Philippines president to challenge Church on contraception

July 3, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Philippine, June 29, 2016: The Philippines President-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, has said he will aggressively promote artificial birth control in the country even at the risk of a battle with the Church, Crux reports.

Mr Duterte, who is to be sworn in on Thursday, said having many children has driven families deeper into poverty, and he reiterated his recommendation for Filipinos to have three at most.

Known for his profanity-laden speeches, Mr Duterte jokingly threatened to have penises of defiant men chopped off and cited his family planning program as a long-time mayor in southern Davao city, where he offered cash rewards to villagers who volunteered to undergo free vasectomy or ligation, and to doctors who performed the procedures.

“I will reinstall the program of family planning. Three’s enough,” Mr Duterte said in a speech after a flag-raising ceremony in front of the Davao city hall. “I’ve also been colliding with the Church because it’s no longer realistic.”

It was not clear if he would replicate the reward system nationwide.

Mr Duterte praised former president Fidel Ramos, who backed his presidential candidacy, for courageously promoting contraceptives as the country’s first Protestant leader, starting in 1992.

“I go against the Church because its position is not realistic,” the tough-talking leader said, according to the Philippines Star.

He also joked about the practice of venerating saints. “I believe in one God, Allah. Period,” he said.

Last month, Mr Duterte blasted the local Catholic Church as “the most hypocritical institution” and accused some of its bishops of asking for favours from politicians.

– cna

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