The Papacy or else!

“Your Eminence, you’re looking good.” — US President George W. Bush to Pope Benedict XVI who should have been addressed, “Your Holiness”.

Filipino Catholics are celebrating  the elevation of Manila Archbishop Antonio Luis Tagle to cardinal.  He is now a prince of the Catholic Church, a rather pompous title for a truly humble and unassuming servant of the Lord. 

Cardinal Tagle is what the native clergy needs at the moment. He is a voice of humility and moderation in an organization that has turned strident and full of itself.

In a speech before he was made cardinal, Tagle called on the local church to stop behaving like a “triumphalistic, know-it-all type of institution.” He encouraged his fellow clerics to return to being ”a simpler witness to Jesus, meek and humble of heart.” Amen to that.

As bishop of Cavite, Tagle preferred to do his pastoral rounds unaccompanied by aides and using public transportation or his bike. A man of the people, he is aware of the temptations that go along with being a prince of the church.

    “If I am not cautious, I might just believe it, and I might start demanding your offerings – of the best food, the best wine, money, cars, houses, adulation, submission! After all, I am God – hah! I might take so much delight in my stature and its benefits that I might end up being callous to the needs of the poor and the earth.”

Tagle is  not a political player, has no interest in becoming one, unlike some of his colleagues who used their position and power to support certain politicians. I will not go as far as saying that some bishops gave political support in exchange for SUVs and cash gifts but I would ask why brand new SUVs and cash were vital and necessary to the job of spreading God’s word and administering to the spiritual needs of His flock. 

Farthermore, Tagle knows his place in God’s scheme of things. 

    “I am disturbed when some people who do not even know me personally conclude that my being a bishop automatically makes me closer to God than they could ever be. My words are God’s words! My desires are God’s desires! My anger is God’s anger! My actions are God’s actions!” 

Those qualities, in addition to brilliance and wisdom, makes Archbishop Antonio Luis Cardinal Tagle the perfect successor to lead one of the most powerful and richest organizations in God’s creation.

In the near future, Europeans will no longer dominate the Catholic Church. There are more and more non-European cardinals who can elect Popes. We are happy that a Filipino will be among those who will choose Benedict’s successor. But should we content with being a mere vote? 

We have had a vote since Archbishop Rufino Cardinal Santos was made cardinal generations ago. How many cardinals have we had since? Six, seven? What we want, no, what we demand, is the papacy. Our time has come and we have a perfect man for the job.

We are the largest Catholic country in Asia. We are the only remaining Catholic country that has not gone against Church teaching on artificial contraception, divorce, and same-sex marriage. Our churches are filled on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation and our devotion to saints remains as fervent as ever. 

Most important of all, since the Church is ultimately an organization in the material world – it is a worldly organization despite its stated purpose of being primarily concerned with the soul – it cannot ignore the fact that the Philippine Catholic Church is one of the biggest contributors to the Vatican’s coffers.

The contributions do not only come from Filipinos in the Philippines. How many churches in the western world will close down if not for our OFWs’ continued patronage?  The Church might have to retrench many of its officials and sell many of its valuable real estate and priceless treasures if not for the weekly donations from ordinary Filipinos here and abroad. And we’ve not even looked at the bequests of rich Filipinos. 

We are good for the Church. The Church will be hard put if we were to turn away like those overly secularized cash-strapped westerners. We are a power in the Church. We can and must exercise that power. For the good of the Church, of course.

Consequently, the Filipino Catholic’s message, no, irrevocable demand, to the college of cardinals must be: Archbishop Antonio Luis Cardinal Tagle becomes the next Pope or else!

The New High Priests

In the debate over reproductive health, the country is caught between the increasingly vociferous moralist and rationalist voices in society.

Reproductive health advocates consider the involvement of the Catholic church in the debate over whether or not to enact a law that would provide the legal basis of family planning practices to be propagated by the state in schools, hospitals and workplaces an unwelcome intrusion. The debate does not seem to be about the merits of the measure but on defining the proper role of the church in relation to the state and society.

