Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Taking things to heart

An update: Esperanza Cabral says, I am DOH Secretary! Hear me roar! DOH will continue to implement its condom-distribution program despite harsh criticism from the Catholic church. Cabral has emphasized the need for decisive action in stemming an HIV epidemic in the country.

These days, when people want to say they really really like something, they "heart" it (i.e. "I ♥ my new shoes!" or "I ♥ your earrings!" or even, "I ♥ you" :D). There are several theories on how the heart shape became the two-dimensional representation for love. One, in particular, associates the symbol with the seed of the Silphium plant. The seeds of this ancient, now-extinct plant were used commonly as a spice, but were also popular as a contraceptive. These seeds were easily distinguished by their shape: two rounded peaks tapering into a point. This figure, which we now recognize as the heart, ironically became the symbol for love in its many forms and varied degrees.

Perhaps not meaning to be quite so literal, the Department of Health distributed condoms during this year's Valentine's Day. The distribution program was dubbed as an action to curb the spread of HIV and "not (for) family planning." Still, use of this contraceptive can result in the prevention of unplanned pregnancies. This, not its efficacy in thwarting sexually-transmitted diseases, is a more well-known feature. Nonetheless, the campaign is a step to make reproductive health accessible. The program has so enraged the Catholic church that bishops have called for the removal of Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral:
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said a leader like Cabral should not be heading a vital government agency, since her condom-distribution program could endanger the people’s morals...

...“It is immoral for a government official to support the distribution of condoms which we know do not really reduce or stop the spread of HIV-AIDS,” Arguelles said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.
This is how forward-thinking leaders are treated.

Meanwhile, brazen disregard for human rights is lauded:
MANILA, Philippines – Two army officers that led the arrest of 43 alleged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Morong, Rizal were given awards on Tuesday by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Colonel Aurelio Baladad, commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade and Lt. Colonel Jaime Abawag, commander of the 16th Infantry Battalion were awarded the Bronze Cross Medal during the 23rd anniversary of the Southern Luzon Command (Solcom).

0 seen below:

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