Focus now on 62 absent solons


House of Representatives. RYAN LEAGOGO/

MANILA, Philippines—At the House of Representatives, the bloc opposed to the RH bill is not raising the white flag despite the presidential certification.

The focus now is on the 62 House members who were absent when the chamber approved House Bill No. 4244 on second reading on Thursday.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said “more than 40” of these congressmen had earlier committed to vote against the measure.

“If they show up during the vote on third reading and stick to their commitment, we could overhaul the nine-vote lead of the pro-RH congressmen and win by a slim margin,” he said.

Nominal voting on the measure at the House lasted for five hours, ending at about 2 a.m., on Thursday, with 113 members voting in favor of HB 4244 and 104 voting against it. Three House members abstained, while 62 were absent.

Rodriguez said the anti-RH bloc earlier counted at least 136 congressmen rejecting the bill. He said the number went down to 123 on the eve of the vote, the same day the ruling Liberal Party ordered its 90-plus members in the House to support the bill.

Pressure from Palace

“We hope that this pyrrhic victory will turn into a sound defeat despite the pressure exerted on congressmen,” Rodriguez said.

“We hope that during the vote on third reading, the Executive (branch) would give us a semblance of independence. The South Lounge is the domain of the House of Representatives, not the Executive,” he said.

Rodriguez was referring to the presence of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, and Strategic Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang in the House lounge to “lobby” for the bill.

A senior House member recalled: “Towards the end of the vote when it was close, I personally heard Mar say, ‘Is there anyone else that we can send home?’”

“Mar looked a little concerned, moving from his table to the table occupied by his staff where they had a tally,” the congressman added.

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles accused Roxas of “forcing” House members who voted “no” to the RH bill to change their votes.

“Let’s not name the person. I might not get further reports,” said Arguelles, declining to identify his source.

Manuel Quezon III, an undersecretary in Malacañang’s communications group, was giving a running tally of the nominal voting on his Twitter account.

No pork, just prayer

Also seen lingering on the floor was Commission on Human Rights Chair Loreta Ann Rosales, a senior leader of the Akbayan party-list group. Akbayan is one of the groups lobbying for the RH bill.

Rodriguez scoffed at the criticism that Catholic bishops had also lobbied and watched the voting from the gallery.

“But they don’t give pork barrel. They have only the power of prayers,” he said.

Lawmakers usually go to the secretary of the Department of Budget and Management to follow up the release of their Priority Development Assistance Fund, commonly known as the pork barrel.

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  • ryan andres

    Umakyat bayag nyang 62 na yan… alam kasi that an overwhelming majority of filipinos are for the bill.

    Ayaw mawalan ng boto ang mga trapo. Oh well. We all know who you jagoffs are, so say goodbye to your political careers.

    • manny

      Kung overwhelming majority di lang siyam dapat ang lamang.  Dapat tambak as in tambak.  That is overwhelming.   Eh mukang hindi eh.  Mukang kabado p mga pro RH n matalo sa Monday despite all the pressures from Malacanang.

      • ryan andres

        Fair enough…let’s see on Monday.

      • dickenhead

        you must be saying this with your fingers crossed

    • 12JEM

       Isa sa mga nawala noong botohan ay si Roilo Golez, member pa naman ng LP.

      • ryan andres

        Oo nga chief… hari ng papantot yang si Golez. Puro photo opp lang ang habol.

  • miiron

    sir rufus ang POWER OF PRAYER nyo ba makatulong sa mga nagugutum na mga bata? ano ho ba ang ginawa ng simbahan para maibsan ang kahirapan dala ng over population ng bansa?

  • eirons1043

    Quo vadis Rufus.  Fron a supposed crusader of rightiousness and common sense you became a Damaso and Torquemada defender.

  • Rae_E

    PDI please REPEATEDLY publish the names of these 62 solons because they are useless & should never be voted back in office. Aside from not doing their jobs they do not have courage to stand for their principles too. Shame on you congressmen!

    • Guest

       It is common that the absence rate is higher than on the vote.

  • E Rigby

    They show dishonesty through their absence.  Those 62 supposedly anti-RH bill solons ought to be ashamed of themselves.  Their anti-RH stance was purely for “palabas”.  Shame on them for helping delay the passage of this very important bill.

