Looking back at Harapan; anticipating the Grand Debate on RH bill

A FEW THOUGHTS regarding the RH bill debates conducted by the largest TV networks in the country:

  • ABS-CBN’s Harapan did a good job by airing the debate live. The apparently pro-RH GMA News TV doesn’t seem to have the credibility to give the public an irreproachably accurate depiction of what happened during the debate’s taping (May 17). Who knows which part of the taping they’d edit out? GMA’s Grand Debate will be aired on May 22.
  • Harapan is also commendable for creating a webpage exclusively about its RH bill episode. The page has Twitter widgets showing opposing views on the issue, copies of RH-related bills in both houses of Congress, a recording of the May 8 episode, and a news feed regarding the issue. It’s disappointing, however, that they do not seem to have included the results of their May 8 viewers’ poll into the one that’s on the Harapan page now (or at least, an explicit acknowledgment of the results of the May 8 poll). The tally is now showing results that are opposite to those which were on the May 8 episode (60 percent of the total number of votes were pro-life).
  • Karen Davila and Julius Babao’s efforts in moderating the debate was frustrating.  They could hardly direct the debate to the pertinent issues alone. Worse, the program ended with the viewer not having clear ideas on what were resolved and what remained to be known further.
  • Karen Davila, known to be pro-RH, struggled to stage an unbiased moderation of the event. She succeeded somehow, though one would get goosebumps when she questions pro-life panelists with tones that suggest sarcasm.
  • Julius Babao, despite his wife Christine’s very anti-Catholic views, attained an apparently impartial conduct of the debate. He hardly seemed very involved in the discussion; or maybe Davila was speaking too much.

While I appreciate the efforts of the two competing networks in “enlightening” the public through the debates about the issues that surround the RH bill, I’m worried about their falling into merely fomenting more discord among Filipinos: when they classify people as either pro- or anti-RH bill; when the debate is presented merely as something like a boxing match; when a moral issue is reduced to something solved by a game of numbers; when they conduct debates for debate’s sake (because conflict is a factor of newsworthiness, and ultimately profit), and not the truth.

5 thoughts on “Looking back at Harapan; anticipating the Grand Debate on RH bill

  1. Sorry, I take exception to your insinuation that pro-RH supporters are anti-Catholic. On the contrary, there are many like me who are proud Catholics who support this bill and do so because of our Christian values. We have our God-given right of FREE WILL to follow what our conscience dictates. In this case, the church institution is wrong. I believe in the Church, but do so with my eyes open. It’s our responsibility to be able to discern right from wrong and not follow blindly. I know about the Crusades, Galileo, their inaction when Jews were persecuted in WWII, and even the actions of the friars in our own history, but I am still a believer, because I know that the “human” part of the church is naturally imperfect, but the Divine is infallible. Science and data show the church institution is wrong in this case. Their actions and spreading of misinformation give them away. In the end, ikaw naman ang haharap sa panginoon, hindi sila, can you say then they you had the interests of the poor in mind?

    • Hi escrima,

      Thanks for dropping by!

      I admire your sincere conviction in supporting the RH bill, as well as your understanding that the Church’s members are not at all perfect.

      I also agree with you that we should follow the dictates of our conscience. But I guess we also need to educate our conscience more. The Church’s stand against artificial contraception is fruit of millenniums-long tradition and scholarship, not to mention divine inspiration (as Catholics, you and I believe that the Holy Spirit dwells in and guides the Church). I guess we should also look in depth at the Church’s perspective on the issue. Faith is reasonable, too.

    • I believe the things that you “know” regarding crusades, Galileo, the Church and the WWII, the actions of friers etc are fairly limited. It seems that you just read those articles that say negative things about the Church.

      During the WWII, for example, the accusation that the Church did not do anything to save the Jews is a misinformation. Pope Pius XII, the Pope during the war, did everything he could to protect Jews, smuggle Jews away from fascist-controlled territories and treat them with dignity.

      Another thing is your claim that scientific facts are against the Church this time. Sorry to say Escrima but you are wrong in that regard. Let me lay down some facts to you:

      1. Artificial family planning tools that is being promoted by the RH Bill causes negative health effects to women. Pill increases breast cancer risk. IUD migrated from uterus to colon by making a hole on uterine wall to pass through.

      2. Lessening the population will not result to improving the economy or the plight of the poor. Why? Because population is not directly related to the improvement of the economy. Also, you must look at the case of Japan and European countries, which are now doing their best to increase birth rates.

      Are those facts counter the position of the Church regarding the RH Bill issue? Think again Escrima.

  2. Yes indeed, the time will come that the sheep will be separated from the goats. Today, Catholics are either selective (choosy) Catholics or practising Catholics. You are a choosy Catholic if you choose to reject God’s will.

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