Aquino invites legislators to Palace lunch meeting



President Benigno Aquino III. AFP FILE PHOTO

President Aquino has asked House leaders and members to a luncheon meeting on Monday, which is expected to discuss pending legislative matters, including the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill.

Other important matters expected to be discussed are the passage of proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act and an antitrust measure, as well as the ratification of the sin tax bill and the 2013 budget.

The House, which has only nine remaining session days before the year ends, has lately been plagued by absenteeism, resulting in continued failure to form a quorum.

The last quarter of the year is considered crucial for getting urgent legislation approved as lawmakers would be expected to busy themselves with campaign preparations next year.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said the President will be asking the lawmakers to attend the sessions to ensure a quorum and enable the House to tackle crucial legislation.

Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said lawmakers received the invitation to the Palace meeting Thursday.

Several lawmakers confirmed receiving invitations, but not everyone said they would go. The invitation did not specify the agenda.

At least one lawmaker has begged off because he expects the meeting to focus on the RH bill.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, one of the most vocal opponents of the controversial measure, said it would be useless for him to join the gathering as he has already made up his mind about the bill and would not be influenced into changing it.

“My opposition to the RH bill is based on my conscience and religious conviction,” Rodriguez said.

Vote based on own belief

Rodriguez said he hoped the President would keep to his earlier stand that lawmakers should vote on the RH bill based on their own beliefs.

He wished that Aquino had not called legislators to a meeting and just let the House decide on the measure on its own.

The period of amendments for the RH bill began earlier this week after months of delay.

A substitute RH bill, which proponents said included new provisions that address the concerns of opponents, was last Monday adopted and made the new version of the bill. It will also become the basis for any other amendments to the measure.

Opponents of the RH bill have protested the substitution. They have vowed to propose numerous amendments, going line by line, if necessary.

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  • jadejones2012

    Galit si PNOY sa mga legislators dahil walang ginagawa.

    Hindi naman daw siya ganon noong nasa kongreso pa siya.

    • jurbinsky77


      Haka-haka mo lang iyan. Tama na ang tsismis, bunalik ka sa eskuwela.

    • kulittwit

      Cant move on? LOL!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/DFW5PTIGTXNRUX44FLV6LI5USM Bantay

      oo nga di naman siya ganon noon si Pnoy.chairman nga siya sa Committee on Silence,lol!!

  • $20926843

    This is the same tactics that the previous administration had employed when it wants to force an issue in  Congress with a partner of pabaon envelopes.  So as the saying goes, “WALANG PAGBABAGO”!

    • Marx Louis Wang

       nasanay ka sa pabaon… asal mo talaga… trapo!

    • kismaytami

      Mas maingat na sila ngayon.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4Q5EHNRA6LXAHGXPSMAXBGJ4ME isidro

    With 7.1% growth, it aint broke, no need for RH.
    RH promotes artificial contraception which before1930, Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Protestants had declared it “intrinsically evil.” Contraception kills unborn babies. Contraception breeds corruption.

    With the mass production of contraception materials by big business (manufacturers), they corrupted church leaders, then the Catholic Church is alone fighting this “intrinsically evil.”The good President should not turn his back to the Catholic values of his mother and father.
    Turn your back to these big business otherwise Catholics would perceive “naambunan ka.”
    Of course, I personally believe you are clean, immaculate clean and promote good governance.

    But BIG BROTHER and BIG BUSINESS are behind your back. Be man enough to face the good, not the evil. Rizal faced guns to prove he was not a traitor. Ninoy Aquino faced Marcos to prove he was against Martial Law.

    Mr. President, do not turn your back to the values of your beloved parent. I believe there is “Catholic vote.”

  • EdgarEdgar

    What about the FOI bill?

  • Palku Kha

    hala! punta na kayo mga tonggresman.mamimigay ng pera ang Presidente para lang sumonod kayo sa gusto nya.for sure di kasama ang FOI bill dyan…

  • disqusted0fu

    i wonder why the photo of Aquino above is PDI’s favorite photo to use. it looks like someone who epitomizes confusion and absence of mind.

    anyway,  i thought the FOI bill was important for the president too? why is it’s passage not going to be discussed?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDXEVEFHW2ZT5VWHDWBNM6XGE4 RyanE

    “My opposition to the RH bill is based on my conscience and religious conviction,” Rodriguez said. 

    The stance of Rep. Rodriguez is the same as that of Sen. Sotto which is also due to personal reason. This is quite unfortunate because these legislators should be representing and bringing the voices of their constituents to Congress. Ideally, legislators should be neutral, building consensus and deciding with the good of the majority as the primary consideration in mind.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUFRGRCCA5JXOLKEVCJQ3FBW3Y Concerned Citizen

    Rep Rodriguez’s attitude shows political immaturity that does not help at all.  RH Bill is probably only 1 of many issues that the President wishes to discuss. RH Bill seems all there it is in his mind and nothing else.  A stalemate on RH Bill will probably make him totally unproductive in his job.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    Para personal na maiabot ang mga sobre ng perang “pampadulas”. 

  • Your_King

    What happens during one of Aquino’s supposed lunch meetings? Do they just watch him play video games? Or if they talk, does Aquino just keep talking about FPGMA and how everything is her fault and thus keeps reminding people that she is in jail? He can also brag about the economic growth but then again that growth figure is a little misleading because its due mostly to the BPO and overseas worker remittances and in an indirect way its all ultimately due to the fact that there are no new jobs in the country.In fact 12million filipinos are either unemployed and underemployed.

  • Facile1

    The advocates of the RH Bill make the unspoken assumption that the government has the RIGHT to control population growth.

    The government may have the POWER to control population growth — through guns, prisons and taxes — but do they have the RIGHT?

    Population growth becomes a problem when corrupt governments believe in enriching themselves. More of the poor means less for the rich.

    Population growth becomes a problem when candidates for public office have to buy votes to win an election. More votes to buy means higher campaign costs.

    Population growth becomes a problem when public servants have to answer to the people. There is strength in numbers and, therefore, more to fear.

    The ruling elite has a vested interest in keeping the Filipino people poor, ignorant and corrupt — especially in a democratic form of government. If one can keep a citizen poor, he will sell his vote. If one can keep a citizen ignorant, he won’t fight for his rights. And if one can corrupt a citizen (who is also a public servant), he can make you very rich.

    BUT when there are just more of the POOR and the IGNORANT than there are of the CORRUPT, then population growth becomes a problem.

    Someone will profit from the passage of the RH Bill. But let us not pretend it will be the Filipino people.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NV25ZPWMBDYFXEYR3AWQ43ZS5E Hein S

    Listen to the Majority and not the catholic IMAMS.

    PH is not a Theocracy like IRAN.

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