For the so-called Filipino Free-thinkers, an association of humanists, scientists, agnostics and atheists, and their ilk that role should be completely circumscribed by the separation of church and state provision of our consistution. In fact they would prefer it if the church performed as much of a diminished role in society as possible. For the “middle forces” or the so-called “yellow army” in the People Power coalition of President Aquino, the church performs an important role as moral guardians of our society; there lies the problem.

The members of civil society that often unite against corruption in government and mobilize everytime there is a crisis involving the illegitimate use of power splits asunder over social issues involving identity or a crisis of moral uncertainty. One faction looks back to tradition, while another looks forward to modernity. PNoy has been careful to tip-toe on the issue, afraid to upset either party. From his standpoint he cannot afford to lose either the moral or rationalist wings of his broad coalition.

In weak states, unable to withstand pressure from groups based on tribal and kinship loyalties, the only recourse to rein in the greed and abuse of power by the political class is some kind of appeal to a higher moral code. The advice and admonitions of people with moral authority who belong to the religious class help instruct future rulers on how to build a just society.

Without a moral code governing society that lays the basis for the legitimate exercise of power, that little thing called the rule of law which separates primitive from modern societies would have never come into being. The pre-colonial rajahs of India had their Brahmins, Chinese emperors had their mandarins, and the kings of Europe had their bishops to advise and guide them. These priestly classes would determine if their kings and emperors had lost “the mandate of heaven” and could therefore be deposed.

A tension arose between the monarchy, the aristocracy and the peasantry in pre-modern states. As Fukuyama points out in the first volume of The Origins of Political Order, a just ruler was seen as one who did not engage in excessive predation, and sided with the peasants against exploitation by their aristocratic landlords. They would concentrate authority in a central bureaucracy and military autonomous from feudal estates through taxation. This is how modern states came about. But this wouldn’t have occurred without the help of the priestly class that lent legitimacy to them.

The corruption of the priestly arbiters of power independent of tribal or kinship alliances occurred as they increasingly took on the trappings of power and gave in to the biological impulse to bequeth their titles and assets to offspring that they were originally discouraged or forbidden from having.

Since the Protestant Reformation followed by the European Renaissance and the scientific revolution early in the second millennium, the clergy have been increasingly marginalized from exercising their legal and moral authority over heads of state, particularly in Britain where the observance of common law as distinct from Canon law took root and independent judges held the English monarchs in check.

The veiled threats issued by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to withdraw the “mandate from heaven” if the RH bill was passed was reminiscent of the way Pope Gregory VII excommunicated the Holy Roman Emperor in the year 1076 and forced him to come barefoot to Canossa to pleading for clemency. This action was pre-empted by PNoy in his speech at the University of the Philippines when he in essence dared them to do so, prompting one Catholic clergy to say that the son was very different from his mother referring to the pious Cory Aquino.

The president with his economics degree represents a new order of rationalist thinking on which to base public policy. Economists are considered the new high priests in today’s modern state. Whereas shamans and withdoctors were once summoned to perform rituals and cast spells to protect the polity from plague, famine and wars, so do economists conjure up their spreadsheets and statistical models to forecast and plot the direction of the state in this day and age.

When he announced his bid for the presidency, PNoy expressed a formula for countering the calculus of corruption which consisted mainly of incentives in the form of punishments and rewards. This was an expression of his vision for a state governed by the principles of homo economicus. If his mother appealed to a sense of altruistic motives, PNoy would rely on self-interested behavior to stay on the straight and narrow.

For similar reasons is he advocating the passage of the RH bill. The rationale behind this piece of legislation is primarily economic in nature for the president, but for many of its supporters, it is much more than that. For them, it would represent a break in Filipino mores and customs away from traditional social values based on religious beliefs and into a more modern one based on individual freedom. In this regard, both oppositors and advocates of the bill would agree.

