It’s Aquino’s duty to push RH bill, says ally


Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. AP

MANILA, Philippines — As the Aquino administration and the Catholic Church take steps to improve relations, an ally of President Benigno Aquino III said the prelates should not take it against him when he called on lawmakers to decide on the reproductive health bill once and for all.

The President has invited members of the House of Representatives to a lunch meeting on Monday to discuss the fate of the controversial measure and the quorum problems in the chamber.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, a deputy spokesperson of the President’s Liberal Party, said Sunday, Aquino had made no secret of his stand on the bill and that it was only natural for him to push for a vote on it.

“The Church shouldn’t be surprised PNoy (Aquino’s nickname) is doing this make-or-break dialogue with the House to vote on the bill, irrespective of our stand,” Baguilat said when asked if he thought the meeting would affect the President’s seemingly improving ties with the Catholic Church.

“PNoy is only doing what he should as a leader and that’s going to Congress and lobbying for his bills,” he added.

But he said that Aquino, while calling on lawmakers to vote on the bill, was not inclined to dictate on lawmakers which side to choose.

The President earlier earned Church ire when he pushed for the reproductive health, which would in part require the distribution of contraceptives.

But things have apparently started improving when President Aquino attended the Thanksgiving Mass for the elevation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle to the College of Cardinals.

But one opponent of the measure, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, said on Sunday that if Malacañang forced a vote on the bill immediately after the luncheon, without completing the period of amendments, it would “strain relations between the Catholic Church and the President.”

According to him, opponents of the measure, who have a similar stance with the Church, still have a lot of changes to propose. An immediate vote would also violate the House rules and the right of lawmakers, and would also be “arbitrary and oppressive,” he said.

Rodriguez also said he feared a repeat of the Aug. 6 meeting between lawmakers and the President, which led to the termination of the debates on the bill on the same day.

“I hope if the President will say there should be a vote, it would be without prejudice to more amendments,” he said.

Rodriguez has begged off from attending the Palace meeting, saying he would not be swayed into changing his position on the bill.

Baguilat said proponents of the measure had already modified the original reproductive health bill to address the concerns of bishops.

The substitute bill, which has replaced the original version, was the product of a dialogue between pro- and anti- reproductive health bill groups, as well as Church and Palace representatives, he said.

He believed that while the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines would continue to oppose the passage of the bill, there were prelates who softened their stance on the measure.

“Privately, many bishops are comfortable with the language of the substitute bill,” he said.

In the House, however, opponents have said that the new version of the reproductive health bill has failed to sway them. They also opposed the acceptance of the substitute bill as the new version of the measure, saying the process was marred by technical infirmities.

The new version of the bill gives priority to the poor in the provision of birth control methods, and bans contraceptives that prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum, as this is considered abortion by some sectors.

Another lawmaker, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, said the bill should be put to a vote now as it has been delaying other measures in the House.

“Irrespective of the pros and antis, it has become an issue of legislative efficiency. Simply put, the bill has taken too much of Congress’ time and should be put to a vote. And all sides must respect the outcome,” Angara said.

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  • Ronnie Adriano

    Congress is taking too much time.  Be efficient and be competent Congress.  Do your job.

  • Ronnie Adriano

    Stop the delaying tactics.  Stop the dilly dallying.  Time is of the essence.  It is not the only bill that you must pass in due course, soonest.

  • garcia677


    • notcreepy


    • NYPinoy

       Pshaw!  Tsika lang yan.

      The only vengeance that your Lord has been doing is making life difficult to children, old people and the poor in general.  The rich, like Enrile and his son, are cuddled by your Lord.

      • John

         Ingat… you’re showing your true color… baka mabisto ng sambayanan ang tunay na layon ng mga tulad mo….

      • NYPinoy

         Bakit?  Sekreto ba ang agenda ng RH?  We want people to be knowledgeable of their sexual and reproductive health and rights and for them to be able to access modern and scientific reproductive health services. We want the Church not to interfere in this issue. 

        Klaro po ba?

        Btw, surveys after surveys after surveys have shown that Pinoys have supported the above objectives. Hindi namin tinatago sa banga yan.

  • notcreepy

    The advocates of the RH Bill make the unspoken assumption that the government has the RIGHT to provide the people with access to information. Fixed that for you.

  • pepito gwaps

    Many people still don’t know that the catholicism in the country is deeper than the marianas trench in the Pacific ocean that any bill against it will not succeed in the end.

    • tamumd

      Maybe your cute, little adage was true in the 19th century but this day and age that won’t hold true anymore.

    • NYPinoy

      In your dreams.  But surveys did not bear you out.  The only reason why there are delays in the Bill is because its opponents know that when it reaches voting it will pass overwhelmingly.  If the opponents truly believe that they have the number, then let us vote now!

  • tamumd

    Where and when did our government legislate to DENY the life of the unborn Filipinos? Provide evidence!

    Population growth is only a positive factor to the economy if it’s sustainable. The kids that are born in abject poverty without proper education cannot contribute to your dreamed up free market. They don’t have any buying power. They don’t have any technical skills that are prerequisite to gainful employment locally and abroad. Everyone recognizes the pervasive corruption in our society but we can solve all those other problems simultaneously and not be weighed down by a piece meal approach.

    Funny how you accuse the “ruling elites” having vested interest. Do you think the catholic church don’t have vested interest in perpetuating poverty and ignorance so that it could continue to fool and deceive people to doing whatever it want them to do and believe? After all the church won’t survive if suddenly those poor naive followers would stop going to church and quit giving their hard-earned cash to the church.

