By now the blogosphere would already be ablaze with all the opinion on two 'hot' topics: the Alec Baldwin comment on Filipino mail-order brides and the Katrina Halili-Hayden Kho sex videos. Interesting pronouncements have come from at least two legislators regarding these matters- Senators Loren Legarda and Ramon Revilla, Jr.
According to local news reports, Mr. Baldwin, when asked whether he’d like to have more children, replied that he’d like to get himself a Filipino mail-order bride or a Russian one, to which David Letterman chirped that he’d like one too. Senator Legarda has released a statement that speaks in no uncertain terms that Filipino women are not for sale, as insinuated by Mr. Baldwin in the interview in Letterman’s The Late Show. Other legislators have expressed similar disgust and displeasure on the actor’s attempt at being humorous.
Similarly occupying a disproportionate amount of media space is the *yawn* controversy of the Katrina Halili-Hayden Kho sex videos. The main issue that has roused Mr. Revilla from senatorial slumber was the fact that the 1) a woman was oppressed and 2) the oppressor is a physician. From there, the Senator from Cavite launched a tirade of unimpressive, hollow comments with regard to women’s rights, patients’ rights and piracy, emboldened by having watched a snippet (?) of the said videos. He was interviewed in TV Patrol, with a laptop playing parts of the supposedly offensive materials.
*clap clap clap*
Thank you very much, dear senators, for immediately jumping into the media melee, armed with your privilege speeches and press statements. I'm sure Mr. Baldwin and Dr. Kho are shakin' in their boots right now. A lot of good these statements will do. *rawr!*
But if I may suggest, maybe you dear senators can also plod on and do what you have been elected to do- pass the necessary bills that will TRULY protect the Filipino people, regardless of stature and intensity of media coverage. To wit:
If you really want an improved health care system in the country, tackle intelligently Senate Bill 2456 or the Physicians Act of 2008, pending at the committee level since August 2008. This bill aims to support if not supercede the Jurassic Medical Act of 1959 you, Mr. Revilla, have been raving about. This may help ensure better medical care for patients and make the lives of physicians in the Philippines more humane (from medical education to practice of our profession) so we physicians won’t resort to leaving the country or worse, wriggling our way to show business to earn more- no disrespect to actors, of course.
If you really, really, really want an improved health care system in the country Mr. Revilla, help implement and push for unequivocally without fear or favor The Magna Carta for Public Health Workers. The Lord Almighty knows that government health center doctors, nurses, midwives, medical technologists, dentists, etc live in more perilous conditions hazardous to their health, warranting more attention versus actors who willingly objectify themselves by hardly wearing any clothes while cavorting on tv or the big screen.
How come, Senator Legarda, that Senate Bill 2576 which proposes timely amendments to the Anti-Mail Order Bride Law has been stuck at the committee level since September 2008? This amendment to RA 6955 will surely be of great help, considering the SB 2576 zeroes in on the role of internet in perpetuating this injustice to Filipino women. If you really are for the rights of women, please be SB 2576's advocate- even if Manny Villar is this bill’s main proponent.
Wouldn’t it be also worth your time, Senators Revilla and Legarda, to look into Senate Bill 2539 which seeks to penalize any advertising agency, television or radio station and publication which exploits women and glorify sexual violence in its advertisements being pushed (albeit weakly?) by Senator Villar (again) since August 2008?
And while you’re at it, maybe it can be in your agenda as well to support Senate Bill 2477 which seeks to expand the definition of and penalties for sexual harassment proposed since July 2008 by Senator Roxas?
To raise hell is good. But to do our supposed jobs is even better. Speaking loudly AND carrying a big stick. I may sound nitpicking by choosing to highlight these sat-on bills but it is just SO exasperating to endure cocky overtures that are pointless when what is supposed to be done remains unaccomplished.
And please, when you DO get these bills passed into laws, do us all a favor by FUNDING their correct implementation. Thank you!