Miriam to Pacquiao: Don’t meddle in RH debate
Posted at 05/17/2011 7:08 PM | Updated as of 05/17/2011 7:10 PM
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Tuesday said Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao should not meddle in the debate on the Reproductive Health bill, saying it is “misleading” to use his celebrity to enter the debate.
Santiago said Pacquiao should not meddle in the contentious debate. “Kaming mga senador nga hindi pumapasok sa boxing. Pero kung gusto mo, puwede rin.”
She thanked the Catholic Church for not “exploiting” Pacquiao, who is against the RH bill.
“One priest has already said that they are not going to use him as the poster boy. I commend the Catholic Church because otherwise, it would have muddied the waters,” she said.
She also chided the freshman lawmaker, saying that there is an “element of hypocrisy” in his stand.
“Pacquiao’s wife was quoted as saying that she uses the pill, while Pacquiao was quoted as saying that he applies discipline to space his children. In that case, apparently, Pacquiao would have to use violence on his wife because she is not living in conformity with his beliefs,” she said.
‘Don’t interpret Bible literally’
She also criticized his use of the biblical quote, “Go forth and multiply.”
“The Bible does not say, ‘Go out to the world.’ It sounds very much like God is encouraging us to go out and copulate in public. God said in the Bible, “Go forth and multiply.” That meant that God wanted man, not necessarily to literally multiply, but to go out to work with the rest of the human beings of this planet and to apply the stewardship theory. Meaning to say, taking care of each other, who are all in the planet living together.
“I would like to say if this is going to be a debate of biblical quotes, then I will counter with a quote: ‘The devil can cite scripture for its purposes,’” she said.
She also called on Pacquiao not to read and interpret the Bible to literally, pointing out that the Bible was not even written by God himself.
“It is very dangerous to be a fundamentalist. Apparently that’s what Pacquiao is. He reads the Bible literally. The Bible was not written by God … Nobody has a monopoly of the thoughts of God,” she told Senate reporters.
Santiago is confident that the boxer-turned-lawmaker’s popularity won’t sway the public.
“No, I don’t think so. We know, we can see, that he knows more about boxing than possibly anybody alive particularly in the welterweight department, which is considered to be the’ boxing title. But still, we cannot be know-it-alls. It will be very misleading to use his celebrity status to enter into, what is after all, a great debate on the political economy,” she said.
‘Ready for shootout’
On Monday, Santiago said that she will be “ready for a shootout” for the RH bill.
“As the author of the RH bill in the Senate, I am preparing my battle gear. After the SONA, we will be ready for a shootout. I am preparing my Navy SEALS and my stealth bombers so that we can rescue the people who are suffering from fortress mentality,” Santiago told Senate reporters on Monday.
“We are going to debate this from all fronts, not only the political front, but also economic, demographic, theological, medical—meaning to say scientific. On all fronts we will debate it. I can debate all of them in any of these topics. They can all sit in one row, I can sit all alone by myself and I can defend the bill because the merits of the bill will ensure victory,” she said.
She said anti-RH supporters are “people with a certain religious bent of mind angry because science has proved that the world is round,” alluding to the debate centuries ago on whether the world was round or flat.
“They are insisting that the world is flat. If going by the example of Galileo and Copernicus, they are going to pull out my nails, then, I am ready to be immolated on the altar of scientific conspiracy. You cannot close your eyes to people who die every day simply because of ignorance, so when did ignorance become a national policy?,” she said.
Santiago also said the Catholic Church has shut the door on the debate by saying they would no longer dialogue with the opposing side regarding the bill.
‘Church can’t dictate state’
She also said the possibility of the bill becoming law is “very high” because the lawmakers will heed their constituents, whom she said are “definitely in favor” of the bill.
“That is why the resistance is so strident against it because the critics or enemies of the RH bill know that according to the majority rule, which is a basic democratic tenet, they already have lost the debate. That is why the have to respond in that extremely inappropriate manner,” she said.
She also said the separation of church and state should be maintained.
“Because the principle of church and state, while we respect the freedom of speech of people of every persuasion across religious boundaries, still we have to stand up for the principle in democratic governance that the church cannot dictate to the state. So the State must always argue in favor of free speech and free conscience, that is why I call this a freedom of conscience issue,” she added. With reports from Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News
State of the Nation Address
of His Excellency
Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
to the Congress of the Philippines
Session Hall of the House of Representatives
July 26, 2010
AQUINO DELIVERS FIRST SONA
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay; Chief Justice Renato Corona; Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps; my fellow workers in government;
Mga minamahal kong kababayan:
Sa bawat sandali po ng pamamahala ay nahaharap tayo sa isang sangandaan.
Sa isang banda po ay ang pagpili para sa ikabubuti ng taumbayan. Ang pagtanaw sa interes ng nakakarami; ang pagkapit sa prinsipyo; at ang pagiging tapat sa sinumpaan nating tungkulin bilang lingkod-bayan. Ito po ang tuwid na daan.
Sa kabilang banda ay ang pag-una sa pansariling interes. Ang pagpapaalipin sa pulitikal na konsiderasyon, at pagsasakripisyo ng kapakanan ng taumbayan. Ito po ang baluktot na daan.
GOV’T HAS LONG STRAYED TO THE CROOKED PATH
Matagal pong naligaw ang pamahalaan sa daang baluktot. Araw-araw po, lalong lumilinaw sa akin ang lawak ng problemang ating namana. Damang-dama ko ang bigat ng aking responsibilidad.
Sa unang tatlong linggo ng aming panunungkulan, marami po kaming natuklasan. Nais ko pong ipahayag sa inyo ang iilan lamang sa mga namana nating suliranin at ang ginagawa naming hakbang para lutasin ang mga ito.
RP’S PROBLEMS WIDE-RANGING; TRUE STATE OF THE NATION KEPT SECRET FROM THE PUBLIC
Sulyap lamang po ito; hindi pa ito ang lahat ng problemang haharapin natin. Inilihim at sadyang iniligaw ang sambayanan sa totoong kalagayan ng ating bansa.
This is CRAZY!
Who on earth will allow their son to smoke like a chimney at the tender age of 2 YEARS OLD!????
This boy from Indonesia was reported to smoke 40 cigarettes a day! His parents told reporters that the boy throws out tantrum and will just stop if they handed a stick of ciggies to their son! I just can’t believe that there are parents who will allow their kids to do such things at that young age! If this kid can get what he wants now, what more can he do in the next coming years? I’m not surprised if this boy will start smoking pot 3 months from now.