Ransoming the RH bill issue

My intention here of sharing my mind is prompted not by the need to defend either stance taken with regards to the issue of the RH bill but by the felt need to allow all Filipinos who are actively taking their respective stances on the issue, especially those who engage in formal and informal debates, to benefit from it over and above the question of whether this benefit also redounds to their respective causes or positions.  My aim is to ransom the RH bill issue.

Why ‘ransom’?  Anybody who has engaged in a debate on the RH bill issue might have noticed how such debates have turned into name-calling, into exercises of misrepresentations, of mutual exclusions, and of very harmful division among us Filipinos.  It seems to me that this scenario of divisiveness is also a matter of concern for all Filipinos of goodwill.  Considering the Filipino tradition of hospitality, ‘bayanihan’, and love for the family, in short, of our much valued ‘personalism’, it is a surprise why those engage in the issue should resort to below-the-belt tactics.  A brief analysis of such a phenomenon (Filipino ‘personalism’ vis a vis below-the-belt tactics) would seem to tell us that this is due (perhaps not only) to our lack of training in intellectual engagements.

It is always well to recognize that debates, both formal and informal, do require in the participants some considerable degree of intellectual sophistication.  This requirement when felt by the issue participants, as evidenced by their effort to search the internet for answers, an effort both laudable and insufficient, could drive a cultural and intellectual ‘golden age’ in the Philippines.  It can create in Filipinos a love for study.  This felt requirement coupled with a love for study can also spar a radical reformation in our socio-political and socio-economic life.  If this RH bill issue would be ransomed, we could be heading towards a true, profound, and integrated development of the Philippines.

But how should we do this ransoming?  Intelligent and respectful dialogue.  This dialogue is not only an exchange of words but an exchange of selves, an act of friendship, an act that bases itself on the love for truth and the readiness to accept it wherever it is found.  Friendly debates is indeed possible if both parties realize that they are searching for the same truth of things and that they are called to live by this truth as the very foundation of their being persons.  There is also a need to realize, and this is very important: that error is usually expressed in two mutually opposing positions; and that truth, on the other hand, is the correct integration of the two mutual exclusions; that truth can comprehend error but error cannot comprehend truth; that it is better to distinguish concepts in order to unite them than to separate and confuse them. In short, let us couple and enrich our ‘personalism’ as Filipinos with a ‘moderate intellectualism’ that respects the demands of truth, the truth of things and the truth of persons.

Let us engage the RH bill issue in respectful and intelligent ways so that while engaging in an intellectual and cultural battle all of us may come out as winners.


  1. @ Vilma – may isang interview sa GMA news na sinabi ng isang Bishop na kukupkupin daw nila ang kahit sinong bata basta lang daw lumapit sa kanila. I wonder lang kung ano gagawin nila kapag biglang nagdagsaan ang mga streetchildren sa tapat ng mga simbahan nila. hehehe 😀

  2. @ Vilma – may isang interview sa GMA news na sinabi ng isang Bishop na kukupkupin daw nila ang kahit sinong bata basta lang daw lumapit sa kanila. I wonder lang kung ano gagawin nila kapag biglang nagdagsaan ang mga streetchildren sa tapat ng mga simbahan nila. hehehe 😀

  3. im pro RH Bill, not for myself but for the majority of women who are suffering from extreme poverty bec of having so many children to raise, feed and educate, na hindi nama nila kaya. they wanted to resort to family planning but the catholic church prohibits artificial contraceptives, and yet hindi naman ang simbahan ang magpapakain sa kanila

  4. I support this RH bill even the divorce bill. I prefer to be divorced than pretending that you love each other. And its not right that ur children watching u fighting in front of them. I have talked to some women who are separated and they said they are happy with their life now than their previous life with their husband.

  5. In my circle of friends (who are also social scientists like me), there are pro and anti RH Bill for good reasons — both from the moral, political to the economic point of view. And I understand why they have such reasons, since they are my friends and I love them. We debate about our positions about the RH Bill online and in our meetings, but we always try not to get personal about it. After a good debate, we are still what we are — intimate and very good friends to each other.

    Thus, my only advice: “Never explain yourself: Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it. “

  6. sorry not to be ignorant here but what is this whole RH Bill..i dnt really follow this whole political issue in pinas so im curious to know…

  7. “an act of friend­ship, an act that bases it­self on the love for truth and the readi­ness to ac­cept it wher­ever it is found.”

    Ang galing! Nakakalimutan natin kasi ito, kapag meron debate… o ako lang! Haha! Have a good day kababayan!

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