Senator Sotto urged to stop “iskul bukol” arguments vs. RH, challenged to a debate

Akbayan Youth today called on Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III to stop his “iskul bukol arguments” even as the group challenged the lawmaker to a debate on the reproductive health bill.

The youth group issued the latest statement in response to Sotto’s continued attack against government data on women who regularly die due to pregnancy-related causes.

In a statement, Akbayan Youth chairperson Leloy Claudio called on the senator to raise the level of discussion concerning the RH Bill.

“Sen. Sotto should not transform the RH discussions into an ‘iskul bukol’ debate. This is a senate debate on an important piece of legislation, let’s maintain a level of maturity befitting such discourse,” according to Claudio.

Claudio challenged Sotto to an academic debate on the bill.

“We challenge Sotto to a debate. Our youth group can sponsor such a scholarly exercise. I am sure the good senator has a lot more from his intellectual armory than arguments which seemed to have been culled from Wanbol University,” Claudio said.

Akbayan youth also chided Sotto for doubting scientific data particularly from the United Nations and the National Statistics Office.

“Our group has always practiced responsibility in analyzing data. Our activist background demands that we be discerning of information regardless of the source. We know when to respect and accept the truth and when to demolish outright lies. Unfortunately, Sen. Sotto can’t do the same. In the name of fake discernment, he refused to believe a fact backed by national and international scientific institutions. He must think he is the only credible source around. Such arrogance,” Claudio added.

Claudio also reminded the senator to stay away from comments that are offensive to the Filipino women. According to the youth leader, the level of debate in the Senate need not reflect the kind of vitriol being hurled by some anti-RH groups against advocates of the bill.

“We can easily brush aside comments made by many anti-RH groups against the RH Bill or pro-RH people. That’s freedom of expression. But it’s really awful when that kind of language comes from a respected member of the Senate of the Philippines. Even if the senator is a well-known comedian, the debate shouldn’t go to the level of comedy and farce,” Claudio concluded.