Palace: RH bill has enough support in Congress
MANILA — Malacanang is confident that the Reproductive Health (RH) bill will gain enough support from its allies in Congress.
“We are confident that we have support,” Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ramon Carandang said.
The Palace statement came following reports that former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is influencing her allies to withdraw support from the controversial bill.
During the weekly press briefing of the minority bloc Wednesday, Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez said that he, along with six other congressmen, has withdrawn his support to the proposed RH law.
Suarez and Representatives Orlando Fua (Siquijor), Concepcion Obillo (Una Ang Pamilya party-list), Mohammed Hussein Pangandaman (Lanao del Sur), Nasser Pangandaman (AA Kasosyo party-list), Elmer Panotes (Camarines Norte), and Pastor Alcover (Anad party-list) wrote to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. informing him of their decision. They were all co-authors of the RH measure.
Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, a principal author of the House Bill 4244 or the RH bill, said: “It is obvious that the belated individual withdrawals are in support as a party position to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s opposition to the RH bill.”
Arroyo, in an ambush interview after she attended her first session since she was placed under hospital arrest, said she is voting against the measure.
Carandang said the Palace respects Arroyo’s decision, but stressed that the measure should not create discord among lawmakers.
“It’s an important measure that we’re not viewing in terms of partisan politics,” he said.
“It’s something that we feel is long overdue and needs to be done and we’re doing it in that context. I understand that there are observers who are viewing this in that way. But we’re simply looking at it right now as a measure that has oppositors, that needs to go through the process and we’ll leave it at that,” Carandang added.
Malacañang expects that allies of the administration will continue support for RH bill and not be persuaded by the anti-RH legislators.
The House of Representatives is set to hold plenary voting on House Bill 4244 or RH bill on August 7.
Carandang said the Palace is aware that the church has welcomed Arroyo’s support for the junking of RH bill. (SUNNEX)
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