Don’t back off, Aquino’s House allies urgedPhilippine Daily Inquirer
A Malacañang official said the President’s allies in the House should not back down.
“They should not be dissuaded,” said Manuel Mamba, chief of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, the go-between the Palace and Congress. “In fact, if they do have the political will, then they should go ahead with it,” he said, referring to next Tuesday’s vote.
“I still believe that a lot of them have already made up their minds,” Mamba added. “A rally will not be able to dissuade them if they intend to vote [on the bill].”
Former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, a supporter of the reproductive health bill, said the measure had the support of 160 lawmakers. Supporters of the bill should not allow today’s Church-led rally to change their stand, she added.
“It should not have any effect,” Hontiveros said, referring to the rally. “In terms of numbers, RH has the numbers and the RH representatives have the numbers,” she said.
Malacañang ruled out fresh talks with the Church on the bill. “The President has made his position known,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Friday, referring to Mr. Aquino’s mention of responsible parenthood in his Sona.
Put it to a vote
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad on Friday challenged the bill’s supporters in Congress to stop prolonging the debate and put the measure to a vote.
If those legislators really believe they have the numbers, they should have no problem putting the bill to a vote, Abad said.