Tag Archives: Right to health

[From the web] Should Congress and Church be afraid of RH bill? -RAPPLER.com

Should Congress and Church be afraid of RH bill?.

By Juan Miguel Luz
August 5, 2012

One of the major reasons why we fail as a country is that we tolerate a two-class society: the Haves and the Have-nots (e.g. the Poor).

Those that Have can afford more education (much of it privately provided), more health services (privately delivered), better quality housing (privately built). For the Poor, they have to rely on government for these services and more.

Reproductive Health in the Philippines is one such two-class issue. Those that Have, buy their own RH services. The Have-nots, on the other hand, will have little access to RH services, if any, if government does not provide.

This week, the RH Bill comes to a vote in Congress. And we will see if Congress chooses to debate and vote on public policy, or decide that class interests are more important to their own political survival.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

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[Press Release] Women workers chide bishops for celebrating withdrawal of UN funding on family planning – Partido ng Manggagawa

While bishops hail the United Nation’s decision to abandon the country’s family planning plan due to lack of funds, the Department of Health (DOH) notes that Filipinos with HIV has reached more than 7000 and increasing.  Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) believes that for these reasons, the more the State and advocates should make certain the passage of the RH bill and so its budget allocation.

“It is unfortunate that the bishops’ reason for rejoicing is also reason for more difficulties for the poor, especially women with unmet family planning needs and dying due to pregnancy and birth complications, and Filipinos with HIV and AIDs.  It is callous and insensitive to celebrate at the expense of people needing help,” explained PM Secretary-General Judy Ann Chan-Miranda.

PM chides the bishops for admonishing taxpayers regarding budget allocation for RH-related services.  The poor, needing RH services, deserves State support – it is one reason why the State exists in the first place.

“The tax-exempt Catholic Church has no moral ascendancy to meddle on the State’s social spending.  Will it share its wealth or pay the bills for the healthcare of poor women?” asked Miranda.

Partido ng Manggagawa
2 September 2011
Contact Person: Judy Ann Miranda

[Blogger] This is not funny! – koihernandez.wordpress.com

This is not funny!

by Koi Hernandez

It’s in all news. The number of Dengue Cases here in the Philippines is getting more and more alarming again. This deadly disease that has taken lives of our beloved in the Philippines is caused by a mosquito called the Aedes Aegypti.

Aedes aegypti is a vector for transmitting several tropical fevers. Only the female bites for blood which she needs to mature her eggs. Understanding how the mosquito detects its host is a crucial step in the spread of the disease. Aedes aegypti are attracted to chemical compounds that are emitted by mammals. These compounds include ammonia, carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and octenol. Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service have studied the specific chemical structure of octenol in order to better understand why this chemical attracts the mosquito to its host. They found that the mosquito has a preference for “right-handed” (dextrorotatory) octenol molecules.

Read full article @ koihernandez.wordpress.com

[Press Release] Medical doctors can help to stop torture – Medical Action Group

This June 26, the Medical Action Group (MAG) and its members composed of medical doctors and health professionals are one with the world in commemoration of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

“Even though torture is a crime , torture persists as deep-rooted practice in the country. And majority of the perpetrators go unpunished and most victims are usually from marginalized sectors who lack resources to access lawyer and doctor they are entitled to,” said Edeliza P. Hernandez, Executive Director of MAG that treat torture victims.

26 June is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On this day in 1987, the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment came into effect. The Philippines acceded to this Convention on June 18, 1986.

MAG said that effective medical documentation of torture can contribute in reducing impunity and obtaining redress. This in turn can be expected to help prevent torture in the future. Medical doctors can help stop torture by using the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment commonly known as the Istanbul Protocol.

“Since medical doctors are often among the first persons to come into contact with a torture survivor after the incident. Our medical doctors play an essential role in preventing impunity by effective medical documentation of torture cases like the torture case filed last April 7 at the Regional Trial Court in Kidapawan by Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Region 12 against a police officer and his subordinates after it concluded that they mishandled two suspects in the October 2010 bus bombing in Matalam, North Cotabato,” MAG emphasized.

MAG urges the government to institutionalize the use of the Istanbul Protocol since it has been affirmed by the Supreme Court the value of the Protocol in proving claims of torture. ([G.R. No. 180906, The Secretary of National Defense v. Manalo, October 7, 2008] on the application of the writ of amparo)

The government’s obligation to provide redress for human rights violations like torture cases entails the duty to ensure full reparation and to provide rehabilitation for victims and their relatives.

“In this respect, through a combination of effective implementation of the Anti-Torture Act and the need for increased political will of our government officials are keys to prevent torture in the country,” MAG concluded.

Press release
June 26, 2011

[Featured site] www.magph.org

Since 1982, Medical Action Group (MAG) is known to be a service-provider to victims of human rights violations.

MAG continues to provide a holistic rehabilitative service, which includes but not limited to medical and psychosocial services, to documented torture survivors particularly political detainees and prisoners in the country. This is concurrent to regular jail visitation of MAG staff. The beneficiaries also include immediate relatives of torture victims.

MAG pioneers its work on medical documentation as part of “quick response team” or QRT by documenting alleged cases of torture and providing necessary health and medical services to victims of arbitrary arrest and detention. MAG has been assisting victim/survivor of human rights violations by providing medical records and documentation to the court for prosecution of alleged perpetrators and measures to protect the victim/survivor. It is a well-known fact that persons deprived of their liberty are subjected to torture before they were brought to a judicial authority. Hence the need of necessary protection to the arrested person during this stage is considered to be crucial to prevent torture. Indeed, MAG has developed its credibility from this line of work and formed a vast and reliable network of support groups, organizations, institutions and individuals to provide support to its programs and services.

On victims’ medical and psychological aspects, the interventions are proved to be effective.  The formation of support group system is crucial in establishing network regarding health and social welfare needs of victims as well as their relatives. The support group composed of victims’ relatives, friends and colleagues as well as groups of human rights defenders creates a sense of belonging, provides emotional support, initiates capabilities for self-management when it comes to decision-making in facing life after detention and trial, and makes it possible to vindicate the victims.

