MANILA, Philippines – It seems that advocates of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill have scored another point.
This time, it's reportedly from the family of the late Dr. Carmen Enverga-Santos, who was the obstetrician of Helen Gamboa back when she and Senator Tito Sotto lost their five-month old son allegedly due to contraceptives.
According to a report from local online magazine Spot.ph, Lea Enverga-Santos posted a formal statement on Facebook after the name of her late mother was dragged by Sotto into the RH bill debate.
Spot.ph said it received permission from Santos’ daughter to publish the statement, which read: “As one of Dra. Carmen Enverga Santos’ children, [I must say] we were all surprised to hear her name brought up by Sen. Sotto during the deliberations on the RH bill.
“Anyone who knew her, including her family, colleagues in the medical field, her medical students, friends, confessor as well as her patients, know that she would have supported the RH bill and would have openly expressed her support for the bill because of her concern for our country’s problems with overpopulation and its subsequent impact on poverty, quality of life issues, and the health of all mothers.”
|A screenshot of Lea Enverga-Santos' statement, as posted in Spot.ph
A teary-eyed Sotto blamed contraceptives early this month for the death of their son, John Vincent, in 1975 as part of his speech which opposed the RH bill.
Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral was not convinced and dared Sotto to produce his son’s death certificate and hospital records to show the actual cause of death of the five-month old baby.
The senator responded by presenting a death certificate and saying that Gamboa used Diane birth control pills under the supervision of Santos.
But the website of Bayer, which manufactures the pills, showed that the brand was introduced to the market in 1978, three years after the death of Sotto and Gamboa’s son.
|A screenshot of Bayer HealthCare's website, which showed that the Diane birth control pills were introduced to the market in 1978.
Sotto is now in the middle of a plagiarism scandal after it was found that parts of his speeches on his stand on the RH bill were copied from different online sources.
His chief of staff, Atty. Hector Villacorta, maintained that they have not committed any crime, saying that the Internet is “public domain.”