Press Release
September 21, 2011

Press release of Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III

If one staunch lobby group was unmasked to be affiliated with an international entity strongly advocating abortion, another local non-government organization (NGO) pushing for the passage of reproductive health (RH) bill is seeking funding from no less than the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for purposes of "enticing" Filipino lawmakers into approving the measure.

The UNFPA happened to have been found by the United States government as behind China's brutal "one child" policy implemented several years ago, Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III today said.

Sen. Sotto III bared that Linangan ng Kababaihan Inc. (Likhaan) has recently sent a budgetary proposal to the UNFPA aimed at cultivating support of the legislators.

"They have a proposal to the UNFPA for the reproductive health advocacy network (RHAN) asking for a monetary support in order to expedite the passage of the RH bill. In their budget statements and budget items, No. 1 is 'nurturing of legislators.' I'm not sure what this means. But I'm concerned about the participation of the UNFPA through RHAN and Likhaan. It appears that the UNFPA has participation through RHAN and Likhaan," Sen. Sotto III said in his interpellation during Tuesday's plenary session.

The US, as early as 1984, during the Reagan administration, ordered the abolition of its funds to UNFPA immediately after they uncovered reports showing that the agency is behind China's one-child policy, the Majority Leader narrated.

"An investigation in 2001 headed by then Secretary of State Colin Powell further established that UNFPA was indeed in complicit in the coercive in the implementation of China's one child policy. The US has withheld funding for the UNFPA since 2002," Sen. Sotto III said .

"Now we have it through good sources that there is now a brewing controversy because the Obama administration plans to refund the UNFPA and is now a subject of a lot of debates in the US," he added.

China's one-child policy has been highly criticized since it it is carried out through a program of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization.

"For 30 years, the UNFPA has vigorously supported, funded, defended, promoted, even celebrated these massive crimes againt humanity. The UNFPA was barred from receiving US funds because of their shameful support and co-management of China's forced abortion policy. They're not only an essential part in running this anti-woman, anti-child program but also lend assistance in its implementation in several countries as well.

"In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) together with other foreign agencies such as the UNFPA had published the trends in maternal mortality in 1990 to 2008. And from the looks of it, figures being presented to us could have only produced by them.

"Just how sure are we that we are not falling into the dictates of these influential organizations? As far as my perception and opinion is concerned with regards to this measure, when you have the UN and UNFPA being partners with the groups like Likhaan and the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) partner with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) pushing for the RH bill and you see the effect that it has done in other countries, then you probably would realize why we feel very strongly against this issue," he explained.

In continuing his interpellation with the sponsors of the bill, Sen. Sotto III pointed out that those behind Likhaan organization admitted that they do promote abortion by providing women information about safe abortion and likewise warn about unsafe pregnancies.

"Not only that, they also admitted that most NGOs advocating women's causes do have underground contacts to those what they call as safe service providers or those who could perform safe abortion procedures. So how could you assess such group with that kind of a perspective?

"We're having difficulty accepting this bill because it would mean as if we're 'sleeping with the abortionists' if not sleeping with the enemy, so to speak," he said. Previously, the Majority Leader revealed that FPOP was in receipt of foreign funding to push for a national policy on artificial birth control methods, including abortion, as a means of controlling the population. FPOP has admitted being a "proud" member of the IPPF which supports and pushes abortion. Last year the FPOP got P26 million from IPPF to push its agenda.

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