Through the combination of documentation, welfare assistance, rehabilitation, networking and lobby work, MAG has been able to influence a number of policies for the protection and defense of human rights in the country and access to justice in particular the campaign for the enactment of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9745) and popularization of the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment otherwise known as the Istanbul Protocol in medical documentation of cases of torture.

The documentation work of MAG has resulted in some extent “fine-tuning” of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Torture Act i.e. Section 12, Right to Physical, Medical and Psychological Examination by facilitating a dialogue with concerned government agencies about documented cases where persons deprived of their liberty were not afforded prompt and regular access to a lawyer and an independent doctor from the outset of their detention, and victims’ right to request a second medical opinion by a doctor of his/her choice were violated.

MAG in 2009 facilitated the submission of the Joint Civil Society Report on the implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to the UN Committee Against Torture 42nd session, 27 April to 15 May 2009. Followed by Joint Civil Society Follow-up Report on the Progress of the Implementation by the Philippines of the United Nations Committee Against Torture Concluding Observations last August 2010.

MAG is currently disseminating information of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) Concluding Observations and Recommendations to the Philippine government and also involve in education campaign on popularization of the Anti-Torture Act.

Every year, MAG also conducts social and recreational activities for victims of torture and their relatives as part of their rehabilitation. On the commemoration of the International Day of Support for Victims of Torture and during Christmas season dubbed as “Paskuhan sa Kampo” (Christmas in Jail) are few of these activities where we mobilizes government agencies, civil society organizations, friends, concerned individuals and specialists.

For more information about MAG, please visit

[Off the shelf] Karapatan sa kalusugan – babasahin mula sa Medical Action Group

Click image to read this material

Susi sa pag-unlad ng lipunan ang pagtamasa sa Karapatan sa Kalusugan ng mamamayan. Ngunit, ang Karapatan sa Kalusugan ay hindi nangangahulugan ng karapatan upang maging malusog at sumasaklaw hindi lamang sa pagkakaroon ng napapanahon at angkop na serbisyong pangkalusugan.

Ang pagtamo ng pinakamataas na pamantayan ng kalusugan ay nangangailangan ng isang panlipunang kaayusan- mga institusyon, mga batas, at mapagpalakas na kapaligiran- na higit na makakatiyak sa pagtamasa ng karapatang ito.

Kasabay sa pagsusulong at pagtataguyod ng Medical Action Group (MAG) sa karapatang pantao at kalusugan, naniniwala ito na may malaking ambag ang mga ganitong uri ng babasahin para sa pagpapataas ng antas ng kaalaman ng mamamayan hinggil sa Karapatan sa Kalusugan.

Sa kasalukuyan, tumatayong Secretariat ang MAG para sa Cut the Cost, Cut the Pain Network o 3CPNet. Isa sa mga pangunahing gawain ng 3CPNet kasama ang Coalition for Health Advocacy and Transparency (CHAT) ay ang pagtataguyod ng pagkakaroon ng kakayahang makabili ng mga abot-kaya, ligtas at epektibong gamot ang mga mamamayan.

Bilang ambag sa pagpapataas ng antas ng kaalaman ng mamamayan sa Karapatan sa Kalusugan, minarapat ng MAG na isalin sa Filipino ang babasahin na Right to Health ng World Health Organization (WHO).

Lubos kaming nagpapasalamat sa UN Pubrights sa kanilang pahintulot na maisalin sa Filipino ang orihinal na babasahing pinaghalawan ng komiks na ito at mailathala ito sa ating bansa. At kay Atty. Michael Paul Reysio-Cruz sa kaniyang pagtulong sa paggawa ng ilustrasyon.

Maraming salamat.

Edeliza P. Hernandez, RN
Executive Director
Medical Action Group

Link to primer: http://www.scribd.com/share/upload/52427918/gtx2wik0yidkq0mzsiw

[Featured Site of the Week] The Medical Action Group- www.magph.org

Title: Medical Action Group (MAG)
Author: Medical Action Group
URL: http://www.magph.org/
Description: MAG envisions a society where fundamental human rights are upheld and protected at all times in accordance with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights..

[In the news] An end to AIDS? – Interaksyon.com

An end to AIDS? – Interaksyon.com.

LONDON – For his doctors, Timothy Ray Brown was a shot in the dark. An HIV-positive American who was cured by a unique type of bone marrow transplant, the man known as “the Berlin patient” has become an icon of what scientists hope could be the next phase of the AIDS pandemic: its end.

Dramatic scientific advances since HIV was first discovered 30 years ago this week mean the virus is no longer a death sentence. Thanks to tests that detect HIV early, new antiretroviral AIDS drugs that can control the virus for decades, and a range of ways to stop it being spread, 33.3 million people around the world are learning to live with HIV.

People like Vuyiseka Dubula, an HIV-positive AIDS activist and mother in Cape Town, South Africa, can expect relatively normal, full lives. “I’m not thinking about death at all,” she says. “I’m taking my treatment and I’m living my life.”

Nonetheless, on the 30th birthday of HIV, the global scientific community is setting out with renewed vigor to try to kill it. The drive is partly about science, and partly about money. Treating HIV patients with lifelong courses of sophisticated drugs is becoming unaffordable.

Caring for HIV patients in developing countries alone already costs around $13 billion a year and that could treble over the next 20 years.

In tough economic times, the need to find a cure has become even more urgent, says Francoise Barre Sinoussi, who won a Nobel prize for her work in identifying Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). “We have to think about the long term, including a strategy to find a cure,” she says. “We have to keep on searching until we find one.”

The Berlin patient is proof they could. His case has injected new energy into a field where people for years believed talk of a cure was irresponsible.


Timothy Ray Brown was living in Berlin when besides being HIV-positive, he had a relapse of leukemia. He was dying. In 2007, his doctor, Gero Huetter, made a radical suggestion: a bone marrow transplant using cells from a donor with a rare genetic mutation, known as CCR5 delta 32. Scientists had known for a few years that people with this gene mutation had proved resistant to HIV.

“We really didn’t know when we started this project what would happen,” Huetter, an oncologist and haematologist who now works at the University of Heidelberg in southern Germany, told Reuters. The treatment could well have finished Brown off. Instead he remains the only human ever to be cured of AIDS. “He has no replicating virus and he isn’t taking any medication. And he will now probably never have any problems with HIV,” says Huetter. Brown has since moved to San Francisco.

