We in the Womenlead Foundation commend Ms. Evangelista’s expose of the hyprocrisy of the groups calling for the ban on all condom ads on tv and radio.
Indeed, this is just another one of those countless efforts of some religious groups to force others who do not share their values to conform to their way of thinking, speaking and acting. They are calling for the ban on the condom ads on tv on the ground that these ads “offend the community’s sense of propriety, decency and morals”
We think that their position is untenable. They are petitioning the KBP to curtail the condom companies’ right to free expression – a highly protected right in a democratic country such as ours. But, it is not for these groups to determine unilaterally what is the community’s “sense of propriety, decency and morality.” The standard of the law on what is proper and decent and moral is based on the impact of the speech (in this case, the tv ads) on the average person – and not on a hypersensitive person or a totally insensitive one. These groups are actually hypersensitive, when it comes to the issue of sex - believing that all sex is evil, that the only compromise with this evil is sex for procreation. We also believe that these groups are, at the same time, also very insensitive – insensitive to the rights of the people to make an informed choice on matters concerning their reproductive health.
The condom ads are not obscene as defined by jurisprudence, and so, these groups cannot enjoin the showing of these ads. More importantly, these ads maintain the free flow of information on what available products are there to support the reproductive needs of the people. Advertising serves the important purpose of disseminating information as to what products are available, who is producing them, for what purpose. Enabling people to make free and informed decision is a matter of public interest. To this end, the free flow of information and the right to free expression is indispensable.
Atty. Claire Angeline P. Luczon
Women’s Legal Education, Advocacy and Defense
(WomenLEAD) Foundation, Inc.