Monday, October 8, 2012

The Reproductive Health Bill is No UAAP Series

I have heard so much about the Reproductive Health Bill, debates, rallies, arguments and all sorts of noise, but only when the issue surfaced involving The Varsitarian, official publication of University of Santo Tomas, did I have the inclination to download the whole PDF File and read the content. This is a very high strung issue I have veraciously avoided to sail on because in our society today, when you start to strongly point out your opinion and take sides, whether you’re a PRO or ANTI, your whole life could actually be launched in a catapult and be lodged in some place you would never imagine to be in.


Blessed with a splendid honor, I am a Thomasian. I take pride of being a product of an alma mater well-known for its firm upholds on Catholicism that it never has to enunciate its barefaced stand on the topic of Reproductive Health. The Catholic Bishops of the Philippines (CBCP) has long before denounce its support and even went hands-on to thwart the passing of the bill. It is clear that UST is doing its moral obligation to support the Catholic Church in its endeavor to preserve and perpetuate the teachings of this religion. But, it isn’t for the fact that I am a rebel by nature that I am resolutely proclaiming how sturdy of a Pro-RH Bill advocate I am. And with any rationale that people like me could practically sum-up, it wouldn’t make me less of a person molded inside the portals of UST if I state my personal reasons one by one:

--> The bill is supposedly intended to lessen the incidence of maternal death rate especially on the impoverished sector of our society.
--> It is designed to finally win over a health care controversy of diminishing the sexual transmission of HIV and other infections.
-->  It aims to control the unstoppable birth rate that has plagued our nation for the past decades by educating the people on birth control methods through distribution of contraceptives and things alike.

For someone who has been exposed to the kind of commonality this country has, I am aware that death rate among mothers is not even included on the first 10 common causes of mortality, and that the gradual decrease in our population could never be the optimal solution in fighting economic crisis. Our government has got to do a lot of reform to conclusively eradicate these matters. I oppose sexual promiscuity and I STIFFLY protest the legality of ABORTION, which honestly were not even covered on the bill I read.


The editorial on The Varsitarian published last month has somewhat deranged the ideals imparted on me by my school when I was a student. I would like to assume that this article is a false representation of the entire Thomasian Community I belong to. What is saddening is the effect of what these few intellectuals have done that has bluntly disgraced the Pontifical University, the second home that has taught me to respect other people. I won’t take a noisy dispute as to who was behind the editorial, because nothing matters now apart from the content that has been inculcated on the minds of the campus goers, and now including the whole Philippines. We are entitled to our own opinions, and I like to express my consideration on the end of these writers, what I disdain the most is the name-calling they have made, dragging the pristine of other equally Catholic universities, Ateneo de Manila & De La Salle. The arguments on the Reproductive Health Bill are NO UAAP Basketball games wherein you can harshly display your support to your school against rivals. The sensitivity of this issue alone has taken us 2 Presidents and we are no way near to resolving it because it is a national issue that has divided the people. UST never raised us to mock other people’s belief just because they differ colossally from ours.  


Soon we have to stand by our cards on whether or not to make this bill be into a legitimate piece of well-tackled issue, and sooner we would be much constrained into finding effective solutions as to the woes of poverty, over-population and a steadily escalating incident of sexually transmitted diseases. There is no denying that our Church and the Government are both beamed into carefully considering the welfare of the Filipinos now and the generations ahead. WELFARE – isn’t this purpose substantially enough to unite us all? Why can’t the government, guided by the clergy and doctrine of our Mother church stand on the same ground when both are seriously grappling the perennial difficulties of our homeland?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scoffing against Anti-Cybercrime Law

“If journalists are duty-bound to heed libel law, why not others who also exercise freedom of expression?”
-- Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Bagong Henerasyon Party-List)

Netizens from all over the Philippine cyber world have been shaken by devastating news about Republic Act (RA) 10175 or The Cybercrime Prevention Act, recently signed by President Aquino, without the general public being informed about its mere existence. We’ve seen the news, we’ve read the outraged tweets and facebook posts, and we’ve heard the uproar of various blogger and media groups as they file for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the implementation. But just how would even an innocent internet user could end up suffering from 12 years jail time by simply posting a social rant? 

Okay, so this RA aims to eradicate specifically pornography, website hacking, spamming, to even stealing somebody’s identity which have all been rampant on the internet probably dating back to the 90’s. Ideally, it presents a safer and more blissful browsing experience for Filipinos, but we all know the drill, our social lives are not becoming a fairy tale with a happy ever after ending, not even close to it. The Philippine Police and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have both admitted their incapacity to control such crimes from occurring, and this particular bill gives them the go to gather up data from user accounts in Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, up to the point of eavesdropping on your Skype for them to collect video and voice calls without the compelling need of a warrant. A clear VIOLATION of PRIVACY. On the Official Gazette, I was alarmed on the gravity of punishment that this law intends to impose on all violators, and topping my list of disappointments is the vagueness of online-libel and it's unremarkable definition. Where have all the due processes, the rights to expression and equal opportunities to private communication gone? I am giving my tacit approval to the Filipino blogging community on its battle to cease this newly signed prevaricating act. 

Never have I been a victim of cyber bullying nor any crime associated with the abuse of internet so it wouldn't be fair enough to purposely start a personal rage against the government just because majority of the Filipinos do and obviously because I’m a blogger. I just refuse to be shackled by a law that prevents me from writing what I think and what I believe is RIGHT. Freedom has been a historical issue for this nation, from the ruthless hands of invaders during the world war up until the downfall of a dictatorial leader in the 80’s. Our forefathers have sacrificed an entire lifetime for us to walk the earth with a sense of liberty and independence. Never have we foreseen that as the world evolves to be technically advanced, our country will be left behind because of our lawmakers who fear of being crucified publicly once they commit something against people’s approval.

For the lawmakers to nibble on:

1. Violators : Jail Spaces – Not unless the government sets aside additional sum of budget for constructing additional prison cells, there is no way that the existing city jails could accommodate me and very likely a million more hard-headed citizens that will deliberately continue to practice what we know is a fundamental privilege to manifest our opinions.

2. Scarcity of FREEDOM – As this law is targeted on averting and limiting libelous statements and acts, it subsequently deters people from enjoying unrestricted ability to set forth their belief which is completely a contrary to the essence of DEMOCRACY.

Perhaps I could be prosecuted after posting this blog, and I could definitely be imprisoned for sharing my point of view and vehement stand against this law. But never again call it FREEDOM of EXPRESSION if the government will continue to display it’s blindness on what this unconstitutional bill represents. If the President and other respectable politicians we have elected and entrusted our nation’s fate with truly recognize the vitality of communication sector, then they should abolish this ambiguous product of their undertaking that will produce a passive population. 

As I fearlessly voice out my disapproval on Anti-Cybercrime law, I also convey my decisive condemnation on any form of cyber crime especially those that involves exploitation of children and hacking. The animosity is that these two is being separated by a line on the sand which will take a lot of effort, time and wisdom to distinctly outline.   Only a revision of the Anti-Cybercrime Law could silence the din that has eaten up the nation the past days. 

Channel News Asia, GMA News Online, Official Gazette