Most experts say it is inconceivable Brown’s treatment could be a way of curing all patients. The procedure was expensive, complex and risky. To do this in others, exact match donors would have to be found in the tiny proportion of people — most of them of northern European descent — who have the mutation that makes them resistant to the virus.

Dr. Robert Gallo, of the Institute of Virology at the University of Maryland, puts it bluntly. “It’s not practical and it can kill people,” he said last year.

Sinoussi is more expansive. “It’s clearly unrealistic to think that this medically heavy, extremely costly, barely reproducible approach could be replicated and scaled-up … but from a scientist’s point of view, it has shown at least that a cure is possible,” she says.

The International AIDS Society will this month formally add the aim of finding a cure to its HIV strategy of prevention, treatment and care.

A group of scientist-activists is also launching a global working group to draw up a scientific plan of attack and persuade governments and research institutions to commit more funds. Money is starting to flow. The U.S. National Institutes of Health is asking for proposals for an $8.5 million collaborative research grant to search for a cure, and the Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR, has just announced its first round of four grants to research groups “to develop strategies for eradicating HIV infection.”


Until recently, people in HIV and AIDS circles feared that to direct funds toward the search for a cure risked detracting from the fight to get HIV-positive people treated. Even today, only just over five million of the 12 million or so people who need the drugs actually get them.

HIV first surfaced in 1981, when scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered it was the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). An article in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of that June referred to “five young men, all active homosexuals” from Los Angeles as the first documented cases. “That was the summer of ’81. For the world it was the beginning of the era of HIV/AIDS, even though we didn’t know it was HIV then,” says Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has made AIDS research his life’s work.

In the subsequent three decades, the disease ignorantly branded “the gay plague” has become one of the most vicious pandemics in human history. Transmitted in semen, blood and breast milk, HIV has devastated poorer regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, where the vast majority of HIV-positive people live. As more tests and treatment have become available, the number of new infections has been falling. But for every two with HIV who get a chance to start on AIDS drugs, five more join the “newly infected” list. United Nations data show that despite an array of potential prevention measures — from male circumcision to sophisticated vaginal or anal microbicide gels — more than 7,100 new people catch the virus every day.

Treatment costs per patient can range from around $150 a year in poor countries, where drugs are available as cheap generics, to more than $20,000 a year in the United States.

The overall sums are huge. A recent study as part of a non-governmental campaign called AIDS2031 suggests that low and middle-income countries will need $35 billion a year to properly address the pandemic by 2031. That’s almost three times the current level of around $13 billion a year. Add in the costs of treatment in rich countries and experts estimate the costs of HIV 20 years from now will reach $50 to $60 billion a year.

“It’s clear that we have to look at another possible way of managing of the epidemic beyond just treating everyone forever,” says Sharon Lewin, a leading HIV doctor and researcher from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

In some ways, we have been here before. Early AIDS drugs such as AZT came to market in the late 1980s, but within a decade they were overtaken by powerful cocktail treatments known as HAART, or highly active antiretroviral treatment. HAART had a dramatic effect — rapidly driving the virus out of patients’ blood and prompting some to say a cure was just around the corner.

But then scientists discovered HIV could lie low in pools or reservoirs of latent infection that even powerful drugs could not reach. Talk of a cure all but died out.

“Scientifically we had no means to say we were on the way to finding a cure,” says Bertrand Audoin, executive director of the Geneva-based International AIDS Society. “Scientists … don’t want to make any more false promises. They didn’t want to talk about a cure again because it really wasn’t anywhere on the horizon.”


The ultimate goal would allow patients to stop taking AIDS drugs, knocking a hole in a $12 billion-a-year market dominated by Californian drugmaker Gilead and the likes of Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck.

It’s unlikely to happen anytime soon, but Brown’s case has opened the door to new ideas. “What it proved was that if you make someone’s cells resistant to HIV…then all the last bits of HIV, that hang around for a long time in patients on treatment, did in fact decay and disappear,” says Lewin.

Now scientists working on mimicking the effect of the Berlin patient’s transplant have had some success. One experimental technique uses gene therapy to take out certain cells, make them resistant to HIV and then put them back into patients in the hope they will survive and spread.

At an HIV conference in Boston earlier this year, American researchers presented data on six patients who had large numbers of white blood cells known as CD4 cells removed, manipulated to knock out the existing CCR5 gene, and then replaced.

“It works like scissors and cuts a piece of genetic information out of the DNA, and then closes the gap,” says Huetter. “Then every cell arising from this mother cell has this same mutation.”

Early results showed the mutated cells managed to survive inside the bodies of the patients at low levels, remaining present for more than three months in five. “This was a proof of concept,” says Lewin. Another potential avenue is a small group of patients known as “elite controllers”, who despite being infected with HIV are able to keep it under control simply with their own immune systems. Researchers hope these patients could one day be the clue to developing a successful HIV/AIDS vaccine or functional cure.

Scientists are also exploring ways to “wake up” HIV cells and kill them. As discovered in the late 1990s, HIV has a way of getting deep into the immune system itself — into what are known as resting memory T-cells — and going to sleep there. Hidden away, it effectively avoids drugs and the body’s own immune response.

“Once it goes to sleep in a cell it can stay there forever, which is really the main reason why we can’t cure HIV with current drugs,” says Lewin. Her team in Melbourne and another group in the United States are about to start the first human trials using a drug called SAHA or vorinostat, made by Merck and currently used in cancer treatment, which has shown promise in being able to wake up dormant HIV.


As scientists begin to talk up a cure, the old question of whether that’s the right goal has re-emerged. Seth Berkley, a medical epidemiologist and head of the U.S.-based International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is concerned.

“From a science point of view, it’s a fabulous thing to do. It’s a great target and a lot of science will be learned. But from a public health point of view, the primary thing you need to do is stop the flow of new infections,” says Berkley. “We need a prevention revolution. That is absolutely critical.”

Vuyiseka Dubula agrees. The South African activist finds talk of a cure for HIV distracting, almost disconcerting. “This research might not yield results soon, and even when it does, access to that cure is still going to be a big issue,” she says. “So in the meantime, while we don’t have the answer on whether HIV can be cured or not, we need to save lives.”

