Rappler : Marcos Jr. backs abortion ‘for severe cases’ like rape and incest

26 January 2022

By LIAN BUAN | Rappler

'I cannot argue theology, all I argue is the statistics you have given me.... How many women die every day?' says presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Tuesday, January 25, he is okay with passing a law to legalize abortion “for severe cases” like rape and incest, saying he was more concerned with deaths from unsafe abortions than opposition of the Catholic Church.

“I think for very severe cases like you said, the most, the majority are the rape victims, I think that if it can be shown that they were raped and it was not consensual sex that got them pregnant, then they should have the choice to abort or not. The other is incest perhaps,” Marcos said during his interview with entertainment host Boy Abunda, aired Tuesday night.

Abortion is illegal in predominantly Catholic Philippines, where passing a reproductive health law nearly a decade ago was staunchly opposed by Church groups.

But Marcos said “I cannot argue theology, all I argue is the statistics you have given me…. How many women die every day?”

“If you’re a public administrator, that should be the concern,” said Marcos.

Marcos added that aside from rape and incest, women whose health is at risk and cannot bring their pregnancy to full term should have the choice to abort.

“If the mother who is usually quite young is not capable, has mental deficiencies, or is just not capable, emotionally or mentally capable to take care of a child, to have a child, maybe those are the cases where we can say that abortion might be justified,” said Marcos.

Marcos said he believes that “it is a woman’s decision, because it is her body.”

Undecided on divorce and death penalty

On other issues like divorce and death penalty, Marcos is still undecided.

Marcos said divorce “is not a simple question.” While he recognizes that marriage should be a serious commitment, he said he knows of couples who were better off after they separated,

In my view just in terms of the law, siguro ‘yung mga imposible talaga, lagi silang nag-aaway, laging magulo ‘yung mag-asawa, tapos naghihiwalay, happy sila pareho, happy ‘yung mga anak nila, so there are people who really will not…hindi tatagal na mag asawa, maybe we can give that another status, its not a simple question,” said Marcos last October over One PH’s Sa Totoo Lang.

(In my view just in terms of the law, those who are impossible to reconcile, those who always fight, and then when they separate, they are happier, their children are happier, so there are people who really will not last long, maybe we can give that another status. It’s not a simple question.)

On death penalty, Marcos told the ALC media group forum Monday, January 4, that death penalty is possible if society deems the criminal to be hopeless.

“Society, in my view, should be able to make a determination if that person should continue to be a member of society or not. How many has that person killed or hurt, is there any hope at all? Maybe death penalty can be imposed,” said Marcos, but it was not clear how society can make that determination seeing as we don’t have a jury-based criminal justice system.

The Duterte government made efforts to reimpose the death penalty, but has gotten nowhere so far.

Legal groups have been opposing death penalty, citing data and studies that death penalty is not a deterrent to crime, and actually will victimize poor and innocent suspects with no access to competent lawyer.

Senatorial candidate Chel Diokno, chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) which opposes death penalty, said: “Who in society does Marcos want to do that? Him, if he wins as president? Dangerous for any person to have that power.” – Rappler.com