MANILA, Philippine — He has been for the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill but Senator Sergio Osmeña III would rather keep silent about it so as not to earn the ire of those against it, including his family.
“I’m a coward when it comes to that. I don’t want to fight with my elders, my mothers, cousins, friends and all that,” Osmeña told reporters on Tuesday.
Ten years ago, he said, he co-sponsored the RH bill then being pushed by former senator and now Muntinlupa Representative Rodolfo Biazon and he remembered how his family and friends would lecture him about his stand on the issue.
“Noong nalaman ng mga kaibigan, ng nanay ko, lahat ng wake, wedding na pinipuntahan ko kino corner ako. Nile-lecture-an ako “he said.
(In wakes and weddings, I’ve been cornered by my friends, my mother about it. I got lectures from them.)
Asked if he was getting the same pressure now, Osmeña said: “Wala kasi hindi nila alam ang stand ko (None because they do not know my stand on the issue.)
Despite strong opposition by some sectors in the society, the senator was confident that the RH bill would pass the Senate.
Based on his own count six months ago, Osmeña said 14 senators would vote to pass the bill.
And this was evident, he said, when the Senate voted 11-6 last week to reject several amendments being proposed in the measure.
“We’re going to win here in the Senate. It’s in the House where they (are experiencing) a lot of delays,” he pointed out.
Osmeña joined calls to vote on the measure although he said they still have enough time even if they vote on it on Thursday next week, the last session day before Congress goes on a Christmas break.
The only question, he said, was whether or not the senators would show up to cast their vote on the issue.
“Hindi ko alam kung sino ang sisipot (I do not know who will show up),” said the senator.
Osmeña said a simple majority vote of senators present in the plenary is needed to pass the RH bill.