Risa Hontiveros: Universities should be a platform for education, not a breeding ground for ignorance and intolerance

Statement of Former Rep. Risa Hontiveros on UST’s cancellation of the #Youthvote2013 senatorial forum due to the participation of pro-RH candidates:

We have been informed that the #YouthVote2013 Senatorial Forum on health, population and development scheduled for January 11, 2013 to be hosted by the University of Santo Tomas was cancelled by the school administration when they learned of the participation of pro-RH candidates like myself.

Upon learning that pro-RH candidates like myself have confirmed to participate in the forum, UST Secretary General Fr isidro Abaño reportedly immediately revoked the permit for the activity.

 I am deeply dismayed, disappointed and alarmed by this development.

 It imperils the business of universities like UST - the education of our youth. It curtails the studentry's exercise of their own  conscience, the principle upon which many Filipinos, including those opposed to RH, anchored their stance on this issue. 

I am product of Catholic education, one which allows for a free exchange of ideas, and I believe that all educational institutions should serve as a platform for discernment and not allow itself to become a breeding ground for ignorance and intolerance.

Furthermore, this decision indicates partisanship on the part of the university administration. By limiting the forum to those who subscribe to the anti-RH position of the school, it is taking a partisan stance. Is there a policy among anti-RH schools and universities to disinvite pro-RH candidates like myself? If yes, what are the schools afraid of?

I have always respected the stand of Catholic institutions on the RH law. However, as a mother, I maintain that the RH law is pro-life, pro-choice, and pro-chance. It prevents maternal deaths and infant mortality. Access to family planning and contraceptives curb abortion. It gives Filipino families the opportunity to improve their lot through family planning. 

I urge the UST administration to reverse its decision and allow the activity to push through. In the interest of fairness and non-partisanship, it should allow the participation of all candidates, including those in favor of the RH law.


More Articles

Hontiveros' signature 'alampay' goes 'palaban'

Always seen wearing an ‘alampay’ (or shoulder shawl), former Rep. Risa Hontiveros is showing a different use of her ‘alampay’ as she gearsup for the final stretch of the campaign period. In her new TV commercial, Hontiveros is seen using her signature fashion accessory to flick at corruption and abuse. (Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxwWztUvCv4) “My ‘alampay’ has always been a piece of curiosity for many. I have been asked several times what it is for. This time, I want to play with Read More

Hontiveros immensely disappointed by SCs refusal to lift suspension of RH law

Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros expressed immense disappointment over the decision of the High Court to dismiss her petition to have the suspension of the RH law lifted. “It is disappointing. I still maintain that the immediate implementation of the law does not pose any concrete damage to the constitutional rights of any individual. The suspension, however, reinforces a status quo where 11 women die everyday due to lack of access to reproductive health services,” Hontiveros said. “Mga nanay at mga kabataan ang unang masasaktan Read More

Hontiveros: Supreme Court status quo ante order on RH an assault against women

Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros deeply mourned the status quo ante order issued by the   Supreme Court on the implementation of the RH law, calling it an extraordinary assault against Filipino women and mothers. “I am shocked. We have just signed the IRR of the law, and we were eagerly expecting the implementation of the law on Easter Sunday,” said Hontiveros. “Para bang inililibing nila ng buhay ang mga nanay na naghihintay para sa ating RH programs. Pinigilan nila ang muling pagkabuhay ng pag-asa Read More

Hontiveros to skip campaign trail to attend RH Law IRR public hearing

Team PNoy senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros said today that she will skip the campaign trail on the International Women’s Day to attend the public hearing on the RH law’s draft implementing rules and regulation (IRR).  “The Team Patay campaign notwithstanding, the full and immediate implementation of the RH law will be the best Women’s Day gift that we can give to our Filipino women,” said Hontiveros.  She encouraged other senatorial candidates to do the same. “I urge my fellow candidates, regardless of political affiliations, to Read More

