Esperanza Cabral on Probe Profiles
As of May 21, more than 200 netizens have signed a petition requesting president-apparent Noynoy Aquino to retain Department of Health Sec. Esperanza Cabral in his cabinet. Spearheaded by performance artist and popular Manila guide, Carlos Celdran, the petition states, "We believe that continuity is necessary, especially when it comes to her progressive stance towards HIV/AIDS Prevention/Awareness and Reproductive Health."
Cabral has been called "immoral" and has even been asked to resign by Catholic bishops for her condom distribution program, yet she remains steadfast in her advocacy. "Of course, I am afraid of the Church. They are very powerful and they can sometimes be very vicious. I'm not exactly one who likes to live dangerously, but I'd rather live dangerously than do nothing," she told ANC's Dateline Philippines.
A known supporter of the Reproductive Health Bill and the first petition signatory, Celdran wrote, "Dear President Elect Noynoy. Do the right thing." Other signatories applauded Cabral's "diligence," "honesty" and "balls to do what needs to be done."
Aquino said he is willing to retain some of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Cabinet members who don't have a history of "irregularities or anomalies," as phrased by The Philippine Star. Cabral is rumored to be one of the current cabinet members that Aquino will retain.