President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is a hero, at least for Senator Miriam Santiago.
This, as the Senator expressed her gratitude towards the chief executive for certifying the 14-year old legislation on Responsible Parenthood as urgent Friday.
Related story: Senate may approve RH bill on Monday
Santiago, known for her witty statements, praised President Aquino for ending the “time-wasting prevarication of the last 13 years over RH bill” with just one stroke.
“President Aquino is my hero! He has cut the Gordian knot! I am very enthused with him. This is manifest proof of executive leadership,” Santiago said.
“Other presidents shirked their duty, but President Aquino rose to meet the challenge, and he has slain the monster,” she added.
Related story: RH vote: 'Fidelity with my Church'
The feisty senator could not hide her excitement with Malacanang’s certification, which she noted removes the three-day waiting period between the second and the third readings of a bill.
She explained that lawmakers in both Upper and Lower Congress could proceed to the third and final reading of RH bill immediately after closing the period of second reading next week.
“Under the Constitution, the President certifies to the necessity of the immediate enactment of the RH bill, to meet a public emergency,” Santiago explained.
“The emergency consists of the mounting deaths every single day of Filipino mothers, from the poor, owing to childbirth complications, brought about by sheer ignorance of RH,” she added.
“As Monday, the Senate can already proceed to third and final reading. The same can be said of the House of Representatives,” she added.
Santiago noted that congressmen and senators could ratify the RH bill before going on Christmas break should the bicameral conference committee can already meet by Tuesday.
She continued Aquino will be able to approve the bill starting on Thursday or at any time within 30 days after he receives the ratified version of RH bill.
But Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III criticized the president for ensuring fast action on RH bill, which he claimed to be continuously dividing the country.
Sotto, who has been condemning the use of contraceptives for family planning, said Aquino should have certified the bill on Freedom of Information (FOI) as urgent instead.
“It’s obvious now that what I have been saying all along is true: This is a foreign imposition for their so-called Millennium Development Goal (MDG),” Sotto said.
“And one of which is to depopulate third world countries. Kawawa ang Pilipinas!” he criticized.
Related story: Aquino certifies RH bill as urgent
On Tuesday, Filipinos woke up to the news that House of Representatives, in a close 113-104 vote, approved RH bill on second reading after months of protracted deliberation.
Communications Secretary Ricardo “Ricky” Carandang said the certification came after several lawmakers requested it from the president on Thursday.