Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bullying the bearer

"gracious madam, I that do bring the news made not the match"
- messenger to Cleopatra in Henry IV, part 2 by William Shakespeare
Sotto: Online critics can’t answer issues vs RH bill 

MANILA, August 29, 2012–Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday hit back at his rabid online critics, saying they would rather do a demolition job on him than answer questions raised on the “reproductive health” (RH) bill. 

Indeed. It appears that Sotto's critics who do not want the message, would rather shoot the messenger.  Earlier on, Senator Sotto delivered part 2 of his 'turno en contra' wherein he stated:

"And so, I will prove that this bill has been significantly influenced by various organizations, both local and international, which are of doubtful character. They have been pushing for the passage of this bill to serve their ulterior motives far-off from the aims of the proponents of the bill.". 

What was he referring to? Let us track back a bit to parts of Sotto's speech against the bill back in December 2011.  Among other things, Senator Sotto bared here that:

"... one particular lobby group – the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) – has a budget for “nurturing legislators” from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which has been criticized for its coercive abortion policies. The Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) has also been getting millions of dollars in subsidies from UNFPA and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the largest abortion provider in the world founded by the eugenicist Margaret Sanger..."

Sotto further cites the list of resource organizations who helped craft the bill, and said the database of the Securities and Exchange Commission yielded the following results:

• Pinasamang Lakas ng Kababaihan at Kabataan – “Not Found”
• Program for Adolescent Reproductive Health – “Not Found”
• Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines – “Does Not Exist”
• Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development – “Revoked”
• HIV-AIDS Network – “Revoked”
• Likhaan – “Revoked”
• RHAN – “No Records”
• Institute of Maternal and Child Health – “Does Not Exist”

Hmm, this is part of the message that they do not want, for they have avoided challenging it altogether just like the rest of the issues that Sotto raised. They would rather hit the person of Sotto to divert the flak. In other words, it is called Ad hominem. I have a few directly-related questions though.

 * If these organizations are receiving foreign funding for their advocacy, then are they not required to report all donations to the BIR?
* If they are really legit NGOs then they are supposed to file audited financial statements to the SEC. Have they done so?
* How are they supposed to report if they are not registered with the SEC anyway?
* Did these organizations tell their donors that they are not duly registered? Have they given receipts or certificates of donations to the donors?
* Why would a foreign donor donate to a non-registered entity? It would mean that the donations are not non-taxable.
* If an organization such as RHAN is not duly registered, why does it allocate a budget for "nurturing legislators".
* Sotto reveals that FPOP received $625,095 or almost P27.5 million from UNFPA in 2011. Have they denied it?
* Who are these donors? And what do they want?
* Why do Sotto's critics not face these questions and instead attack Sotto on the (non)charge of plagiarism?
* Why did Cleopatra get mad?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Seeking Justice

Seeking Justice

(real names withheld)

Juancho is a man who has 3 daughters, aged 10, 5 and 3. He works as an IT staff at a large firm while his wife Dina stays home to mind the household. They have a house helper named Carla. He is also a leader in a Catholic Charismatic community, where their family's lives are centered upon. He is cheerful, always there to help others, a God-fearing person.

He was also recently arrested for the crime of rape-homicide.

It all happened quickly enough. As usual Juancho worked Friday in his office in Ortigas from 8:00am to 6:00pm. He fetched his wife from the mall, and they arrived home together at around 10:00pm. Upon arriving at their house, there was already a commotion among the villagers. A six-year old child was being searched with the help of the police. She was reported missing to the authorities at around 4:30pm that day, and the child has not been found yet. Juancho is friends with the parents of the child (they were actually neighbors), and it pained him so much that the child was missing. They all slept fitfully that night, with the child not being found so far.

Early the next day Saturday, Carla the house helper saw what seemed like a piece of cloth at the back area outside their house. She called the attention of Juancho to examine it more closely. It was the lifeless body of the child.

The village was consumed with grief and outrage, as it was discovered that the six-year old was apparently sexually molested. Her death was attributed to suffocation due to tissues stuffed in her mouth. It was indeed a numbing and horrifying incident.

The next day, actually the third day from the time the child was found missing, Carla found a strange thing in the washing machine situated at their backyard. It was the school bag of the child, right there in the wash basin of the machine. It was not there for two days, yet all of a sudden the bag was there. She told her kuya Juancho about the find. Juancho could not think rightly what was happening, so he bundled off the family to hear mass that day. By the time they came back home, he took a closer look at the bag, and henceforth reported the matter to the police authorities. In a short while the police came, and arrested Juancho as a prime suspect in the brutal rape-slay of a six-year old child.

It is now the sixth day since the day the child went missing, and Juancho is presently detained in the municipal jail awaiting the inquest proceedings. It is likely that this case will go on trial, according to Juancho's lawyer. Meanwhile his wife and three small children will have to go on without him. God gives, God takes away, but God's justice will prevail in the end.

Monday, January 23, 2012