The rise of religious fundamentalism or the resurgence of traditional values in response to the failings of modernity to achieve its promised objectives of human progress and happiness has cast the economic rationalist high priests in a bad light. Their overly materialist and utilitarian prescriptions have found their limits as society increasingly becomes more affluent. In fact they create new problems.

Those opposed to the RH bill point to the breakdown of the family in many Western countries as caused by this way of thinking. They point to the commodification of sex that freedom of choice allows (Catholic doctrine teaches that sex is only meant to perform its function within the “sacrament” of marriage). From their point of view, the bill is but one part in a wide array of liberal ideas and values that have caused the breakdown of society.

The conduct of the public debate can be characterized more as a battlefield than as a market place of ideas at the moment with either side engaged in vociferous name-calling and taunting. Discussions over deeply held beliefs often do slide into an abyss of crass behavior.

It would be better if this were not so. For the rationalists to come to terms with the legitimate role religion performs in modern day living for individuals who turn to it not just for rewards in the hereafter, but also in the here and now (as empirical studies have validated), and for moralists to come to terms with the fact that they can no longer coerce society through the state to adhere to its principles and that they now have to compete in the market for ideas without resorting to abuse of their spiritual authority, would be a big step towards restoring civility in the public discourse.

I am sure we can all say ‘amen’ to that.

A Clear but Erroneous Message

In his second state of the nation address, President Aquino traded his old nuanced style in favor of a crisper, cleaner form of delivery, but was it accurate?

It was a speech aimed at the public rather than the pundits. In the past, when seeking to convey his mastery of a subject, Pres Aquino or PNoy would often get lost in the detail of the topic at hand. Whether it was in dealing with the security issues after the January bomb blast or whether it had to do with the specifics of his budget.

Not this time. It was not that his speech was short on specifics. In his nearly hour-long address, the president covered everything from our recent credit upgrades to the US State Department’s downgrading of us in their watchlist of countries involved in human-trafficking, from light monorail to mosquito larvae and coconut coils.

What distinguishes this speech from previous ones is the unifying theme that threaded the whole piece, which was the narrative concerning his crusade against corruption. The appropriately coined term “wang-wang mentality” (so called for the unauthorized use of wang-wangs or sirens symbolic of the sense of entitlement by the powerful enclaves of society) was used as a rhetorical device to sharpen the focus of his theme.

The president spoke of progress in this effort yielding tangible benefits to our economy. He noted the rise of stock prices, the reduction of our rice imports, the decline of poverty and the growth of employment. He attributed these developments to the changes he has made in the running of state agencies from the highy impervious public works department to the grandiosely caffeinated Philippine gaming corporation where he claimed wasteful spending was brought to heel.

Inconvenient Truths

Some analysts have pointed out that the improvement of rice production that led to a lower demand for imports came more as a result of better weather conditions than anything else, and that the reduction of poverty in April came after a jump in January. To this I might add, that the growth in employment is simply unremarkable given the past ten years, and that even with a slight decline in unemployment, the twin problems of high underemployment and low productivity (a result of lesser jobs being created in manufacturing) still prevails.

These of course are the nuances that I said were left out of the equation. These facts were conveniently swept away because they did not fit into the overarching narrative arc of the president’s speech, nor did it fit in with the upbeat “vibe” that he was trying to project.

If we look at the substance and purpose of the speech, which is supposedly the setting of the president’s legislative priorities, we find that in a speech of 5,989 words, the president devoted 116 of them to his proposed measures. That is about 1.9% of the text. He went through his proposals so quickly, that he even failed to give a proper justification for them or a rationale for how these priorities fit within his broad agenda.

No apologies

In a manner of speaking, this was a “no apologies” speech. The president did not report on the state of his much vaunted PPPs or public private partnerships which was the centerpiece of his first SONA, nor did he ask Congress to pursue legislation that would improve its implementation.

