We must value human life in the womb

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Please let me say something about the article by Mr. Ric Saludo “Do we really value life?” in your Saturday May 2 issue.

It is a very good article. I understand that he was, at the time he was writing it, mainly thinking of the execution of the convicted drug-related perpetrators and the possible execution in the end of our fellow Filipino Mary Jane Veloso.

He was also gripped by the violence of the fighting sides in the Middle East and the world governments’ having hugs budgets for their military and their weaponry. He is so right that a world of armies armed to the teeth against their enemies “is not the world most of humankind want.

Those who truly value life would never want to protect it by threatening to inflict death and destruction. Yet since prehistory, man has sought peace through implements of violence. Just as those seeking to stop murder and drugs, resort to killing offenders.”


All very worthy and valid thoughts of a Christian, which I know from reading his writings Mr. Saludo is, a Catholic Christian close to the Ateneo Jesuit priests.

But there is something very basic in discussions about valuing life that he missed.

The matter of abortion through the use of abortifacient contraceptive pills and actual abortion by killing with lancets and chemicals healthy babies in the womb.

Governments like that of the US, Western Europe, Japan, China and many others are killing unborn babies that are already full term, not to mention babies in fetus and embryo form.

These babies are just as human as Mary Jane.

Our government is now implementing the Reproductive Health Act, which is really about population control and not about the health of pregnant mothers and their babies.

Mr. Saludo is probably influenced by that mentality espoused by some Jesuits that babies in the womb are not yet human. Very sad, for he writes very well and with wisdom on political and governance matters.

Cres Malifier
Marikina City

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Decades of gov’t neglect caused PNR derailment

We, of the Train Riders Network (TREN), would like Manila Times readers and the government officials concerned to read this letter and realize these points:

Following an incident surrounding the Philippine National Railways (PNR), our commuter’s group Train Riders Network (TREN) insist that “gross neglect” on the part of the government caused the derailment of said line.

On April 29 at around 4:00 PM, a Hyundai Rotem DMU train heading southbound derailed along the segment between EDSA and Nichols station. Two coaches of the three-car train set turned over and over 80 passengers were reportedly injured.

We in TREN sympathize with those who were injured and traumatized by the incident.

This is not the first time it happened. Hindi pa ba tayo natuto? We demand a thorough investigation on the matter?

The MRT crashed through its barrier in Taft Ave. in August of 2014 leaving passengers hurt, and a handful hospitalized.

We believe that the root cause of the derailment is the decades of government neglect of the PNR. The line receives very minimal investment and subsidies from the national government. Most of the funds made available barely cover the operation of the line, leaving no funds for expansion, modernization and rehabilitation and resulting in it’s current motley state.

While the PNR sought a P11.12-billion budget from the government last year to repair existing trains and upgrade aging facilities along its dilapidated Bicol Line, the government only gave the line a measly P2.2 billion for its budget this 2015.

According to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), the estimated cost of fully rehabilitating the PNR would be at P300 billion.

Lack of government funding and continued neglect resulted in the deteriorating quality of services, overcrowding of coaches, and a plethora of safety issues. What is apparent however is the state’s abandonment of their obligation and the contribution of privatization to the incident.

James Relativo
TREN Spokesperson
Train Riders <trainridersnetwork@gmail.com>

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