    I suggest that if the RH bill gets passed and you have an unequivocal evidence that some lawmakers are profitting from the bill to file a corruption suit so that we could get rid of them too! Until then your conspiracy theory is just an opinion without any sound basis whatsoever.

  • Hein S

    Be not afraid of the catholic IMAMS.

    We are not a Theocracy like IRAN.


  • boybakal

    It’s Aquino’s DUTY TO PUSH FOR RH BILL, says ally.

    As a President, it is not only his duty to push for RH bill, Pnoy should be the Poster Boy of this Bill.
    Pnoy is single, unmarried, old and most importantly incapable of reproduction or procreation.
    Pnoy has nothing to gain and nothing to lose in this RH Bill.

    • disqusted0fu

       i beg to disagree. doesnt he belong with the lgbts? his love life depends on this bill!

    • John

       Ba’t naman siya naging Poster Boy ng RH bill? Nag-survive siya despite ginamitan ng condom? Matatag!

  • Mang Teban

    The RH bill will pass into Congress because the lure of pork barrel hangs temptingly upon the gullible and power-hungry legislators.

    However, if the RH bill becomes a law, the next agenda is to fund the huge budget outlay for the condoms, contraceptives, contraptions, propaganda materials, advertising expenses, “educational materials” from Grade 5 to Grade 12, allowances and salaries for trainers and assistants, etc. Is this huge budget outlay for the RH bill inserted somewhere in the proposed budget for 2013 almost sure of passage?

    The Catholic Church that remains the only defender of God’s moral teachings on marriage, procreation, responsible parenthood, rights of the unborn, family life, and youth development is facing a big monster of deception.

    Masquerading as a bill that will cares about women, the RH bill has another agenda not concerning reproductive health.The RH bill aims to create a culture of reckless freedom to have an open season of safe sex from the youth who reaches the age of puberty to adulthood. It is not about spacing births but indulging in sex anytime with anyone without “any fear of pregnancy”. This veiled assurance is a devil’s trap for Filipinos to be complacent and use contraception as an excuse for a carefree and convenient lifestyle. Eventually, Filipinos will be introduced to painless abortions and quick fixes for “unwanted pregnancies”.

    Misery loves company. Promiscuity will bring down morality in our country and, soon, we will be seeing our youth open to casual sex and prostitution will be on the rise. The dirty propaganda discrediting the Filipino clergy and calling the Catholic Church as a meddler in State affairs has succeeded as more and more Filipinos believe in the falsehood that “surveys” say a large percentage of our population is in favor of the RH bill. The evil scheme has also reached the subconsciousness of married couples who are being hoodwinked to believe that the natural family methods endorsed by the Catholic Church are unsafe. Without letup, the RH sympathizers relentlessly attack those who oppose the RH bill by a brigade of bloggers and readers who write malicious remarks against bishops and lay Catholics who are not giving up.

    Jesus has said “You call me Lord, Lord but you do not do what I command you.” To the supporters of the RH bill, whose side are you anyway? Certainly, not on God’s side.

    • artz555

      Majority of the countries in the world , including those close to the Vatican, like Italy, Germany, France and Poland ( where their churches do not  generally interfere with the affairs of their governments ),  as well as the  other developed countries of the world, such as  the US, Japan, and Singapore have universal RH for it’s people for decades now.  
      Nobody has heard from these countries about the  bad consequences of their RH, like promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies, reckless sex freedom, etc,. like what some people have feared. In fact, teen pregnancies and abortions have declined a lot in these countries, precisely because of the proper guidance and education that RH can bring to it’s population as well as the numerous choices people can have regarding  family planning, including the natural methods that the Church recommends.

      In fact,  the people in countries with RH ( accoring to the UN) , are happy and contented precisely because of the small sized families that they can afford, as well as the other corollary tangible and intangible  benefits that RH can bring to a country.

      • John

        Wow! Talaga? Since Roe vs Wade, 55 million abortions have been performed. Sa US, bumaba ba ang abortion rate kahit na freely accessible ang condoms even in schools? You have stats?

  • Bengatibo

    As President of the Republic of the Philippines, it is his moral duty to push for what he thinks is right and not be swayed by the Catholic Church if he thinks it is for the benefit of the country!!! Bishops meddling in politics put the Catholic Church in very bad taste to their flock!!! It is time the bishops would re-think that is relevant to gain the “lost” faithful back in their folds. 

    • John

       We have 3 equal branches of government. The executive is not above the legislative branch. Pwede mangampanya si PNoy kung ano ang stand nya, but maintain the checks and balances. Ito ang kulang sa Pilipinas — pang-unawa sa constitution natin.

  • Tristanism

    The president does not have to push and cajole our honorable representathieves. Trabaho nila ang umattend ng session at ang magkaroon ng opinyon tungkol sa mga batas na minumungkahi.

    This is a democracy. Vote on the bill and then that’s that.

  • disqusted0fu

    it is the president’s job to push for whats best for the country and not whats best for his image. but with his kind of thinking, who knows if he really knows whats best for the country or not. thats probably why he prefers to focus on his image instead.

  • Jon

    But he said that Aquino, while calling on lawmakers to vote on the bill,
    was not inclined to dictate on lawmakers which side to choose.

    Grow some huevos and make a stand.
    Otherwise, dilly-dallying on the issue will not help anyone.

  • Edgardo Mendoza


  • tvnatinto


  • tvnatinto

    the pro rh and anti rh see a mound of chocolate in the middle of the road. they proceed to argue, it’s mine, no it’s mine! when they got closer, they realized it was all a bunch of crap.

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