After pointing out that

(a)ccording to the BIR, we have around 1.7 million self-employed and professional taxpayers: lawyers, doctors, businessmen who paid a total of 9.8 billion pesos in 2010. This means that each of them paid only an average of 5,783 pesos in income tax—and if this is true, then they each must have earned only 8,500 pesos a month, which is below the minimum wage. I find this hard to believe

he then failed to announce any reforms that would ensure a greater contribution of these privileged few to the national treasury in keeping with his no new taxes pledge which the Movement for Good Governance scored him poorly for.

The president also made no apologies for the slowdown of the economy in the first quarter of the year. Instead, he stuck to his narrative contrasting his righteous way with that of his predecessor. Buoyed by the recent string of whistle-blowers and his new-found ally in the newly designated Ombudsman, he did not hesitate to talk down the opposition or to entreat everyone to praise the “good deeds” of his government.

The president adeptly avoided confrontation with two important but some would say wayward institutions. Having bruised the egos of church leaders in the RH debate as well as the PCSO “cars for clergy” scandal, he diplomatically offered an olive branch to the Catholic bishops who were in the audience. He also made sure to gain the support of the military and the police through his procurement of defense assets and provision of low-cost housing.

He clearly did not want to get side-tracked from his simple narrative that his anti-corruption drive would bring about national development. He even found a way to weave the protection of our sovereignty to his good government agenda.

The need for nuance

The sharpening of the edges around this vision of a nation free of the wang-wang mentality and the personalization of this vision as pronounced by PNoy himself was crafted to appeal to the broader sections of his audience. The president was railing against the very government he led. He spoke as an outsider, as an insurgent much like the late former US president Ronald Reagan who saw it as his task to fight the menace of “big government” or more contemporaneously of British PM David Cameron who seeks to displace it with a “big society”.

If you agree with his thesis that corruption prevents growth, then there will be much in the SONA to cheer about. If on the other hand, you consider the empirical as well as historic evidence that corruption per se is not the culprit, but rather the lack of a coherent bureaucracy around a national development project, then you will recognize the effectiveness of myth-making in public speeches.

Indeed if you believe the former, then everything is fine and dandy. But if you believe the latter, then the lack of substance or clarity on how the government intends to reverse the dangerous trend in our employment mix through some kind of industry or tax policy with the stalling of the government’s major investment strategy means that when the favorable conditions turn sour, as they most certainly will, we are in for a rude awakening somewhere down the track.

One of the best public speakers in his day was George W Bush. He was able to rally his people behind a clean, crisp message against the “evil doers”. He left the incovenient truths and nuances of intelligence out of public debate. Ten years later, we find the repercussions both strategically and economically of this form of “messaging” that have mired his country in a highly polarized debate over the national debt.

The need to speak clearly is one thing, but the need to speak more factually is another. Hopefully in the future, the president’s communications and strategy team will be able to craft a message that marries the two.

Bullet-proofing the economy

Ominous clouds are hovering over the horizon, and yet the government seems unprepared.

What would happen if the US receives a credit downgrade? This scenario is appearing more likely as reported today. This same week, as Ireland joined Greece and Portugal in receiving “junk status” for its bonds, there was talk of Spain and Italy joining them. These are the so-called PIIGS economies (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) that are miring the EU and the IMF with costly bailouts.

In the US, US Fed Chair Ben Bernanke signaled that he stood ready to assist their ailing economy with a third round of stimulus via quantitative easing (translation: the central bank buying US treasury notes) but then quickly quashed speculation of it definitely happening. Meanwhile, the political leadership in Washington could still not arrive at an agreement to lift the US debt ceiling with Republican tea partyers unwilling to cut a deal with Pres Obama before the August 2 deadline.

What all this means is that global economic recovery from the financial crises of 2008 is in jeopardy. A second crisis could hit our shores soon. Some ominous signs of this are already apparent with our exports experiencing an annual decline in May. The last one was registered in October of 2009, when the first wave hit our shores.

The threats

There are two simultaneous shocks that will occur once the US credit rating is downgraded. One, the dollar will devalue, potentially leading to more portfolio investments into the country causing the peso to appreciate. This will have an adverse effect on our already dwindling exports sector. Two, the excess liquidity flowing from these funds would put upward pressure on inflation which in turn would make interest rate hikes more likely. This will impact on borrowing costs.

