ba involved mga APPOINTEES ni pnoy,…yun COMMISSIONER ng PRC BRIBERY case din yun…..mga NBI chief, PDEA chiefs, BILIBID Chief at kung sino sin pa..KURAPSYUN LAHAT…mga APPOINTEES lahat ni PNOY…..HUWAD na DAAN…

    sigurado pati CONDOM KUKURAPIN din…ng mga KKK……..P 2.500,000,000.00 BILYON pesos…(sa 2 pesos kd condom…1,225,000,000 BILYONG CONDOMS yan..ilan ba ang GAGAMIT e baka wal pang 100,000 na malilibog lol… )…… para LANG sa CONDOM at contraceptives…ORGY to the max…..why NOT give the MONEY to VICTIMS of PABLOand ONDOY ( calamities ) & HACIENDA LUISITA, MENDIOLA and MAGUINDANAO ( massacres )….o sa LIBRO at EDUKASYON ng kabataan o dili kaya sa mga kababayan na WALANG BANYO…mas marami na condom kesa banyo sa pilipinas….. : > )o dili kaya IBIGAY sa AFP..apat na F-16s fighter planes na yan.pang bugaw sa mga kadugoat kamag-anank ni Pnoy na CHINA… o kaya ibili na lang BIGAS at IBGAY sa MILYON-MILYON wanlang makain… o ipahiram sa mga SME’s para dumami negosyo at trabaho sa pilipinas para mgaOFW at migrante ay HINDI tumakas sa kahirapan sa ating bayan na dulot ng incompetence ng govt…. : >)

    RH bill PRO-LIBOG yan….yun mga RAPIST hindi naman gumagamit ng CONDOM …dapat ibigay na lang sa PNP budget sa condom pang-sugpo sa na pakataas na KRIMINALIDAD sa panahon ni pnoy… sad..!

    • potatosalad

      ang dami mong alam. may trabaho ka ba?

    • Guest

      “RH bill PRO-LIBOG yan”
      Taga dito ka ba? Lumabas ka naman sa bahay mo. LIBOG NA ANG MGA TAO DITO. Kaya nga kailangan na natin ng RH Bill.

  • blainz

    Quite a sight – a politician showing better manners than bishops.

    The country is waking up from centuries-old slumber and the clergy should just accept it. They can still preach whatever nonsense they want in church, but they should respect the separation of church and state, leaving the legislators and the president be to do their jobs. It’s a democracy after all, not a theocracy.

    The Catholic Church already adopts a tolerant attitude in developed Catholic countries like France and Italy, why should the Philippines be treated any different? The whole double-standard reeks of racism.

    • bundee

       Hahahahahaha. You gave me a great gift this Christmas.  Politicians are better . . . hahahahaha parang tralalalalalalaaaaaaaaaaaa . . . .

  • Art D

    Funny how people trumpet democracy then lament that politicians like Erap, Sotto, Pacquiao become elected.

  • geminimind

    A priest is always right when no one dares to question him.
    criticism cannot correct the criticized but the criticized can correct himself.
    separation of church and state are acceptable but you can’t separate God between them.
    This is a nation under God,indivisible with liberty and juctice for all.

    • Guest

      Whose god? This is a nation of Filipinos, but remember that not all of us are Catholic.

      • geminimind

        The Almighty God,the I AM THAT I AM is the God of all nations of many races and religions.

  • Bert

    The RHB issue I think opened wide the flood gate which will signal the beginning of the end of this administration. Malacanang has underestimated the power of the Catholic Church and conveniently forgot its role in EDSA1….

    • Guest

      The Catholic Church did assist in orchestrating EDSA 1, but remember EDSA 1 was about the people, just as the RH Bill is. ESDA 1 was about fighting for the rights of all Filipinos, regardless of their economic status, educational attainment, religion, or gender. While fighting AGAINST the rights of Filipino women in the name of religion, perhaps it is the Catholic Church who has forgotten about the true meaning of ESDA 1.

      • Bert

        whatever floats your boat……but i’m sure, the ghost of edsa1 will start to hound this govt and the rhb issue broke the ice…..

