Rep. “FM” Romualdez voted no to end debate on RH bill
Deputy Minority Leader and Leyte first district Rep. Ferdinand Martin “FM” Romualdez is one of the few lawmakers who said “nay” when the House of Representatives put to vote whether or not to terminate the period of interpellation on House Bill 4244, or the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011 last Monday.
Hours after President Benigno Aquino III called a majority caucus in Malacañang, attended by 182 congressmen, the voting was done 24 hours ahead of the announced schedule.
In making the motion to end debates on the proposed bill, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said that there are more than enough number of speeches that had been delivered for and against the measure, hence termination of the period of interpellation is in order.
Romuadez, in voting against the end of the debate, said that contentious discussion on the bill should not have ended abruptly.
“We are pro-life as you know and we feel that there are still other matters that need to be covered in the period of interpellation. So, obviously we would support further interpellation on the matter, so we could not support the termination,”Romualdez said.
Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco called for a nominal voting where each congressman should explain his/her voteas he questioned the result of the viva voce voting presided over by Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentevella. Tiangco wasconvinced later to withdraw is motion as the House leadership moved to defuse the tension on the floor.
Catholic Church leaders have earlier threatened to campaign against lawmakers favoring the RH bill in next year’s election.
With the end of the period of interpelation, RH bill will enter the period of amendments and be up for passage in the second reading. Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, principal author of the measure, said the controversial bill will be approved on third and final reading before the end of the month when the House starts deliberating on the proposed P2-trillion national budget for 2013. (Marvin T. Modelo)
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