[In the news] Fr. Joaquin Bernas writes ‘talking points’ on RH Bill | Sun.Star

Fr. Joaquin Bernas writes ‘talking points’ on RH Bill | Sun.Star.

MANILA — Catholic bishops expressed willingness to sit down and meet with noted constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas after he announced his position on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill, a Church official said.

Monsignor Juanito Figura, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said the bishops are interested to hear Bernas’s “talking points” on House Bill 4244, which is currently debated in Congress.

In an opinion piece for the Philippine Daily Inquirer last May 23, Bernas said neither the government nor the Church has the right to stop people from practicing responsible parenthood whichever way they prefer.

“Public money is neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Muslim or what have you and may be appropriated by Congress for the public good without violating the Constitution,” he said.

The long-time dean of the Ateneo de Manila University Law School also acknowledged that the bill in its present form needs amendment, and he is willing “to contribute to its improvement.”

Consistent to Catholic Church teachings, Bernas expressed his opposition to sex education in public schools “without the consent of parents” and support for the provision that strengthens the illegality of abortion.

Quoting the Compendium on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, he said that the government’s responsibility is to interpret the good of everyone and “not only according to the guidelines of the majority.”

However, what drew impassioned criticism from many anti-RH bill advocates and even Church officials is Bernas’s dismay at priests who say supporting the measure is a serious sin and called them as “irresponsible.”

“I have been called a Judas by a high-ranking cleric, I am considered a heretic in a wealthy barangay where some members have urged that I should leave the Church (which is insane),” Bernas lamented, whose article spawned 8,335 Facebook “recommends” and 1,729 shares as of press time.

In the end, Figura believes that as a priest, Bernas is still “pro-life and he is towards the anti-RH bill side.”

Meanwhile, a non government organization has called on the voting public to “learn its lesson” in the next elections and withdraw support from politicians who proposed measures that restrict access to contraceptives.

According to EnGende-Rights, these legislators include Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ralph Recto and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., and Reps. Roilo Golez (Paranaque), Pablo Garcia (Cebu), Rufus Rodirguez (Cagayan de Oro) and Amado Bagatsing (Manila).

“Those who believe in respecting, promoting, and upholding the rights of women should use their power as citizens to vote for people who will uphold the rights of women. Women are the ones who bear the brunt of the delayed passage of the RH (reproductive health) law and any restriction on their access to the full range of contraceptive methods,” lawyer Clara Rita Padilla, Executive Director of EnGendeRights, said in a press statement.

On Monday, the Senate bills providing for the safety and protection of the unborn will be heard in the Committees on Youth, Women and Family Relations, Constitutional Amendments, and Revision of Codes and Laws.

Last week, the anti-choice bill of Rep. Bagatsing was heard in the House Committee on Revision of Laws with Golez, Garcia, and Rodriguez supporting it. (Virgil Lopez and Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

[In the news]Aquino regime releases P5B as back payment for poor’s PhilHealth premiums – Interaksyon.com

Aquino regime releases P5B as back payment for poor’s PhilHealth premiums – Interaksyon.com.

Chichi Conde, InterAksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines — The Aquino administration has released P5 billion to cover back payments of the national government’s counterpart for health insurance premiums of indigent families from 2007 to 2010.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the fund partly covers the P6.5 billion in unpaid obligations of the previous administration to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.
The remaining balance of P1.5 billion will be released within the year, Abad said.
Universal healthcare coverage for all, especially for the poor and the vulnerable, is a priority of President Benigno Aquino III. To ensure the integrity of the healthcare fund for indigent Filipinos, we have to settle the obligations left unpaid in the previous administration,” Abad said.

From 2007 to 2010, the past administration remitted only P3.85 billion to PhilHealth out of the P10.35 billion counterpart payment it must shoulder.

“The non-payment of past obligations is one issue. The question as to whether PhilHealth support recipients are really indigent households is another. Under the Aquino administration, we will make sure that the program will only be used for the healthcare of the poor, and not for the political agenda of a few,” Abad added.

For 2011, the government has allotted P3.5 billion for the National Health Insurance Program.
The amount will cover health protection for 4.7 million indigent families.

On top of this, 1.4 million informal households will also be covered by the program under the government’s National Household Targeting System.

[People] A Loving Mother Fights for Her Babies by Fr. Shay Cullen

by Fr. Shay Cullen

In hospitals and in the hovels of the poor vulnerable, impoverished illiterate mothers are hoodwinked into parting with their children under a pretext and many never see them again. Here is one true ongoing story of a court battle in which a brave and determined mother is fighting to get back her twins taken from her when they were barely one year old.

On August 17, 2007, Teresita Legaspi gave birth to twin boys in a hospital in Olongapo City, Philippines. She being a poor illiterate mother and abandoned by the father of the children, she could not pay the hospital bill.

Riza Mendoza visiting the hospital offered to pay the bill if Teresita gave her one of the twins as collateral. Desperate and afraid of the police, she did. By November 2007, the baby was not returned so Teresita begged for help from Lourdes Sarmiento, the Olongapo Regional Trial Court Social Worker. Within two weeks the child was returned. Teresita was overwhelmed with joy.

Then the babies fell sick and Teresita had no money for a doctor but Lourdes Sarmiento and her husband Romeo offered to help. Before taking the twins to the hospital they made Teresita sign a paper she could not read or understand. That was the last she saw of her babies.

When she challenged the Sarmiento couple, they told her she had no right to the babies because she had signed an Affidavit of Consent to Adoption. The twins, Joshua and Justine were given to a couple by the name of Rico and Erlinda Amparo in Makati City. Teresita was devastated and in shock for a few days but then she rose up with determination to save her children she found the courage to go to the authorities and the media. Eventually with the help of Raffy Tulfo, a well known broadcaster who referred her to the Manila Public Attorney’s Office, they filed a petition for Habeas Corpus against the Sarmiento couple for the twins to be presented to the Olongapo Court. Branch 73 ,then under Judge Consuelo Bocar( now Judge Pamintuan) where Lourdes Sarmiento is a social worker.