So in the coming months, weak demand for our products and services from advanced economies coupled with an unfavorable exchange rate will create an enormous drag on our economy. Combined with higher domestic interest rates which would dampen consumer spending and private capital expenditure, and you could end up with quite a powerful cocktail of doom and gloom.

Compounding these problems are the woes suffered by our overseas labor force in the Middle East with the policy of Saudization to impose quotas on hiring of foreign nationals as well as the overall disturbance of deployment to the region as a result of political instability, and the second half of 2011 could turn out to be pretty tough one for labor exporting countries like the Philippines.

Growth predicated on PPPs

Multilateral institutions and national economic planners have already pegged expectations for growth at 5%, but that is predicated on the government being able to wheel out its PPP projects and ramp up government spending in the second half. So far though, the roll-out has been anything but brisk, with several delays hampering the timetable. Even scheduled projects involving overseas development assistance had to be cancelled for alleged overpricing and poor technical specifications. This led Ricardo Saludo in an op-ed piece for the Manila Times to write

The government recently issued more assurances that the much-awaited partnership program guidelines are under way. But investors are getting tired of yet more pledges to roll out the program and give adequate protection to joint ventures. Until one deal actually gets done and well, PPP may only encourage the perennial wait-and-see attitude toward the Philippines.

The budget department has signaled it plans to extend social safety nets to more indigent families through the conditional cash transfers program by re-channeling unspent public works expenditures from the first half. Meanwhile, PNoy began distributing benefits relating to social reforms (land, health, and social safety nets) in an apparent move towards a permanent campaign mode.

Political circus

Congressional investigations into alleged corrupt practices involving former president Gloria Arroyo and officials of the Philippine Charity and Sweepstakes Office heat up. The pornography of corruption involving hundreds of millions of public money being siphoned off to unlawful purposes and to questionable tranfers to religious persons and their charities has once again made for captivating viewing.

As the trial of the Ampatuans over their alleged masterminding of a massacre of political rivals and their escorts in Maguindanao, a new round of poll fraud and corruption allegations involving the former first gentleman surfaced courtesy of Zaldy Ampatuan son of the accused principal conspirator, Andal, Sr as part of an offer to turn state witness. Once again, as dark economic clouds gather, the Philippines is engaged in the theatrics of political scandals, investigations and trials.

Second SONA

All eyes and ears will be turned to the president’s second State of the Nation Address to Congress on July 25 to see what set of priorities he lays down for the sophomore year of his term. Will he continue to focus on the alleged waste and corruption that took place under his predecessor? Or will he lay down a plan for bullet-proofing the economy against the increasingly menacing global environment?

In the final analysis, it will be nearly impossible to ignore the controversies involving the past administration, as it brings out the contrast between the old and the new. A year after he unveiled PPPs as his government’s centerpiece program for growth, not a single project has been awarded. Markets and observers anxiously await PNoy to pivot towards his economic blueprint for the future, before the impression that the present is just a continuation of the past settles in.

The Conspirator in Cassock

Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos urged the President to resign, or face possible ouster, and the Palace led by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda dubbed him, “a conspirator in a cassock“. The description is apt.

Bishop Pueblos is reading the tea leaves wrongly.

Yes, there are so many problems. While factions in government for me is a natural outcome of a democracy, Doy points out the bad side effects of rivalry.

Yes, as Manuel Buencamino points out in his Letter to President Aquino, his buddies shouldn’t be protected. It is a fair assessment.

In all of this, the nation needs serious men, and women. Serious men and women are not just in government, but out there in the private sector, being private citizens, doing what citizens do: work for themselves and their families.

Bishop de Dios Pueblos is seriously wrong. If there was one thing the Arroyo regime taught us is that our people prefer elections to change leaders. They will not stand for political revolution the likes of EDSA, short of perhaps another dictatorship. Raising these threats do this government no good. You want to lift our people out of poverty? We create jobs. Government can not create jobs with political turmoil. Businesses will not invest in such a climate.

