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Santiago confident to defend RH bill in Senate

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Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Monday expressed optimism that she will be able to defend the Reproductive Health Bill when it reaches the floor of the Senate after the State of the Nation Address or SONA of President Benigno Aquino III.

”As the author of the RH bill in the Senate, I’m preparing by battle gear. I’m preparing my Navy Seals and my stealth bombers so that we can rescue the people who are suffering from fortress mentality,” Santiago said.

Santiago said the merits of the controversial bill will ensure its victory despite strong opposition from the Roman Catholic church.

”I can debate all of them in any of these topics. They can all sit in one row, I can still sit all alone by myself and I can defend the bill because the merits of the bill will ensure victory,” Santiago said.

Santiago said the chances of the passage of the bill are high “because politicians are creatures of the electoral constituency that elects them.”

”So we always want to have the feel of the public pulse. The public pulse is definitely in favour of the RH bill. That is why the resistance is so strident against it because the critics or enemies of the RH bill know that according to the majority rule, which is a basic democratic tenet, they already have lost the debate,” she explained.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said he will personally vote against the bill but will not censor it on the floor.

”Of course. We will not censor any bill here. It must be open for debate but I’m just telling you my personal position. In terms of the population aspect of this, economic impact, I’m more concerned about the security aspect of this issue,” Enrile said.

”My position is very clear. I’m not going to vote in favor. I have my own arguments, position. It involves my faith, my notion on how to develop the country in relation to the growth of population,” he explained.

For the anti-RH bill, Enrile urged them not to resort to civil disobedience if President Aquino will support the passage of the bill in Congress.

”If you go beyond the line. You know, there must be a rule of law in the country. It’s always the law that must govern the conduct of everyone from all of us in politics including the citizenry. If we do not respect the rule of law, then this will be a disorderly society,” Enrile said.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III, also an anti-RH bill, also urged the public to calm down in dealing the issue.

”I hope we will not take it so seriously. Just relax. It is not going to be over soul. It is better for us to calm down, listen to pros and cons, what are the advantages and disadvantages so that we will get clear ideas of the bill,” Sotto said. (Jelly F. Musico-PNA)




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