RH bill causes tension at HouseBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — The controversial Reproductive Health Bill caused another tension at the House of Representatives Tuesday, with the session coming to an abrupt halt after Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez lost his cool.
The session started with reading of bills for approval but tension soon rose after Rodriguez questioned the presence of a quorum just before known pro-RH Bill lawmaker Pangasinan Representative Kimi Cojuangco was about to deliver a privilege speech on why developments on the House Bill 4244 have been slowed down.
Despite having an official count of 155 lawmakers present on the floor, the incensed Cagayan de Oro lawmaker insisted that his count was only 111 and walked over to the House secretary general to point this out.
Session was adjourned immediately at that point.
San Juan Representative Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito thought that Rodriguez may have raised his issue on the presence of a quorum assuming that the RH Bill was part of the day’s agenda.
But the RH Bill was not part of the session’s agenda, according to House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II who said that they spoke to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. about it earlier.
He added in jest that maybe Rodriguez should work as part of the secretariat instead if he was so concerned with how the number of lawmakers on the floor constituted a quorum.