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        Former US President Bill Clinton’s passing statement on the Philippines’ “huge population” being “positive” may be typical of patronizing platitudes heaped by Americans on third world countries.

        Filipinos must be wary of taking such a statement hook, line and sinker as it is a careless commentary, not a sincere compliment.

        Those opposed to the RH bills cannot claim Clinton as an ally because he did not explain his sweeping generalization although he admitted it is taking the Philippines “longer than Singapore” to realize its potential because Singapore is “a smaller country”.

        Singapore has a population of 4.8 million with the highest Human Development Index in Southeast Asia at rank number 27 in the world, while the Philippines is the 12th most populous country with a population of 94.3 million this year and ranks 97th in human development.

        Clinton’s wife, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, is an ardent advocate of family planning and reproductive health.

        During a US congressional hearing in April 2009, Ms. Clinton said “I have been in Asian countries where the denial of family planning consigns women to lives of oppression and hardship. We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health.”

        A year ago, while being interviewed in Malacañang, she said “I believe strongly that family planning is an important aspect of development. And I've seen this around the world, and I think empowering women to be able to make choices that are in the best interests of the children they already have and the family size that they desire increases educational outcomes, it increases income generation, it provides a much stronger basis for human development… trying to empower and educate women so that they are able to make these decisions and they have access to family planning is not only a positive for the woman and her family, but for the larger society.”