|Sen. Tito Sotto
MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Tito Sotto on Monday said it is his personal mission to block the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill because his son died due to the side effects of contraceptives.
During his "turno on en contra" speech against the bill before the Senate, Sotto shed tears as he blamed contraceptives for the medical condition of his son, Vincent Paul, who died 5 months after he was born in 1975.
He said his wife, actress Helen Gamboa, first gave birth to a girl in January 1973. Since Gamboa was working in TV and movies, she took the advice of a doctor-friend and started taking contraceptives.
After a year, she again conceived and gave birth to Vincent Paul on March 13, 1975. Doctors at the Makati Medical Center said the boy had a weak heart and needed blood transfusions almost daily.
"The Makati Medical Center can prove to the fact na wala silang makita na dahilan kung bakit nagkaganun yung bata kundi dahil nagko-contraceptives yung asawa ko. Nabuntis pa rin kahit na gumagamit ng contraceptives," he said.
He added: "He was born but he never left the hospital. The Makati Medical Center said he died because my wife used contraceptives. Even her doctor admits to the fact, Dra. Enderga Santos."
The senator said his son died on August 13, 1975, exactly 37 years ago today.
Sotto admitted that he felt sorry but also jealous of other senators who admitted losing children.
"Parang naiinggit pa nga ako, Mr. President. Mabuti pa nga sila nahawakan nila. Yung anak ko 5 months ni hindi ko nahipo. Nahawakan ko patay na," he said.
The senator said he prayed daily to God to spare his son. He said he did not receive an answer from God until today, 37 years later.
"Kasi pala, magiging misyon ko ito pala para ipaglaban ko ang karapatan na mabuhay ang maraming inosenteng bata na kikitilin ang buhay ng bill na ito," he said.
He then asked for leave, saying he would rather continue his speech another day.