Philippines' anti-reproductive health MPs not backing down

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Philippines' lawmakers opposing the reproductive health (RH) bill in the House of Representatives are not backing down despite President Benigno Aquino III certifying the bill as urgent.

With Catholic bishops making a last-minute appeal to the congressmen to vote with their "conscience" and reject the measure, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez urged all of his colleagues to show up on Monday for third-reading vote on House Bill No. 4244, the RH bill.

Rodriguez said he and other opponents of the bill in the House remained upbeat despite the prospect of defeat as a result of the President's certification.

"We can still pull this off," he told the Inquirer by phone. "We will not block the voting. We want it to proceed because we are confident of our numbers."

Rodriguez acknowledged the possibility that delaying the vote on third reading would expose lawmakers to more intense lobbying. He was particularly concerned about Malacanang - the Philippine Palace, which had sent four top emissaries to the House to lobby for the passage of the bill on second reading last week.

Shortly after pro-RH House members clinched the vote Thursday morning, Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II told reporters: "It is up to the President if he wants to move (the bill) farther."

But he said the President should first thank House members for working to pass HB 4244.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles described as a "gamble" the final outcome of the RH bill in the House.

"Victory for them (RH bill supporters) is not necessarily victory for the Filipino people. It could also spell doom. Who knows?" he said in a text message.

All I know is that in such a divisive issue as this, representatives are called upon to exercise their best judgement and vote according to their beliefs and experience; then we tally the votes and hope that the decision of the majority is the best one for our country. It's a gamble really. Our collective decision will affect generations of Filipinos. Whether it'll be good or bad, only time will tell."

Rodriguez warned that passing an RH law would "rearrange" the Filipinos' values and the result would be "irreversible."

"An RH law will open a Pandora's box," he said. "After RH, expect abortion to follow. Then divorce. Then same-sex marriage. That's the progression. All they need is a crack to open and change our values system," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is banking on the supposed commitment of more than 40 House members to reject HB 4244. They were among 62 congressmen who were absent when the bill was approved on second reading.

They include two senior House leaders and known RH bill opponents, Representatives Raul Daza and Sergio Apostol.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

  • No apology, but Noy seeks understanding
    No apology, but Noy seeks understanding

    There was no apology, but President Aquino yesterday expressed regret, took “full responsibility” and appealed to the nation for “deepest understanding” for the Jan. 25 Mamasapano raid in which dozens died, including 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos. “To every Filipino who has felt failure or has been hurt because of the events related to this operation, it is with abiding humility that I ask for your deepest understanding,” Aquino said in a speech before the 246 new graduates of …

  • MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician
    MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician

    Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan is grateful for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s praise and presidential endorsement, but says he is not a politician. In an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the search for The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines 2015 Wednesday night, Pangilinan dismissed the idea of running for president in the 2016 elections. “I’m not a politician, I’m just an ordinary business person,” he added. Santiago endorsed Pangilinan as a presidential candidate …

  • No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP
    No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not suspending its offensive against the Abu Sayyaf, New People’s Army (NPA) and other lawless groups during the Holy Week, an official said yesterday. Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP public affairs office chief, said the AFP leadership is leaving it up to area and division commanders whether to raise the alert status in preparation for the Holy Week. Those deployed in areas where there are ongoing law enforcement operations against terrorist groups …

  • Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP
    Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP

    The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to investigate a human rights lawyer’s claim of harassment, including surveillance, by several military officers. In a 22-page decision, the former Special Sixth Division of the appellate court granted the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data of Maria Catherine Dannug-Salucon. The CA ordered the AFP to identify the officers behind the surveillance and file charges against them. The CA ruling said …

  • Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP
    Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP

    President Aquino vowed yesterday to dismantle the culture of factionalism or the bata-bata system within the Philippine National Police as he continued the search for the next PNP chief. Speaking at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) commencement exercises here, the President said the country needed solidarity among leaders and members of the police force so that the policemen would be effective protectors of Filipinos. “Our challenge to the next chief of our national police force: …

  • Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl
    Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl

    Retire and invest in real estate in the Philippines, especially now that the country has made it to the top 10 retirement destinations in the world. This is the message being spread by the Philippine embassy in Washington, with Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. leading the refrain in meetings with various Filipino-American communities in the US. In his talks, Cuisia said that an affordable cost of living as well as warm climate and people are just some of the things that make the Philippines a top …

  • PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson
    PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson

    The stigma of being a namesake of the principal suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre did not prevent Cadet First Class Andal Ampatuan III from entering and graduating from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA). Ampatuan III, now with a rank of police inspector, is a grandson of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. The younger Ampatuan was among the 246 graduates of the PNPA “Lakandula” Class of 2015. Ampatuan III’s mother is Bai Rebecca Ampatuan, a daughter of the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options