Posts Tagged ‘Delaying Tactics’

Lawmakers Skip RH Bill Debates to Avoid Catholic Church Backlash in 2013 Polls

By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
6:10 pm | Sunday, November 25th, 2012


MANILA, Philippines — The lack of quorum plaguing House deliberations on the reproductive health bill could only be explained this way: reelectionist lawmakers fear “provoking’’ their outspoken parish priests.

In the countryside, there is such a thing as a “Catholic vote’’ and pro-RH lawmakers would rather “absent’’ themselves than become object of attacks from the pulpit in the run-up to the May 2013 elections, according to Secretary Manuel Mamba.

Mamba, head of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO), said lawmakers have been “fearful’’ of provoking their “influential’’ parish priests by appearing in the deliberations or voting on the controversial measure.

“If you’re a politician, you stay out of trouble. They (clergy) are not even the enemy; why provoke them? By voting for the measure, you’re provoking the Catholic hierarchy,’’ he said by phone.

“The elections are near. You don’t want to create enemies. In local politics, there is a Catholic vote, especially in areas where the clergy are very influential on their flock. If the clergy are popular, they have the pulpit. They can do it every Sunday,’’ he continued.

So for some pro-RH lawmakers with their eyes on the mid-term elections, the option has been “to absent themselves,’’ said the Secretary, whose office has been acting as a middleman between Malacañang and Congress in the passage of the administration’s legislative agenda.
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Long Speeches Delay RH Amendments

Thursday, August 16, 2012

LEGISLATORS opposed to the reproductive health (RH) bill managed to delay the next step in the enactment of the proposed law after they “deliberately” delivered long privilege speeches for two days in a row.

The House leadership on Tuesday requested the attendance of all congressmen as they go into the period of amendments on House Bill 4244 or the RH bill.

A privilege speech questioning the integrity of the House of Representatives after it terminated the period of interpellation on the RH bill last week, however, ended up in the adjournment of the plenary session.

The presiding speaker then could not decide whether it will allow the privilege speech or not.

On Wednesday, the presiding speaker allowed Cebu Representative Benhur Salimbangon to deliver a 10-minute privilege speech on higher electricity rates in Bantayan Island. Salimbangon did not entertain questions from his colleagues.

After Salimbangon, a known anti-RH legislator Paranaque Representative Roilo Golez stood up to deliver a privilege speech on the devastation brought by the southwest monsoon.

Iloilo Representative Janette Garin, one of the proponents of the RH measure, tried to block Golez’s privilege speech, pointing out that the role of Congress is to legislate.
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Anti-RH Bill Solon Delays House Deliberations on RH Bill Amendments

By Karen Boncocan
9:15 pm | Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Palawan Rep. Dennis Socrates. Photo from

MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers at the House of Representatives who are against the Reproductive Health Bill succeeded momentarily in delaying the deliberations on its amendments Tuesday.

Palawan Representative Dennis Socrates, for one, questioned the move by the House of Representatives to terminate the debates on August 6 instead of August 8, preventing efforts by supporters of House Bill 4244 to start the discussions.

Socrates questioned the move by the House to terminate the debates last August 6 instead of August 8. He said that he was surprised when he learned of the change in schedule, saying that many of them were prepared to vote on August 8.
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No More RH Delays

By Manila Standard Today | Posted on August 01, 2012 | 12:01am |

If our senators and congressmen truly see themselves as servants of the people, they must end all debates on the long overdue reproductive health bill forthwith and vote to pass or reject it.

In the current Congress alone, the bill has been debated extensively for more than a year, both inside and outside the legislative halls. But the real debate has been going on for much longer.

Since 1998, when the first version of the reproductive health bill was filed, the issue has been vigorously debated. Yet all efforts to even bring the measure to a vote in Congress have failed, derailed by a Catholic Church-backed opposition that has favored dogma, rhetoric and ignorance over science, logic and education. Thus far, these forces have used fear, veiled threats and delays to stifle any suggestion of population management. They will seek to do it again.
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