MANILA, Sept. 7, 2011–Pro-RH Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago admitted Monday that the “reproductive health” or RH bill being debated by lawmakers still needs to be cleaned up of all references to population control.
During Monday’s interpellation over Senate Bill No. 2865, Santiago said a United States-dictated policy on population control was “anathema” to herself and the other RH bill sponsor, Sen. Pia Cayetano.
Santiago said they will sit down with English-language stylists to make a cleanup of the bill.
The feisty senator acknowledged the existence of National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200 authored by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger – the secret US government document that had been described as Washington’s blueprint for depopulation to ensure unhampered access to the natural resources of developing countries.
The declassified NSSM 200 states that poor countries should limit their populations to prevent anti-imperialist youth from harming US commercial interests. The Kissinger report recommends a) the legalization of abortion; b) financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion, sterilization and contraception-use rates; c) indoctrination of children; and d) mandatory population control, and coercion of other forms, such as withholding disaster and food aid unless a less-developed country implements population control programs.
Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile warned that the bill could rob the country of its “vitality,” citing the dangers of tinkering with the population.
“This bill is a clever device to put population control at the center, masked by health care,” Enrile said. “It is unclear on many things.”
Earlier in Monday’s debate, however, Cayetano said: “There is no population control in this bill.” But she said she was open to tightening the language of the bill to remove population control elements.
Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III argued that laws could be subject to misinterpretation, pointing to the loopholes in the Dangerous Drugs Act that allowed the acquittal of the so-called “Alabang Boys.”
Pro-RH lawmakers have been struggling to keep a single message on population control, with Pangasinan Rep. Kimi Cojuangco admitting in the debates at the House of Representatives on Aug. 24 that the RH bill was “definitely” a population control measure.
But Cojuangco made a turnaround when Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros Magsaysay pointed out that other RH sponsors have rejected population control. (Dominic Francisco)