  • Nilo C

    Gumawa kayo ng Mabuti sa Kapwa at huwag yong basehan ang mga Panalangin. Panalangin kayo ng Panalangin eh hanggang dyan nalang at hindi naman kayo nakilos. Huwag yong sa Salita na laang at wala naman sa Gawa.

  • gikiness

    palagay ko nanood ng laban ni Pacquiao sa amerika ang 62 na absent at hindi pa bumabalik

    • Marx Louis Wang

       Baka kamo nag-TNT na. Joke only.

  • blainz

    “But they don’t give pork barrel. They have only the power of prayers.” -RR

    Only prayers? Telling the gullible folks typhoons are sent by God to stop the RH Bill is a prayer? Telling people contraception and abortion are the same is a prayer? Having all those church-affiliated party-lists is a prayer? Political endorsements and threats of excommunication are prayers?

    And all those prayers they hold for politicians, why are those constantly on TV?

    At least Roofie admitted the billionaire Catholic Church was lobbying after all.

    The Constitution declares the separation of Church and State inviolable. If the CBCP wants to play politics, why don’t they pay taxes?

  • OleSapra aka ARGUS


    ANA: “Sa kuwenta ko merong 282 suma-total ng mga congressmen. Sa pagkakaalam ko eh lahat sila, tumatanggap ng PORK BARREL, ‘di ba?”

    LISA: “Korek ka r’yan, ‘ga. Pero lahat ng member ng House of Representatives eh may kanya-kanyang partido o grupong kinaaaniban. Kagaya ng botohan sa RH bill, 113 ang Yes, 104 ang No, 3 ang nag-abstain o hindi lumahok sa botohan.”

    CION: “Maituturing na mga EXECRABLE (kasuklam-suklam) ang 62 representathieves na nagpasyang huwag sumipot sa botohan ng yes or no sa isyu ng RH bill. Sila’y pawang mga ANTI (read: nag-aantay) ng karagdagang BREAD mula sa mga verisimilitude bishops. Tongue-in anew!!!” 

  • Garo Ungaro

    the mindset of this solons appears that the car will not move. if, there’s no gas..? their principle and convictions can and will be determine how much gas can be put into their cars…?

  • Diomedes A. Racelis

    Look who’s talking. While the pro-RH bill congressmen had Roxas, Abad et al, the anti-RH bill lawmakers had the bishops in the gallery. I’ll sympathize with the anti-RH bill lawmakers if they will sign a promissory note adopting henceforth all their respective constituent impoverished families with more than 4 children for their food, housing and educational needs.

  • quirinomayer

    Rep. Rufus Rodriguez is a hero — but not of the Philippines but of the Vatican, not of the Filipino populace but of the pope.  He is an ever loyal and valiant soldier of Padre Damaso. May the people of Cagayan de Oro wake up to the treason of this fool and junk him come election day.

    • dickenhead

      as night follows day, he will surely be booted out

      • Bert

        in your dreams…..a bet my eg*…..


    TNL din  naman, ano…SISID MARINO ang mga TNL na beanie-caps!  

  • Luthmar

    Rodriguez, if it is true that 40 congressmen were committed to vote against the Bill, what happened to them?  I would think that they really would go out of their way to cast their votes 
    because that, certainly, would have been the winner.  That would have been the end of the RH Bill.  You honestly think they will show up in the third reading?  Keep dreaming. 

  • speedstream2

    Hopefully, when the raging issue on the RH bill shall have come to its rightful conclusion, attention can shift to the FOI bill, which has tremendous impact on good governance.

  • bgcorg

    Clearly, the quoted source, was telling the truth, as he observed it himself.  What else would the Secretaries, taking a tally and marking those who voted for or against the bill, be doing?  The bishops were there, yes, but their only “weapon” was the power of prayer, not the denial or suspension of the release of the pork barrel!  The anti-rh had the numbers IN FACT; even those who voted in favor of the rh bill, however, because of party whip, had to show their “temporal” but despotic benefactor that they cow-tow to his wishes against their better judgment and calling as Christians first and foremost .  This does not augur well for a vibrant, genuine democracy at work! Poverty is not due to a mythical “overpopulation” phenomenon, but to the failure of the political system, this administration included, to directly address the problems posed by poverty, corruption and political freedom. Artificial contraception is not the solution for these problems; it is being used as a smokescreen to divert attention instead!

