Tuesday, 06 December 2011 11:44
RH Advocates at Congress lost their patience while waiting for the plenary sessions to start. For more than 10 years, the group has had enough of the delaying tactics used by anti-RH legislators, prompting a few among them to cry out in frustration.
“How many more mothers have to die before you get a conscience,” shouted a group of community mothers from the lower gallery before being led out of the hall.
Representative Rio Apostol delayed the day’s interpellations by having an hour-long merienda, prompting Pro-RH Representative Kaka Bag-ao to ask whether or not the Bill can be brought to a vote by the end of the year, considering there are only 5 session days remaining, with more than 20 interpellators to go. Cong, Bag-ao is from Akbayan partylist and a co-author of the RH Bill.
“Quite honestly, it’s the same questions asked over and over again,” Rep. Bag-ao said of the interpellations. With the obvious repeated delay tactics being employed, she added, it is time to vote on the Bill before the end of the year.
The Senate is also a similar scenario according to RH Bill advocates. “We have also been going to Senate hearings on the RH Bill and there is really no new arguments being presented by anti-RH Senators like Tito Sotto.” Benjamin de Leon, President of the Forum for FP and Development said. “Why are we insulting Filipinos by these tactics? Why are they wasting our money?” de Leon added.
Since last week, RH advocates have camped out at the South Wing gate of the House of Representatives (HOR) in what they call as Occupy for RH. After the incident at the HOR, frustration is the prevailing mood in the Occupy for RH camp, where community mothers and families condemn the actions of Legislators who delay the vote, and call on the House Speaker Belmonte to call for an immediate vote on the RH Bill.
Occupy for RH is a campaign of the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network and other RH advocates to camp out at SB Park and hold daily demonstrations at the South Wing Gate of Congress calling on legislators to vote on the RH Bill within the year.
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By Cez J. Abuy
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