The Sarmiento couple failed to present the twins to the court, yet nothing happened to them, Lourdes Sarmiento being a Social Worker of that same court. However, according to Teresita, after office hours Mr. Rico Amparo appeared with Chito Santos and Teresita was brought to the Public Attorneys Office close to the court room and offered Php100,000 (€1,633, £1,413) to withdraw her petition. She adamantly refused it was tantamount to selling her twins. The Olongapo court issued a subpoena for Rico Amparo at his address in Cityland Condominium, Makati. The subpoena was not served.

Teresita was now desperate. By November 2008 Rico Amparo and Rosa Erlinda Amparo filed a petition to the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 144 for the adoption of Joshua and Justine Legaspi using the affidavit of consent which Lourdes Sarmiento got Teresita to sign allegedly under a pretext. By December the Makati court wisely denied without prejudice that petition for adoption saying in effect that the affidavit of consent was null and void.

Yet there was nothing further Teresita could do. All the forces of the law, money and power were working against her. It looked like there was no justice in the Philippines. But she would not give up. She took courage and filed Kidnapping and Failure to Return a Minor under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code against the Sarmiento couple on September 20, 2010. Later, Olongapo City Prosecutor Melani Fay T. Banarez, ruled in favor of Teresita and the case was filed in court.

It went to Court Branch 73 where the same case for Habeas Corpus had been filed and heard and where the accused Lourdes Sarmiento was, and is still is the Court Social Worker. The odds were stached agaisnt Terisita .On April 25, 2011, the judge Norman Pamintuan did not inhibit himself but dismissed the kidnapping charges. He has dismissed up to seven child rape cases based on affidavits of desistance.

Judge Pamintuan ruled in favor of Sarmiento, his own accused social worker saying “probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest against the accused-spouses is wanting” and because the mother did not get hystrical or emotional in the court and demand back her children and because she signed an affidafit of consent of adoption according to Judge Norbert Pamintuan.

Terisita denied she ever gave consent,a mother giving away her new born is highly unlikely and she is illerate not have reach grade 5 and cant read English legal documents.She has been fighting for her children for almost four years. Besides the judge should have inhibited himself and not pass judgement on his own social worker who is the accused. By now in May 2011, the dedicated Prosecutor Ria Sususco, a special prosecutor from the Department of Justice, is fighting the case for Teresita. However the judge has ruled against the prosecuter and denied all her motions for reconsideration and the mother was never allowed to testify on her own behalf. Is that Justice denied?

(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)

[In the news] Father Bernas calls some anti-RH clerics ‘irresponsible’ – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News

Father Bernas calls some anti-RH clerics ‘irresponsible’ – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News.


Amid the rising chorus of anti-Reproductive Health (RH) Bill rhetoric of his fellow clergymen, prominent Jesuit priest Joaquin Bernas, SJ sings a different tune.

In his column on Inquirer.Net on Monday, Bernas declared, “I have never held that the RH Bill is perfect. But if we have to have an RH law, I intend to contribute to its improvement as much as I can.”

Fr. Joaquin Bernas. File phoro source ccp.edu.ph

He also disagreed with “churchmen (who) compel President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious belief.”

Bernas is a constitutional lawyer, member of the 1987 Constitutional Commission. , and former Ateneo Law School dean, As a priest and a respected intellectual, Bernas has been a thorn in the side of the anti-RH camp by criticizing Church opposition to the RH Bill as a violation of religious freedom.

His most recent column was partly a defense from criticism by conservative Catholics, including a “high-ranking cleric” who called him Judas. But we also went on the offense.,

In the column titled “My Stand on the RH Bill,” Bernas branded as “irresponsible” clerics who say that support for the RH Bill is a serious sin and lauded the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for “[disowning] the self-destructive views of some clerics.”

He also referred to some critics of the bill as “attack dogs.”

Bernas’ column is usually a cerebral take on affairs of the state that perhaps fellow academics can best appreciate.

But reflecting the increasingly fevered public interest in the RH issue, his latest column has gone viral, with nearly 5,000 Facebook “recommends” as of Tuesday morning and nearly 1,500 Twitter shares.

Freedom of religion

Bernas put his views in context by pointing out that the Philippines is a pluralist society which should support not only the freedom to believe but the “freedom to act or not to act according to what one believes.”

Thus, Bernas argued, neither the government nor the church has the right to stop people from practicing responsible parenthood whichever way they prefer.

Citing the “Compendium on Social Teaching of the Catholic Church,” Bernas explained that the state ought to decide based not only on the majority, but the minority as well.

For Bernas, spending public money to promote public health does not violate the Constitution, contrary to the argument of some anti-RH activists.

Public money is neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Muslim or what have you and may be appropriated by Congress for the public good without violating the Constitution,” he said.

Opposes mandatory sex education
Bernas also showed his more conservative side by declaring his opposition to mandated sex education in public schools and his support for the provision that strengthens the illegality of abortion.

For him, parents must give consent to the classes beforehand, citing Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution on “the natural and primary right of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character.”

He also reiterated his definition of abortion. “Sacred life begins at fertilization and not at implantation,” he said.

Finally, Bernas emphasized how the bill would protect the nation’s poor women, according to the bill’s Declaration of Policy and Guiding Principles. “They should be saved,” he said.

RH bill dividing Catholics

Bernas’ column came a day after another cleric, the conservative retired Bishop Teodoro Bacani made waves during Sunday evening’s RH Bill Grand Debate on GMA News TV with his confrontational demeanor on stage.

On Monday meanwhile, a member of the clergy called for “sobriety” on the issue after other members of the Catholic Church escalated their attacks on the RH Bill.

In a pastoral statement, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that the ongoing debate on the bill was putting Catholics at “odds” with each other.

He defended the Church’s stand, saying that it was not trying to further inflame the situation but to make an appeal “for the triumph of reason and sobriety.”

Giving Catholicism a bad name

Earlier, Bernas had written a blog entry saying that a sector of the Church is giving the Catholic religion a bad name by imposing their beliefs on everyone.

Bernas was reacting to a Barangay Ayala Alabang ordinance that required a doctor’s prescription for the purchase of artificial contraception, such as condoms.

