‘Contra’ speech vs RH bill raised the dead

News Release
16 August 2012

Transcript of interview of Sen. Pia S. Cayetano
Topic: Part 2 of ‘Turno en Contra’ speech
Senate Plenary, 15 August 2012

Question: Mam, your reaction to Part 2 of Sen. Sotto’s speech?
Senator Pia S. Cayetano: Wala namang pinagbago yung mga statements nya sa mga na-discuss na sa interpellation. Nasagot ko na rin lahat yun: Yung mga concerns nya regarding contraceptives being abortifacients, that has been responded to. Medical experts have already clarified and we have overwhelming evidence that shows na yung mga contraceptives available in the Philippines do not work as abortifacients.

And regarding dun sa mga citation nya ng mga ‘authorities,’ mga matatagal na panahon na yun. Kumbaga para mong binuhay yung mga patay na. Wala naman akong magagawa dun sa mga may paniniwala sa population control noong 1950s – yung mga foreigners. But to say that the Filipino people are being dictated upon, this is false. Because we have surveys and actual experience showing that women need and want reproductive health, and that even our medical experts attest to the fact that these are safe for our Filipino families; that these can be used with proper guidance. And that’s precisely why under the Reproductive Health (RH) bill there are options, different kinds [of family planning methods]: Pwede kang mag-condom; pwede kang mag-natural family planning; pwede kang mag-IUD; pwede kang magpa-ligate. All of these should be done with the guidance of a health professional to get the best family planning method that works for your family.

Q: Di po ba parang waste of time na lang ang nangyayari?
SPSC: Well, for me it’s a repetition. Repetition lang po to talaga. Napagdaanan na natin ito. But out of courtesy, syempre karapatan din naman nya na mag-turno en contra. But it’s nothing new. It’s nothing that has not been discussed before and nothing that I have responded to in the period of interpellation.

Q: He mentioned about groups na naglo-lobby for this bill, na hindi raw registered sa SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission]?
SPSC: So what? Kung ikaw [RH bill] supporter, kailangan bang registered ka sa SEC? I mean, organizations can be formed; they do not have to be registered with SEC. That’s an irrelevant argument if you ask me. As to international organizations and local organizations, each of these groups have their different priorities. And the important thing to remember is that as a senator, as a sponsor of the measure, I have gone through the whole process and it’s very clear to me, and even the surveys would show, that this is a need of the Filipino people.

Q: ‘Diane’ daw po yung ginamit na pills…
SPSC: Yung pills naman po, napaka-clear naman po ng contra-indications nun eh. Kumuha ka ng kahit anong pills, buksan mo, may literature yan [tungkol sa] mga side-effects, gaya ng sakit ng ulo. Nandyan naman po lahat yun. And under the guidance of a doctor, most women will not have any major incidents. There are very strong reactions from the medical community kasi wala po talagang evidence na mayroong birth defects that result from the use of contraceptives per se. If you use it incorrectly, then there might be. Pero to generalize that contraceptives result in children with disabilities has no medical proof. #

Photo: Sen Pia Cayetano with fellow RH bill advocate, Ms Risa Hontiveros after Wednesday’s Senate session

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