These moves by the CBCP speak not of Wisdom that supposedly the holy spirit has blessed upon these men of faith. No, it speaks of what is human in them. It speaks of the recklessness, and the self-centeredness.

We need a nation so focused on the concerns of tomorrow. We have a serious national security concern over at the Spratly Islands. We have issues of corruption, and the restructuring being done by government. We have great issues concerning education, and healthcare. These are important national concerns that each Filipino ought to address.

The Holy Spirit, we Catholics are taught, can give us the gift of discernment. Perhaps, our fellow Filipinos in the CBCP ought to turn their haughtiness off, and listen to the God they profess to represent here on Earth. We need serious men, and serious women solving the nation’s problems. We need every Filipino onboard. And yes, we need real and responsible men and women of Faith in the future we hope to build for our people.

Photo credit: Some rights reserved by alalsacienne

Religion is a private matter

Yesterday, the Philippines went to war. The president’s website displayed an inverted Philippine flag. The flag is only inverted in times of War. The matter however intentional or not, was incredulous for most Filipinos. We still teach school kids the the proper way that the flag is displayed, correct? Ironically, the entry was about celebrating Flag day. To the Palace’s credit, the entry was taken down.

Perhaps, the inverted flag is about war being fought about the Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill). The bill is being debated in Congress. While it isn’t called that per se, the Reproductive Health Bill being debated in Congress has sparked war. Allegedly, an Anti-RH advocate did battle with a Pro-RH supporter. This fight happened in the halls of Congress no less. Sadly, it wasn’t a war at the session hall, debating the merits of the bill. It was a fist fight in the halls of Congress.

The tiff in congress is an example of animosity created by the Reproductive Health bill. It is indicative of the quality of our debate, and the distinctive state of our minds. Most of the arguments against the bill are ad hominem. You could clearly see the distinctive prejudices cropping up. Model Mocha Uson noted in her RH Bill 101 that ignorance about the bill is a reason why some are against it. “The priest is against it that is why I am against it as well.” Father Bernas flatly declared his stand on the RH Bill and called some of the clergy, irresponsible.

For a supposedly secular nation, Religion, particularly the Roman Catholic flavor dominates much of Philippine life. Belief in the leadership of the Church is deeply rooted in Philippine society. Much of the history of the Philippines is dominated by the Church. Randy David believes God in politics exists because it is hard to separate, and probably impossible in a culture like ours.

The Church is against the treatment of Religion as a private matter. As the Holy Father, Benedict the XVI said, “Is it consistent for practicing Catholics to ignore or exploit the poor and the marginalized, to promote sexual behavior contrary to Catholic moral teaching, or to adopt positions that contradict the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death? Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.”

It is why for some Catholics support for the RH Bill and being Catholic are not distinct. For them, one can not be Catholic and support the RH Bill. Take Manny Pacquiao who wants to ban condoms in the Philippines.

Yet, it has been the Health department’s policy to promote use of artificial contraception in the fight against AIDS for example. Family planning is also Department of Health policy.

From the religious point of view, the treatment of religion as a private matter weakens the influence of the Church. And you can see why the CBCP is fighting all out to keep the Reproductive Health bill from passing. It dilutes Church influence.

It is why there is a growing voice that would demand the Church start paying taxes. Everyone does, why shouldn’t the Church do the same? Why shouldn’t the Church pay taxes when it seems to want to influence Philippine society?

Health is not a religious issue because it transcends religious boundaries. Muslim Filipinos need health care as much as Catholic ones do. Their faith matters, as much as a Catholic’s. So our public policy does not come from the Pope nor should it come from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Are there legitimate questions about the RH Bill? For one thing, do we really need an RH BIll if the Department of Health has already made it policy? What happens when as a health worker, you refuse to follow the law based on religious grounds?

