Teary-eyed Lani Mercado complains to House colleagues
MANILA, Philippines - Two days of late-night plenary sessions on the Reproductive Health bill have taken their toll on some lawmakers.
In a privilege speech Wednesday, December 5, an emotional Cavite Rep Lani Mercado-Revilla complained of the "shabby treatment" she received from 3 lawmakers during Tuesday's (December 4) proceedings, and appealed for "sobriety" over the "emotional nature of debates" on the controversial measure.
Revilla asked to strike out certain words from the House Journal pertaining to "uncalled for remarks" made by Alagad party-list Rep Rodante Marcoleta concerning her husband, Sen Bong Revilla.
In explaining his vote on a proposed amendment on "when life begins" in yesterday's RH deliberations, Marcoleta quipped: "Mas mabagsik si Senator Revilla kasi kung minsan nadaan lang po e nabubuntis na." Marcoleta later apologized to Mercado-Revilla.
Like her husband, Mercado-Revilla is opposed to the RH bill. Husband and wife are top celebrities.
The actress noted, too, that presiding Speaker Erin Tañada spoke to her with arrogance and in a condescending tone after she asked him if the House was still in session. Tañada allegedly said: "I can suspend the session without looking at the time."
On Wednesday, Tañada went down from the rostrum to deliver his own privilege speech, apologizing to Mercado-Revilla. He had no intention to hurt her feelings, he said, and it had been a long day.
Tañada has been presiding over the plenary since Monday. In the past two days, RH deliberations have pushed lawmakers to hold sessions up to about 10 pm to 11 pm. Session officially starts at 4 pm.
Teary-eyed, Mercado-Revilla also complained that Deputy Majority Floor Leader Janette Garin turned her back when she wanted to speak to her. She said she heard Garin say "Wala akong pakialam kung magalit man siya, matuto siyang sumunod sa rules." (I don't care if she gets mad, she should learn to follow the rules.)
Mercado-Revilla said Garin sent her text message afterwards to apologize, "but the damage has been done." Garin is a staunch advocate of the controversial bill.
A first-termer, Revilla lamented the way she's been treated by her colleagues, saying they were not setting a good example to a neophyte like her.
"Totoo Mr Speaker, 'di ako magaling," she said. (It's true, Mr Speaker, I'm not a great [lawmaker]). "Di ko naman hinangad na maging magaling na mambabatas. Hinangad ko lang na maging mabuting kinatawan ng aking distrito," she added. (I never aimed to be a great lawmaker. I just wanted to become a good representative of my district.) - Rappler.com