The CBCP has since stopped formal dialogues with both the Palace and the Senate on the RH Bill.

However, CBCP public relations unit head Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez Jr. said on Monday that they are still open to talks on the bill, barring some “non-negotiables.”

Debate for the House of Representatives’ version of the RH Bill began last week while the Senate is scheduled to begin RH debates by August. – HS, GMA News

[In the news] Scripted Pacquiao not ready to rumble over RH bill – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News

Scripted Pacquiao not ready to rumble over RH bill – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News.


“I’m ready to rumble!” said the gray-haired, rotund challenger to Manny Pacquiao on the House floor on Wednesday. But the boxing icon and Sarangani rep was apparently the one not ready.

Instead of debating with Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on the RH bill the latter sponsored, Pacquiao – the new face of the anti-RH camp – read awkwardly from a prepared set of questions and had little to say after Lagman’s lengthy responses.

Malacañang, meanwhile, announced on Wednesday that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has formally informed President Benigno Aquino III it is withdrawing from the dialogues on the controversial House Bill 4244, or the Reproductive Health bill.

In a letter to the President, dated May 17, CBCP president Nereo Odchimar said the action was taken as the “prevailing circumstances where a healthy atmosphere for dialogue on the matter was wanting.”

File Photo source: examiner.com

Fresh from a meeting Tuesday with the bishops, Pacquiao seemed willing to project their point of view in Congress where the the second day of plenary debate resumed Wednesday.

(For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV)

Earlier in the day, it was announced that Pacquiao would open interpellations on the floor once the debates resume. The boxer was supposed to interpellate a day earlier but opted to move it to Wednesday because he needed “more time to prepare,” heightening the anticipation.

Pacquiao opened the round of questions by saying it would be better for the government to focus on making laws that would solve poverty.

Lagman answered, “Isa sa solusyon sa kahirapan ay ang RH Bill. Pero hindi ito exclusive sa iba pang solusyon na pwedeng gawin ng gobyerno. Kung marami tayong solusyon at pagsama-samahin ay maaaring sagot ito sa poverty alleviation.”

He followed the first question by asking Lagman about the technicalities of the bill. If it was about poverty alleviation, why was it forwarded to the Committee on Population?

Lagman answered, “That is moot and academic.”

He added: “Kung nakinig tayo sa sponsorship ng chairman ng population, [makikita mo na] halos lahat ng bill ay ni-refer sa population and family relations.”

‘Scare tactics’

Several times during the interpellation, the Sarangani congressman found himself repeating questions which had already been answered the day before, when the plenary session on the controversial RH bill started.

At one point, Pacquiao asked about exemptions to the mandatory health education classes. “Hindi kaya magkagulo n’yan dahil ‘yung right nila ay masasagasaan?” asked Pacquiao when Lagman said that parents and children had the right to abstain from sexuality and reproductive health classes.

“Sa sinabi mong chaotic situation ay hindi mangyayari ito,” said Lagman. “Let’s stop these scare tactics.”

Absent from his legislative duties for months while he trained for the Mosley fight, Pacquiao in unscripted moments has cited mostly religious arguments, leading to taunts from Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.

“I would like to say if this is going to be a debate of biblical quotes, then I will counter with a quote: ‘The devil can cite Scripture for its purposes,'” Santiago said.

House Minority Leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman broke the ice by telling Pacquiao, “I’m ready to rumble. I will not run away like Mosley.” Laughter echoed throughout the hall. Lagman was referring to the world champion’s most recent opponent Shane Mosley, who lost miserably in a lackluster fight.

[In the news] Pacquiao Church poster boy vs RH bill – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Pacquiao Church poster boy vs RH bill – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos.

By Jocelyn R. Uy, Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao avoided the question like a left hook coming from his defeated American challenger Shane Mosley.

Asked on Tuesday how he and his wife Jinkee were managing the growth of their family amid a published report that the latter was using birth control pills, the Sarangani lawmaker replied in Filipino: “You know, in reality, even if the RH (reproductive health) bill has not yet been passed, many people are already using condoms or [birth pills]. So why do we still need to pass it when people are already using them?”

Wearing a dark blue suit and a purple tie, Pacquiao lunched with officials of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to express his full support for the Church in countering the RH measure.

Purple is the color adopted by RH advocates. “[But] this tie has nothing to do with the issue … Actually my wife prepared this for me,” Pacquiao said in a subsequent press conference with the bishops, eliciting laughter from reporters who had pointed out the oversight to him.

He confidently said he could get away with it because he was already known in Congress as among those speaking out against the legislative measure that seeks to provide Filipinos an informed choice on the family planning method best suited for them.


Pacquiao said he was against artificial contraception because, he claimed, it was against the will of God.

“God said, ‘Go forth and multiply.’ He did not say ‘Go and have just one or two children,’” he said.

But in an interview with reporters, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said the eight-division champion was behaving like a religious “fundamentalist” who had no business interpreting the Bible to support his position.

Pacquiao’s interpretation of God’s injunction to “go forth and multiply,” Santiago said, “sounds very much like God is encouraging us to go out and copulate in public.”

“God said in the Bible, ‘Go forth and multiply.’ That meant that God wanted man not necessarily to literally multiply, but to go out to work with the rest of the human beings of this planet and to apply the stewardship theory. Meaning to say, taking care of each other, who are all in the planet together,” she said.

The senator said her comments were “facetious,” but warned the boxing superstar against interpreting the Bible literally.

“It is very dangerous to quote the Bible and apply it literally, as Pacquiao is doing,” she said. “Bakit mo papasukan ito e kaming mga senador hindi papasok sa pagboksing? Pero kung gusto mo, eh di puwede rin (Why are you venturing in it when we senators would not venture into boxing? But if you like, maybe we can).”


Santiago said there was an “element of hypocrisy” in Pacquiao’s position on the RH bill, pointing out that while his wife had been quoted as saying that she was on the pill, he himself was reported to have said that he was applying discipline to space their children.

“In that case, apparently, Pacquiao would have to use violence on his wife because she is not living in conformity with his beliefs,” the senator said.

Santiago downplayed the impact of Pacquiao’s “star power” in the Catholic Church’s campaign against the RH bill.

