Senate Votes On RH Bill Today

MANILA, Philippines --- As members of the Senate head for another showdown over the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, Senate President Juan Ponce predicted that senators who are supportive of the measure will win as they vote on the bill on second reading today.

''That's my reading...the pro-RH senators have the numbers,'' Enrile said in Pilipino in an interview over radio DZBB yesterday, a day before the Senate is scheduled to vote on the controversial bill which President Benigno S. Aquino III has certified as urgent.

But Enrile did not discount the possibility that it would be a close vote again between pro and anti-RH senators as when the Senate voted on the bicameral conference committee report on the sin tax bill, another divisive issue among lawmakers, which split the Upper Chamber with a 10-9 voting.

''There's a probability that the voting may be very close...because a number of senators do not know their position on the RH bill yet. They are waiting to hear all the arguments and amendments (to be introduced) in the bill,'' said Enrile, who Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago earlier claimed is likely to face ouster for opposing administration-backed measures.

But already, Enrile admitted the RH bill has a strong possibility to be enacted into law.

Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle yesterday called on lawmakers to help prepare the ''straight path'' for the next generations by rejecting the RH bill.

The Cardinal, in his message for the nine-day Simbang Gabi (dawn mass), urged lawmakers to feel the spirit of Christmas by ensuring that the future generations will not be adopting a mindset the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has dubbed as something that ''corrupts the soul''.

''As the issue of the RH bill heats up again, I appeal to our legislators in the House of Representatives and the Senate to welcome Jesus with joy. His Word and Wisdom (and not just any human word or wisdom) is needed to form consciences,'' said Tagle.

''I pray that you may prepare a straight path for the Lord so that the Filipino people of today and those of coming generations may find true and lasting joy,'' he added.

In doing so, Tagle said they would be likened to St. John the Baptist, who helped prepare the world for the arrival of Jesus Christ.

The Cardinal also urged the faithful to make their congressmen realize that they would want to see the RH bill being rejected and eventually scrapped.

''I call on all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Manila to make their joy complete by turning away for what is contrary to the Gospel in order to follow Jesus,'' said Tagle.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is set to vote on the RH bill on final reading this week.

Liberal Party members should think twice before casting their no votes against President Aquino's certified-as-urgent RH bill as sanctions may be slapped against them.

House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali ''Boyet'' Gonzales II, a stalwart of LP who has been advocating RH bill's passage, made the stern warning as the House is set to put to vote the measure on third and final reading on Monday.

''The Liberal Party has made a stand after President Aquino certified the RH bill as an urgent measure. The message is very clear and the President is very serious on this advocacy to teach Filipinos to be responsible parents. It would not look good if you go against the party position,'' he said, hinting that LP members who would run against the party stand may be ''disciplined.''

The House leader expressed optimism that their 26 party members, led by Deputy Speaker and Zamboanga City Ma. Isabelle Climaco, who rejected the second reading approval of the RH measure last week would vote in favor of House Bill 4244 today.

''I believe that those who voted against the passage of the measure will have a change of heart,'' Gonzales said.

He did not elaborate on the sanctions that may be faced by their members once they vote against the bill, but he assured that LP ''will face that at proper time.''

Gonzales' fellow staunch supporter of RH bill, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. expressed confidence that they would remain victorious, anticipating a wider margin during the voting in favor of the bill.

''I am very confident that we will muster more yes votes. Definitely there will be a bigger margin when the voting ends in favor of RH bill's passage,'' Belmonte said.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, a staunch oppositor of the RH measure, maintained his bloc's stand that they could muster the votes in today's voting.

''We expect to overcome the difference. The battleground is the 60-plus who did not come to the voting,'' he said.

Voting 113-104 with three abstentions, the House approved on second reading HB 4244 Thursday.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the principal author of HB 4244, branded as ''inordinate intransigence'' the continuing resistance of a few Catholic bishops and their lay allies after a clear majority in the

House has spoken in accord with the overriding resolve of the Filipino people in favor of the RH bill.

''It is not a surprise for Cabinet members of President Aquino to monitor developments in the approval of the controversial measure which has been endorsed by the President,'' he said. (With reports from Leslie Ann Aquino and Charissa Luci)

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.

  • PSEi breaches 8,000 level, but profit-taking pared most gains

    [caption id="attachment_257092" align="alignleft" width="150"] PSEi breaches 8,000 mark (PSE photo)[/caption] Local share prices surged on a slew of positive news from abroad, sending the Philippine Stock Exchange index past the 8,000 mark for the first time in history. BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said the market rose due to “positive foreign equity portfolio flows and Fed Chair Yellen’s comments last week reiterating thethat the FOMC will be data dependent and …

  • Abandoned, hard-up husband hits P60-M Lotto pot

    Lady luck finally smiled on a hard-up tricycle driver, who endured being abandoned by his wife and seeing his children drop out of school before hitting the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) 6/45 Lotto jackpot worth nearly P60 million. PCSO acting chairman Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said the 29-year old lucky bettor hit the jackpot in the March 20 draw by correctly picking the winning numbers 02-03-14-22-29-30, which corresponds to the birth anniversary dates of his family members. …

  • News In Brief

    P/$ RATE CLOSES AT P44.80/$1The peso exchange rate closed  lower  at P44.80  to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx) from P44.76  last  Friday.  The weighted average rate  unchanged  to  P44.796  from  P44.796.  Total volume amounted to $340.6 million.PUMP PRICES RAISED THIS WEEKThe pump prices of gasoline products will be raised by P1.10 per liter this week and diesel by P0.60 per liter, according to the oil companies. In an advisory to the media, the oil …

  • Need for modern national sports complex underscored

    Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara yesterday pushed for the construction of a “state-of-the-art” and “highly scientific sports complex” that can be used by the country’s national athletes for high-level training and total wellness program. Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, said the government should at least provide decent support to its athletes by providing them with ultramodern sports venues and facilities if it wants them to improve the country’s …

  • Makati mayor slams PNP’s role in mayoralty row

    Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay denounced what he called apparent “misuse” of the Philippine National Police (PNP) force in the implementation of “selective suspension” of government officials not allied with the ruling party. Binay said he sympathizes with PNP personnel who often got caught in the middle of political conflicts, and called for an end to dirty political tactics. [caption id="attachment_257243" align="aligncenter" width="648"] THANKSGIVING MEAL – Vice President Jejomar C. …

  • EVAP warns of unscrupulous foreign electric vehicle suppliers

    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines  (EVAP) has cautioned local manufacturers and end users against unscrupulous foreign EV suppliers that are flocking into the domestic market. In a sunrise industry like the electric vehicle industry, EVAP stressed that choosing the right partner or supplier is a difficult task. “In the absence of any track record to review, an end user is at a loss as to how to choose a reliable and competent supplier,” said Atty. Bodie Pulido, EVAP …

  • Mayors laud bill increasing tax revenue allocation for LGUs

    The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) is backing the proposed increase in the annual automatic allocations for local government units (LGUs) to boost inclusive growth with improved infrastructure, modernized agriculture and easier access to resources. Mayor Jess Burahan, secretary-general of the LMP said the empowerment of LGUs through added resources is a game changer in boosting inclusive growth. …

  • Freeze order against Jinggoy assets final; Bong guards face raps

    The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has turned down with finality the plea of Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada to lift the freeze order on his properties amounting to more than P183 million. In a resolution released yesterday, the Fifth Division denied Estrada’s motion for reconsideration that sought that the court lift its writ of preliminary attachment/garnishment that was issued on February 17 that ordered the freeze of his properties. “As movant has not filed a counterbond and his arguments …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options