MANILA, Philippines—An opponent of the Reproductive Health Bill on Wednesday said their side would succeed in killing the measure, which has been languishing in Congress for 14 years now.
“We will win, we have enough numbers and it will hold,” Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez told reporters in a chance interview.
He said their side had a sure 136 votes against House Bill 4244 otherwise known as the RH Bill—enough to block the measure’s passage on second reading.
The presence of leaders of the Catholic Church will also have an effect on voting turnout later, he added, dismissing the possibility that the recent Liberal Party meeting could sway the votes of its members who were originally against the RH Bill.
“The meeting will not have much effect, they are going for a conscience vote,” said Rodriguez, who pointed out that voting at the Senate on the RH Bill will no longer matter once they kill the measure at the lower chamber of Congress.
“Today, if the bill is defeated at the House, it will already be moot and academic in the Senate. Mauuna kaming bumoto dito (We will be the first to vote here),” he said.
But a co-author of the bill, Iloilo Representative Janette Garin, said the numbers change every hour.
She added they were confident that they had the numbers needed to pass the measure although it was likely that the bishops’ presence will “somehow have an effect on some legislators.”