She heaped praise on Pacquiao’s remarkable accomplishments in boxing but warned her fellow legislator: “We cannot be know-it-alls. It will be very misleading to use his celebrity status to enter into what is, after all, a great debate on the political economy.”

Corruption to blame

Pacquiao had earlier expressed his stand against artificial contraception and urged couples to practice sexual abstinence and natural family planning.

He said there would not have been a Manny Pacquiao if his parents, who were poor and had no jobs, used artificial birth control methods.

Pacquiao is the third child in a brood of four. He has four children with his wife Jinkee, who was quoted in a published report as saying that she was on the pill because she did not want another child after their youngest, Queenie.

In reiterating his stand against the RH bill, Pacquiao on Tuesday said the Philippines’ big population should not be blamed for the plight of the poor.

“We should blame corruption because the money that is supposed to help the poor goes to the pockets of officials who are already rich,” he said.

Pacquiao called on his fans nationwide to rally behind the Catholic Church and “follow God’s command, not man’s.”

His remark drew applause from the audience, mostly lay people who had provided for the hearty lunch and arranged his meeting with the bishops.

Among those who lunched with Pacquiao were Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar (the CBCP president), Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, Bishops Ramon Villena, Pablo Virgilio David, Arturo Bastes, Leonardo Medroso, Gerardo Alminaza, Emmanuel Cabajar, Romulo Valles and Honesto Ongtioco and Msgr. Juanito Figura.

All are members of the CBCP Permanent Council, which convened on Tuesday for its usual quarterly meeting.

“We are happy to have him with us, that he came on his own accord to be one with us and to assure us that he is with us in this fight, to defend human life,” Odchimar said at the press conference.

Odchimar said Pacquiao’s promotion of “the culture of life” was a big boost to the Catholic Church in contesting the bill “because people listen to him.”

“We welcome anybody who is as popular as Manny or an ordinary person who would promote the value of life,” the bishop said.

During the press conference, Pacquiao doused speculations that President Benigno Aquino III had snubbed him because of their opposing views on the RH bill.

He said he was not taking it against the President that he was not received in Malacañang when he flew in from the United States on Saturday following his victory against four-time world champion Mosley.

“I understand that he had other important things to do that day and I would like to make it clear that my stand against the RH bill doesn’t mean that I am opposing his government,” Pacquiao said of Mr. Aquino.

He said the President had his full support when it came to government measures countering corruption.

[Statement] Everything in this world has a guardian as the Universe has been appointed custodians, and so does each family – ICAS Phils.

by ICAS Phils
Institute for Comparative and Advanced Studies on the Reproductive Health Bill

The massive response and reactions on the current RH bill being presented in Congress represents both the opinions of the religious elite, the masses, the progressive organizations as well as entities that may either benefit or be affected by the passage of the bill.

Religious organizations may have the authority to give spiritual guidance by mandate of their right to guide the believers, however, religious authorities must also be governed by reason and public interest in deciding matters that may be for the benefit of the family in general.

In looking at the contents of the RH Bill one may see that although this bill notwithstanding does not answer all the required responses to a comprehensive Family planning program or population management, it is one of the landmark bills that addresses the issue of population explosion and the issue of over population.

Like the religious authorities who has the mandate to oversee the spiritual affairs of the flock, the state has the duty to oversee and ensure the well being of its constituents. The current status of the government, which in the opinion of many management experts and onlookers is not as good as everyone wishes to think, and due to the multitude of problems that the government faces, and the shortage of resources on hand; the approaches to addressing these issues must be jugular and never sentimental in nature.

Addressing the issue of responsible parenthood and ensuring that the children they have should be properly taken care of is one of the obligations of married individuals where the duty of the state and religious authorities intersect, the state providing the necessary government intervention, and the religious authorities providing spiritual and moral guidance.

The relative need for a modern and contemporary take on spirituality must be understood in the light of reason and the teachings of religion. The inability to grasp the conventions of modernity and post-modernity will lead religious authorities to become irrelevant if they fail to understand the context of their existence in today’s world.

The Muslim religious authorities in the Philippines must not be swayed by the over arching influence of the Catholic church over the issue of the RH bill for fear of losing crucial support, there are numerous fatawa of scholars on the issue of responsible parenthood and the right of the children to receive proper attention and care from their parents to ensure a more dignified and quality life for them.

It is time for religious authorities to realize that the RH bill is not a mechanism to challenge the authority of the clergy but to assist them in ensuring that their adherents practice responsible parenthood.

The issue of immorality of the RH bill becomes moot and academic because the issue of ensuring morality which actually varies from one society to another, lies in the hands of the religious authorities, and that whenever values in a culture change, society is not alone to blame.

12th May 2011
Manila Philippines

[Press Release] PM calls on Pacquiao to reconsider anti-RH stand

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) mobilized its members for lobbying with the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) at the House of Representatives in Batasan, Quezon City.  Hundreds of women trooped to Congress to support Rep. Edcel C. Lagman’s sponsorship speech for the RH bill.

“Insisting that Filipinos religiously follow the Catholic Church’s outmoded doctrine on family planning and contraception is disregard for women’s universal right to reproductive health,” declared PM Secretary-General Judy Ann Chan-Miranda.

And in response to Manny Pacquiao’s supporting the Catholic Church’s position, Miranda argued that, “More or less 40% of the Philippine population are below the poverty line, these people, especially women, cannot afford having many children as per statement na ang utos ng simbahan ay humayo at magparami.  The workers greatly admire Pacquiao for his boxing prowess, pero sana naman pag-isipan niya na ang deklarasyon niya bilang kinatawan ng Sarangani in particular ay may malaking impact sa kalusugan at buhay na kababaihan.”

“Bakit, Manny, pagtutulungan ba ninyo ng Simbahang Katoliko ang pagtugon sa gastusin at pangangailangan ng mahihirap na pamilya kung susundin nila ang kautusang ito?  If you can afford to buy a P4 million-bag for Mommy Dionisia, these poor Filipinos na marami ay kababayan mo cannot even afford to eat three meals a day, buy clothes and send their children to school,” added Miranda.

