'Do not go to your religion': Duterte wants family planning revival


Posted at Aug 27 2019 11:15 PM | Updated as of Aug 28 2019 12:34 AM

MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte proposed Tuesday the revival of family planning in the country, saying religion cannot help in the reproductive health of women.

"Ibalik ninyo ‘yung family planning," Duterte said during the 31st anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in Quezon City.

"I know of only two guys, presidents, who did it and it was (Fidel) Ramos who was a Protestant, and ako na talagang pinipilit ko sa aking siyudad ang land reform," he told agrarian reform beneficiaries.

In 1992, then President Fidel Ramos emphasized reproductive health and human rights as a policy framework for the implementation of family planning programs.

Duterte urged the public not to rely on religion when it comes to reproductive health, which has been an issue between the church and the state for decades.

"Hindi ko sabihin na ano. But do not place too much importance about religion. Tutok ka lang sa Diyos. When you are in a (moral?) quandary, do not go to your religion. It cannot help you. Maniwala kayo," the President said.

"At 74 years old, I’m telling you. You go direct to your God and pray and ask for guidance, especially in matters of --- ‘yang kasalanan ‘yang mag family planning," he added.

But Duterte slammed the door on the possibility of abortion being legalized in the country, saying he will not allow it.

"Of course, abortion is out of the question. I will not allow it. Just like itong Iceland, who initiated that signature campaign to condemn us sa extrajudicial killing," he said.

The President went on to criticize Iceland, saying it allows abortion up to six months.

"Iceland allows the slaughter of the fetus inside the womb of the mother up to six months. P******a nila. They worry more of the drug lords at itong mga who are pushing drugs, killing our citizens, and creating a social dysfunction, in almost all, tinamaan," Duterte said.

Iceland abortion laws, however, state that pregnancy termination is permitted until the 22nd week of pregnancy, or at about 5 months, regardless of the underlying cause.

Iceland, which endorsed a resolution seeking a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines, has been on Duterte's nerves ever since the resolution was approved by the United Nations human rights body.

"Hindi lang naintindihan, ‘yung mga g***** ‘yan. Itong mga Iceland, palibhasa ice ang kain, wala namang tubig ‘yan eh. Bobo ang mga p***** i** niya," he said.

He added: "Just imagine. Six months. You allow an innocent human being already thriving and living inside the mother’s body and… Sa Bisaya pa, ilarot mo ‘yung --- just pull it."

The Philippines is one of more than 20 countries where abortion is outlawed, except for special circumstances.