MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers who are opposing the Reproductive Health Bill are prepared to put it to a vote next week, but not without finishing their proposed amendments up to the very last page.
Anti-RH solons want a vote on Wednesday, December 12, a week before Congress goes on its Christmas break. The House of Representatives only holds session from Mondays to Wednesdays.
“We, anti-RH lawmakers, are ready for a vote and we want to do it on Wednesday. We will still pursue our amendments line by line, page by page,” said Cagayan de Oro Rep Rufus Rodriguez.
House members have only tackled up to page 4 of the 27-page document in the 3 days that they have been going through the period of amendments on the divisive measure.
Asked on whether this is a tactic to deprive the Senate time to act on the bill, Rodriguez, one of the most vocal opponents of the measure, said that they were not even thinking of that scenario. Rodriguez claimed that the anti-RH camp has 136 votes, enough, he said, to reject the bill.
This despite test votes showing that solons in favor of the measure outnumbered the opponents. Rodriguez blamed the results of these test votes on Typhoon Pablo, saying that most of their allies were from storm-stricken areas in the Visayas and Mindanao and had to attend to their constituents.
“That 99-90, you see the difference is very small and the reason why we lost is because most of our congressmen are from the Visayas and Mindanao and they had to attend to their constituents who were affected by Typhoon Pablo. We will call on our forces next week. Hopefully, they will attend sessions next week because the typhoon is over. Hopefully, no new typhoon comes along,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez was referring to the 99-90 vote to reject Palawan Rep Dennis Socrates’ motion to deliver a privilege speech aimed at delaying the proceedings.
Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, another anti-RH lawmaker, Parañaque Rep Roilo Golez, who has seen the RH Bill’s journey from the 13th to the 15th Congress, said that the “denouement of the RH saga in Congress” has arrived.
We who oppose the RH Bill are prepared to vote soon. Sooner than later. Just a few more amendments.— Roilo Solis Golez (@roilogolez) December 5, 2012
We assure a very methodical, orderly period of amendments for RH in the next 2 or 3 session days. We still need page/page review. Then VOTE!— Roilo Solis Golez (@roilogolez) December 5, 2012
We have reached the denouement of the RH saga in Congress.— Roilo Solis Golez (@roilogolez) December 5, 2012