  • Fred

    Magka-alam-alam na sa 2013 at sa 2016.

  • Dirk Baeten

    The Philippines are maybe now the last country where the government has eventually fallen to the contraceptive deception. Virtually nobody needs contraception because modern methods of Natural Family Planning are equal (or even better) in efficiency and are not difficult at all to learn and practice. Read about the success of the Billings Ovulation Method in China where it surpassed the IUD (considered one of the best artificial methods). Contraceptives cost money, have potential side effects for health and tempt people into thinking it’s ok to have sex anywhere, anytime with anyone for pleasure because there are no consequences and no need for self control, while NFP on the other hand needs more awareness of your own
    body and abstinence during about one week (to be completely safe) in a woman’s cycle and thus encourages more discipline. Once people think there’s a right to have pleasurable sex all the time without any chance for pregnancy, they WILL do abortions when contraceptives fail, which is the reason that abortion often became legal several years after contraceptives became widely available and supported by the government. Even without any of the moral consequences of giving free contraceptives to the people, it is a waste of tax payer’s money, because as I said, NFP is a far better alternative. You should also note that contraceptives have often not lowered the number of abortions at all in countries with government supported sex education. An increase of abortions after passing so called RH policy with contraceptives has been more common than decrease, as it teaches people that they have a right to have full control over whether or not to get pregnant while still being sexually active and thus to get rid of the foetus if it was not planned!! There’s actually very little excuse for Philippines to pass this Bill, as they should have learned from other countries what happens when you start to focus on distributing contraceptives. Lies, lies and more lies.. which eventually will only benefit the pharmaceutical industry!

  • Hein S

    When the RH Bill was approved in ITALY, the pope was QUIET.

    Why are the lowly bishops so NOISY?

    • $37644997

      They want to try their raps

  • Pope

    As we celebrate the birth of Christ, I wish peace to both PRO and anti-RH folks.

    The country has decided. The people have spoken.

    It is time to heal the divisions of our nation.

    Though we may disagree on some issues, at the end of the day, we are all Filipinos.
    And there are more things that unite us than divide us.

    It is time to move forward. 


      The president had divided the Filipinos, Donk. He intistegated a war between good and evil. Do you think God will compromise with men ? An Abnoy is easy to kick around especially is his tribe is Pseudo filipinos. Good vs. Evil. Rich vs.Poor. The rich Dynasties are the evils in PH along with foreign Taipans.

      • Pope

        If the president is so easy to “kick around” as you say, then why did the anti-rh folks lose so utterly?

        Could it be that God wasn’t on your side?

        ‘coz if all things happen, according to “His Will”,
        then God also voted. He said YES! to RH Bill.

      • ARIKUTIK

        Can a criminal be jailed to be kick around if it has not yet commited the crime ? The Pharaoh of Egypt was turned into hard headed king so that a sea will be split into two with dry land in the middle to drown the Pharaoh. It was done so that all believers can see the glory of God. RH bill will drown Penoy.

      • Pope

        hey, whatever you need to tell yourself to cope with defeat is fine by me.

      • ARIKUTIK

        The words taped on keyboard is not for me. I have power to enjoy life, showering joys for everyone. The faithful Filipinos deserves blessing from Almighty. Let Abnoy and his ilk be drowned on their own folly.

  • disqusted0fu

     There are no enemies within the country. Between Filipinos, we shouldn’t
    treat each other as the enemy, but, rather as people united by so many
    ways, amongst them belonging to the same race.” – what can he (Aquino) say about how he treats Arroyo?

  • Edgardo Mendoza


  • Edgardo Mendoza


  • Edgardo Mendoza



    Penoy offered olive branch ? A real dreaming head who believes on his own fantasy. Only the PDAF bribed lawmakers was conquered. The anti vote of from 104 to become 79 speaks loudly with PDAF whipping stick. This pres. thinks he won. The PDAF bribe will blow out on his face. Hey ! Penoy, the battle did not end. It has just started. Surrender now or your tribe of greedy rich wanting to eradicate the poor will be the ones to suffer. Penoy you still have chance to back down before all becomes too late for your salvation.

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