    Clearly, not all of the Congressmen have the courage of a St. Pedro Calungsod or a Lorenzo Ruiz, Filipino saints who have shown fidelity to their faith!  But, I refuse to think that they cannot act with heroism for the call to profess their faith and conviiction only because of money.  “For this reason, those who have delivered me to you have the greater sin,” the Lord reminds all and sundry; he is being betrayed again, dilivered to the Pilate of our time!  He had even certified the bill as urgent and when, in the future, this country goes to the dogs, he is no longer president; he would have washed his hands clean from the evils he had brought this country to!  With the passage of the rh bill, if ever, the door is opened wide, despite the wild protestations to the contrary, to a lesser respect for life at any stage, abortion already one foot  in, eugenics and euthanasia, not far behind, divorce and same sex marriage touted as “human rights” against the explicit divine command to uphold the sanctity of the union of one man and one woman, and towards moral degeneration favoring pre-marital sex, free sex and debauchery, as expressions of “women’s rights” against true and genuine freedom.  The basic rights of man, under God, are no longer important (life, speech, from want and religion) compared to faddish, modernistic perspectives, against the very rational nature of man.

    The “Daang Matuwid” had taken its worse course by bribery, corruption, coercion.  “Pinauwi nalang, at matatalo pa kung hindi,” subscribing to worship the devil and all his works and pomps, not really because of a Christian informed, “certain” conscience.  A nation which forsakes God, and his teachings channelled through his Church on earth is inviting to worship man only, putting him up in a pedestal to be worshipped as Baal was, against the glory and wisdom of the Lord.  We must respond adequately to the call of the Lord and be thankful for the graces he had recently bestowed on us.  “Behold, he comes, and calleth for thee.”  He who opens the door, even in the inconvenient hour of the night, when he knocks, “he will come in to dine with him and you with him.”  Legislators should feel honored to welcme this honored guest by a strong affirmation of their faith in God and morality; and not because of fear from reprisals from a vengeful regime. This administration had just been ungrateful for the graces and provident care of God and continues to misread his messages through events and times, torn against his holy will, only due to the calls of radical secularism, materialism, hedonism, driving God away from their lives, disrespectful of authority because of a modernistic view of freedom and liberty, against the commnandments and the way of the cross. Man, however, is just a pilgrim and normally human, moral and spiritual values weigh.

    But prayer is more powerful than death.  Our Lady of Guadalupe did not abandon the rights of the unborn to be left unprotected, against the powerful forces stacked against them. This episode has only proven the lies that the majority of Filipinos are for the passage of the rh bill. Representing a wide swathe of the country’s population, Congressmen have seen that the face of poverty is erased by giving them “bread” and not “cake” in the form of condoms and contraceptives   And, eventually God and the power of prayer and sacrifice will triumph.  For the greater honor and glory of God.  I believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!  No to the rh bill!  Yes to the celebration of life, of the unborn, the unwanted, the frail, who like the ones enjoying the free gift of life, are also made to the image and likeness of God! Yes, to life.  No to death.  Yes to temperance, abstention and sobriety.  Yes to the Natural Law in God! Scrap the rh bill now and save this country from certain degeneration. The less controversial and divisive provisions could really be amendments to existing laws. NO TO THE APPROVAL OF THE RH BILL. NO TO ITS PASSAGE BY THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE. Let our faith, in truth and in fact, shine through!

    • Tristanism

      Devil worship is the new black.

      Or let’s be Calungsud. (Let me get my spear)

  • Guest

     The 40 congressmen had better things to do: playing golf, getting massages, drinking beer in bars.

  • Edgardo Mendoza


  • Hein S

    When the RH Bill was passed in ITALY, the pope was QUIET.

    Why are the lowly bishops so noisy?

  • disqusted0fu

    now that the spotlight is on the 62 absentees, Roxas might look for other routes on making sure that the yes votes will still prevail. he’s probably already thinking by now who are the congressmen he could either send home or to not let attend the voting at all.

  • Beware chinese eat humans.

    now the people are asking those they voted. for those thinking of joining the politics, humanda kayo sa paniningil.

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