As Father Bernas points out the RH Bill is imperfect. While it is imperfect in its present form, there is no doubt in my mind that there should be a Reproductive Health bill. It is ultimately about choice. Whether or not I choose natural family planning methods or artificial contraception— is my choice. It is a private choice, just as my religion is a private matter. It would be nice to introduce that choice to as many people as possible. Whether or not my choice leads me to sin is first between God and I, and second between my religion and I. Religion is a private matter.

Photo credit: Some rights reserved by robertelyov

Let’s help Manny Pacquiao ban Condoms in the Philippines!

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao says “Let’s ban condoms!” The article pointed out what Pacquiao told Congress, as the honorable representative from Sarangani.

Pacman believes, “Go out, and multiply!”

LISTEN To him!

The greatest fighter of our generation can not be wrong.

Can you not see that Pacquiao is simply protecting the integrity, and the name of the Filipino Macho? The virile seed of the Filipino male will not, and should not be denied! Why go against decades, and decades of truth? How will we know who the wimps that can’t father a child?

Besides, have you worn a condom?

Five seconds into it, and BOOM!

Hassle to cap, you know?

Who has time to cap when its ready to rumble?!

Besides, what Filipino man is going to let women take charge?

Women’s right to choose.

Yeah, right.

Give women a choice on the matter, and they’ll do crazy, crazy things! They’ll only screw things up. Just look at that Pacquiao mug. And listen to that voice! Seriously, what voodoo does he have?

Women should cook dinner.

Do laundry.

Take care of the kids.

“Aaahh,” this iced cold San Mig is just heaven you know? No other place on Earth has it this good.

“What?” Every Filipino male puts his feet up and relaxes after a hard, long day playing tong its.

Jeez, what? Pinoy men have to work?

Ladies, one word: “Cowgirl.”

That’s what we have women for! After they have our kids, Go forth! Fly! Be a nurse! Be a caregiver! That’s what they’re good for!

Come on. These pro-RH are sissy liberals. They are atheists who are irresponsible, like I dunno, Fr. Bernas. Am I right?

Let’s ask Oscar Cruz. He’s been keeping it in his pants for decades. I mean, the libido of the Filipino male trapped by that collar? Geez, man. Can you imagine? Can you last a day without sex?

The United States Conference Catholic Bishops recently concluded a study examining the reason for all these sex abuse scandals. You know who to blame? It’s the hippies!

So yeah, Manuel Buencamino, “It’s all about sex.” If Oscar Cruz can hold it, everyone should! Am I right? Am I?

These liberals just want government to spend and waste more money feeding the Medical and pharmaceutical industries.

Am I right?

Screw the UN and their bleeding heart lies that HIV and AIDS could be prevented by good sexual and reproductive health programs, and condom programming.

SCREW them!

George Bush did when he invaded Iraq. Who is the UN to be ramming these liberal ideas of Female Condoms? Huh? WHO?

Poverty can’t be cured by Reproductive Health. Prostitution and gambling can. Smart, and sexy Belle de Jour made a life out of being a call girl, right? We should get more Filipinas to do that. And oh, yeah, more kids also mean more chances of one of them succeeding so you know, they can feed the rest of the family.

So yeah, all this talk about Reproductive Health is hogwash. Pacman is right. We should stand by our national hero who is only protecting the good name of the Filipino macho.

And Oscar Cruz?

No, Oscar Cruz isn’t a bitter old man past his prime. Oscar Cruz and the CBCP are not tired old men living in the dark ages, and blinded by religious intolerance. They are not. Archbishop Oscar Cruz for example is filled with Wisdom, and experience having kept it in his pants all these years. He knows stuff, man. He knows!

All this talk about the RH Bill isn’t the sign of the times. No, this isn’t because the Church has failed in its moral teaching. It isn’t that at all. It is about protecting the virile Filipino man everywhere. It is about control. So let’s help Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Oscar Cruz to ban condoms in the Philippines because can two patriotic Filipinos like these gentlemen be wrong?

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