Sunday, 22 May 2011

Courtesy call becomes another RH debate forum

by Joyce Pangco Pañares
Manila Standard
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNews.htm?f=2011/may/21/news3.isx&d=2011/may/21

IT was supposed to be a courtesy call of a world boxing champion on the President of the Philippines, but it turned out to be a verbal sparring match over the controversial Reproductive Health bill.

President Benigno Aquino III took the opportunity to once more push the RH bill and explain his five-point stand on the need to make available to couples contraceptives and natural family planning methods to Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel Pacquiao during the latter’s courtesy call at the Palace on Friday.

Pacquiao countered with concerns over whether the RH bill would result in abortions, and whether the government would finance the procurement and distribution of condoms and other contraceptives, Deputy Presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.

The meeting between the President and Pacquiao showed no signs of the animosity that has marked the raging debate between the supporters and critics of the RH bill, with the world champion gifting Mr. Aquino with the yellow gloves he had worn when he outclassed challenger Shane Mosley on May 8 in Las Vegas.

Valte, however, acknowledged that there were no signs that the boxing champion’s anti-RH stance had changed during the meeting.

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