Hontiveros to CBCP: Stop engaging in election bullying

After learning that several other dioceses are planning to set up additional ‘Team Patay’ posters, Team PNoy senatorial bet Risa Hontiveros urged the CBCP to stop bishops from engaging in election bullying. “What’s happening is already a form of bullying, not voters’ education. The bishops who are endorsing the so-called Team Patay campaign seem to think that they are exempted from our election rules,” said Hontiveros, who was singled out by Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra in a recent pastoral letter. “Wala namang nagsasabi na hindi Read More

Hontiveros corrects poster violation 'misimpression'

Senatorial bet Risa Hontiveros clarified today a statement from COMELEC that she tops the list of poster violators among senatorial candidates. “We received four notices, but only one pertains to an actual violation. Notices are not de facto rulings on violations of COMELEC guidelines on campaign materials and activities. While we have promptly responded to these notices and assured COMELEC of our cooperation, we are compelled to correct the misimpression that may have been created by the report,” Hontiveros said. “Of the four notices that Read More

Risa Hontiveros: Making healthcare more universal

Our rallying call in 2010 was “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap”. Ngayong umuusad ang anti-corruption agenda ng gobyerno, at ngayong nakikita natin ang epekto nito sa ating ekonomiya, panahon na para tingnan ang Part Two ng pangako ng Matuwid na Daan - ang isyu ng “equity”. The dividends of the “Daang Matuwid” should also go to improvements in our healthcare. Sa matuwid na daan, dapat maayos ang kalusugan. Health doesn’t really come up as a pocketbook concern for Filipinos. Pero nung nasa Kongreso ako at Read More

Hontiveros to Bacolod Diocese: I am pro-reproductive health, and I am pro-life

Former congresswoman and RH champion Risa Hontiveros said today that she is not surprised by her inclusion in the “Team Patay” (Anti-life) list that the Diocese of Bacolod has issued, but she asserted that support for the RH law reflects deep respect for life. “Ang suporta sa RH law ay pagsuporta sa buhay. The RH law gives us a tool to eliminate maternal deaths and to significantly reduce cases of unwanted pregnancy, which is the driver of abortion,” she stressed. “Hindi ba yan ang tunay na Read More

Hontiveros urges DOH, DTI to strictly monitor Cheap Meds law enforcement

Alarmed that heart-related diseases remain to be the leading cause of death among Filipinos, former solon Risa Hontiveros asked the Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry to closely monitor the implementation of the Cheaper Medicines law. “One out of five Filipinos die of heart-related diseases, and this is the case for both men and women. Meanwhile, one to two out of ten Filipinos die due to diseases of the vascular system (or stroke). The persistence of these diseases underscores the importance Read More

Hontiveros: Senate race to determine fate of President Aquinos reforms

Either we forge ahead, or we slide backward. This is how senatorial aspirant Risa Hontiveros described what’s at stake for the 2013 polls, saying that a ‘cynical’ and a ‘business-as-usual’ Senate could reverse the gains made under the Aquino administration. “The May 2013 polls will determine whether we can sustain the momentum for reforms. As in 2010, the ball is once again in the hands of ordinary FIlipinos: either we move forward, or we slide back,” according to Hontiveros, who is running under Team PNoy. Read More

Hontiveros Urges SC: Quash Baseless Anti-RH Petitions that Imperil Public Health

RH law champion Risa Hontiveros urged the High Court today to reject the petitions  filed by various anti-RH groups and to put an end to baseless efforts to delay or stop the implementation of the law. “The RH law is 14 years too late, but it’s enactment is giving us a chance to stop maternal deaths and put an end to an epidemic of ignorance that disempowers women and men alike. We must not allow the ill-founded, desperate and unreasonable attempts of few groups to Read More

Risa Hontiveros: Universities should be a platform for education, not a breeding ground for ignorance and intolerance

Statement of Former Rep. Risa Hontiveros on UST’s cancellation of the #Youthvote2013 senatorial forum due to the participation of pro-RH candidates: We have been informed that the #YouthVote2013 Senatorial Forum on health, population and development scheduled for January 11, 2013 to be hosted by the University of Santo Tomas was cancelled by the school administration when they learned of the participation of pro-RH candidates like myself. Upon learning that pro-RH candidates like myself have confirmed to participate in the forum, UST Secretary General Fr isidro Read More