Indeed, Pacquiao has declared that he will not change his position, nevertheless, PM would like to make this last appeal, “Manny, mas kailangan ng mga manggagawa lalung-lalo na ng kababaihan ang tulong mo, more than former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and the Catholic Church.  Hindi kami hihingi ng balato mula sa milyon-milyong dolyar na kinikita mo sa boxing at commercials mo, ang hihingin naming balato ay puwang sa iyong puso para sa mahihirap.  Suportahan mo ang RH bill.”
17 May 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa (PM)
Contact Judy Ann Miranda @ 09175570777, 09228677522

[In the news] Don’t downplay debate on RH bill, Palace tells Catholic hierarchy – Interaksyon.com

Don’t downplay debate on RH bill, Palace tells Catholic hierarchy – Interaksyon.com.

Chichi Conde, InterAksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines – The Palace has appealed to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) not to downplay the debate on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill and resort to carrying out civil disobedience actions against the Aquino administration.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office head Ramon Carandang told reporters on Sunday that that Catholic leaders should be open to the debate on the proposed measure, which is an “issue of national importance.”

“There are different and opposing views, but our way of explaining our side should be within the means of the law…What the President is saying is there is room for debate,” said Carandang.

The Catholic hierarchy had pulled out of the talks on the RH bill, saying “holding talks is futile as President Aquino said no one can stop him from pushing the measure.”

Msgr. Juanito Figura, CBCP secretary general, said the talks  “would not yield any further positive results.” He said the consolidated RH bill in the House and Mr. Aquino’s five-point responsible parenthood agenda were basically the same.

“The bishops do not see any reason to further undertake a serious study/dialogue on HB 4244 with the administration as was proposed by Pres. Aquino, himself,” said Figura, reading a statement of the CBCP.

But Carandang said the issue “should not degenerate to illegal acts or anything like that.”

Earlier, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles stopped short of calling Aquino a modern Herod after the latter warned anti-RH groups that they were courting sedition for threatening not to pay taxes if the measure would become law.

“He can put us all in jail. We are willing to pay the price to save the unborn from modern Herods and save the executioners from the grasp of the evil one,” Arguelles said.

Meanwhile, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said that Aquino should be allowed to “charge all of us bishops, priests, religious, all the faithful with sedition because it is better to obey God rather than men and immoral laws,”

Aquino said calls for a tax boycott from the Citizens Alliance for the Protection of Human Life is a serious offense and may qualify for sedition charges.

“Sedition would be the charge for not doing your civic obligation, if you encourage others not to pay taxes,” the President added.

Aquino said the responsible parenthood bill, Malacañang‘s version of the proposed measure, would be included in his administration’s priority legislative measures during the next Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.

The House of Representatives is expected to begin plenary debates on the RH bill on Tuesday, May 17.

On Sunday, Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros launched a “text brigade” appealing to the public to pray for “pro-life” legislators. “Our prolife legislators ask for prayers as they plan on May 17 their moves in this month-long session of congress. Let us pray for them.” – with reports from Pots de Leon

[Petition] Emergency petition to roll back reckless radiation limits and protect hundreds of thousands of Japanese children from a lifetime of cancer – fukushima.greenaction-japan.com

The Second Nuclear Emergency in Japan

Please sign this new EMERGENCY petition to roll back reckless radiation
limits and protect hundreds of thousands of Japanese children from a
lifetime of cancer fear.

Japan’s people desperately need help for common sense to prevail so
their children are safe from radiation exposure. Thank you for taking
the time to show your support. After you sign the petition, you will
receive a confirmation email. To complete your action, click the link in
the email to confirm your signature.

We the undersigned ask you to join us in signing our petition, which
will be presented to the Japanese Government


The Second Nuclear Emergency in Japan

The Fukushima disaster has rocked the entire nation of Japan. Unable to
guarantee public safety after the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, Japan’s
bureaucracy has suddenly announced that children can now be exposed to
six times as much radiation as adult reactor workers. Sign this
EMERGENCY petition to roll back these reckless radiation limits and
protect hundreds of thousands of Japanese children from a lifetime of
cancer fear.

This is not just about Japan. What happens in Japan can set a dangerous
precedent abroad.

THE FACTS | On April 19, Japan’s central government informed Fukushima’s
school authorities that children could be exposed to 20 times the
radiation previously deemed safe for children – levels six times higher
than Japanese workers are legally allowed to suffer.

There is no scientific justification for this change. In meetings with
the government, no bureaucrat would admit responsibility for raising the
radiation exposure level for children. None could explain what the new
limit was based upon. Nobody would correct the problem. Disarray in
Japan’s bureaucracy cannot be allowed to put an entire generation in

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN | Children are more vulnerable to radiation than
adults. Leading independent nuclear monitors in Japan demand that
radiation limits for children be rolled back from what is suspected to
be an “expedient” level advised by the nuclear industry (20 mSv per year)
to the level previously established as safe for children (1 mSv per year).

If the bureaucrats in Tokyo do not roll back the radiation limits,
children within 80 kilometers of the stricken Fukushima nuclear reactors
will be deliberately exposed to radiation levels that boost their risk
of cancer for decades to come.

OUR PETITION | We ask the government of Japan to take these action,
beginning immediately:

1. Withdraw the 20 mSv per year radiation standard issued April 19, 2011
for children and restore the 1 mSv per year dose limit for children.

2. Minimize children’s radiation exposure. Increase support for
municipal agencies and civil society groups aiding Japan’s thousands of
radiation refugees and undertaking urgent decontamination efforts.

3. In setting radiation exposure limits, take into account “internal”
radiation exposure from contaminated food, dust and other sources.

4. To protect children, maintain official radiation monitoring after
outdoor contamination falls below 3.8 mSv per hour, a radiation level
still 6 times what triggers a “radiation-controlled” working condition.

To people outside Japan, these demands will sound like mere commonsense.
But given the stress and influences on the Japanese government, our
people desperately need help for commonsense to prevail and for our
children to be protected. Changing public policy in Japan will have the
most far-reaching results. We thank you for your understanding and

Sign the petition here

This petition is being organized by:
Green Action, Greenpeace Japan, Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center,
Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai),
Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi, and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants
(Mihama-no-Kai), Friends of the Earth Japan

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