But feisty senator refuses to face off with Pacmom
GENERAL SANTOS CITY/MANILA, Philippines - The mother of Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao came out fighting on Wednesday as critics, including Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, hit the boxer over his opposition to the Reproductive Health bill.
Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao's comments came after Santiago made several statements on Tuesday about Rep. Pacquiao's opposition to the RH bill.
Santiago said on Tuesday that Pacquiao made a mistake in interpreting the Bible.
Santiago's statements drew the ire of Pacquiao's mother, the flamboyant Dionisia.
“Huwag ang anak ko ang pakialaman niyo. [Ang pakialaman niyo] yung malaswa, yung malaswa!” she said.
Mommy Dionisia said her son has a right to express his opposition to the bill.
“Ano tingin nila kay Manny, tau-tauhan? Di ba congressman sya?” she said.
'Following Lord's commandments'
She further said her son is just following the commandments of the Lord.
“Para kay Senator Miriam, parang binasura niya ang anak ko… bakit mababa ang tingin niya sa anak ko? Si Manny, sinusunod lang ang utos ng Diyos,” she said.
Mommy Dionisia also denied daughter-in-law Jinkee is still using birth control pills.
“Noon pa gumagamit si Jinkee, noong bago palang sila mag-asawa. Pero ngayon, wala na,” she said.
The Pacman’s mom also proudly related how she practiced natural family planning as approved by the Catholic church.
“Ang mister ko, di sya ma kontrol eh… tinuruan sya ng calendar [method]. Ang calendar walang kasalanan ‘yan,” she said.
Despite her words, Dionisia denied she is angry at Senator Santiago, saying she is simply defending her son.
Meanwhile, after several painful statements, and even challenging Pacquiao to a fist fight over his stand on the RH bill, the senator appeared to back off after hearing what Dionisia had to say in her son’s defense.
“I'm speechless. That's my only comment. That's a silly topic… maghanap na lang tayo ng ibang kalaban,” she said.
Santiago said the real fight is in the Senate, which will soon begin its own debate on its version of the RG bill.
The senator, however, does not support a citizen’s petition asking the Senate to conduct an investigation into the side effects and supposed abortifacient qualities of the contraceptives pushed by the bill.
“They should rely on the rationality of their arguments rather than their cheap trick… that is already pushing the envelope too far,” she said.
But Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Majority Leader Tito Sotto, who are both against the RH bill, believe the Senate must act on the petition and conduct an investigation.
“People can come to us and ask us to conduct and investigation. We look at it, if it is germane, proper, then we will act,” Enrile said.
Bill criminalizing abortion
Enrile and Sotto are also pushing for a bill that will criminalize abortion, including the use of contraceptives.
The bill will provide punishments for those caught selling contraceptives without the buyer presenting a prescription from a doctor.
The Senate Committee Report on the RH bill is expected to be released in the next two weeks.
President Aquino, meanwhile, reiterated his call to lawmakers to pass the Reproductive Health bill.
The President made the appeal during the 104th National Convention of the Philippine Medical Association in Davao City.