Sea of purple, red divides Senate gallery


By their colors shall ye know their stand on the reproductive health (RH) bill.

The Senate main gallery was a sea of purple and red Monday, as the chamber prepared for the second reading of the controversial RH bill.

Supporters of the bill wore purple, a color said to be associated with women’s rights as espoused in Alice Walker’s novel, “The Color Purple.”

Nuns and those who opposed the bill were garbed in red, a color that they said signified life and sacrifice.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, one of the principal sponsors of the bill, wore a dainty lilac piña blouse, hand-painted with small flowers.

Bulletproof vest

While the choice of color was expected, what onlookers did not see was the senator’s other fashion statement: a bulletproof vest “as thin as a girdle” that she wore under her blouse and which, some people might interpret, was a sign that the outspoken senator was ready for battle to have the bill approved.

“I should not be telling you these things,” Santiago told reporters in mock modesty before the afternoon session began.

The principal RH bill sponsor, Sen. Pia Cayetano, wore a printed purple scarf around her neck to complement her all-white ensemble, while Sen. Loren Legarda wore a tight-fitting collarless shirt in purple with three-fourth sleeves.

Supporters of the bill were seated in the gallery near the desks of bill sponsors Cayetano and Santiago, including former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral.

VIP gallery

In the VIP gallery facing the Senate rostrum were anti-RH proponents Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list group, former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad of Opus Dei, and Bishop Jesse Mercado of the Diocese of Parañaque.

Although the gallery can seat only 300 people, more than 1,000 guests came to the session hall to witness the Senate vote on the contentious measure. The overflow crowd had to be turned away by Senate Sergreant at Arms Jose Balajadia, who said the packed gallery reminded him of the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Aside from wearing her stand on her (purple) sleeves, Santiago had a strategy to get the bill passed, she told reporters.

The senator said she was expecting between 11 and 13 of her colleagues to vote in favor of the bill, and that she had asked other senators whom she believed would vote against it to stay away from the session hall.

“We have convinced some people to be absent, yeah. The others who want to be present were advised to while away the time in the senators’ lounge,” she added.

Santiago was confident that the Senate would approve the bill after President Aquino had certified it as urgent.


A certification means Congress may waive the three-day gap between second and third readings when it approves an urgent bill.

To hasten approval, Santiago said she and Cayetano had agreed to accept all amendments that Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto, a staunch RH oppositionist, would introduce.

Santiago said the RH bill sponsors would just allow the bicameral conference of senators and House representatives to reconcile the conflicting provisions in their versions of the bill, possibly including those that Sotto had proposed.

“We will let the bicameral conference resolve it ultimately because that is what will happen anyway,” she said.

Santiago added that she expected the bicameral meeting to take place today if senators would be able to move on and pass the RH bill on third and final reading last night.

Once the bicameral panel has resolved all conflicting provisions, a ratification of its report could be voted on tomorrow by the Senate and House of Representatives, allowing the President to sign the bill by Thursday.

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    TAMANG-tama ang pagpili ng mga TNL ng kulay-PURPLE.  Kulay ng kalungkutan at pighati.  Nakahanda na pala talaga sila sa kalalabasan ng pag-boto.  Ito nga din pala kulay ng mga vativat at mga glories of the morning sunset.

    • holydonkeyballs

      Tamang tama ang pagpili ng mga anti-RH ng kulay RED. Kulay ng dugo at kaguluhan. Alam pala nila ang mangyayari sakaling matupad ang gusto nila at hindi mapasa ang RH bill. Talamak na aborsyon at pagkamatay ng mga kababaihan. 

      • UrHONOR

        GANUN na nga yon.

      • Cyclops

        masyadong makikitid ang pag-iisip ninyo…nag aral naman siguro kayo..analisahing mabuti..bago magkumento… 

  • Dynamic

    By their color ye shall know them.For red is for communism,blood and fury.Purple for blessings of holiness(color of the holy spirit)that mosses saw burning in the bushes but they were not consumed.Sotto,Enrile are bluish and you know what that means.

  • bgcorg

    So long as there is “openness to life,” respect for life before, during and after, is kept, colors won’t mean a thing.  In fact, the color “purple” is one of the colors of the Church!  More serious is the accusation that the Church is anti-women, anti-poor and anti-progress.  Whoever thought about these slogans have succeeded.  Now focus is on artificial contraception to “inform” and its legalization, ostensibly “for the poor.”  This government has, whether admitted or not, embraced a contraceptive culture to divert attention from the very problems it should have focused on and given priority to in the first place: eradication of poverty and corruption and uplifting the living conditions of the poor in the climate of a just social order. It fantasizes that it can lick poverty by suppressing human births, not by mobilizing that its current human resources become economically productive by generating more employment and livelihood opportunities, providing more food on the table, providing more shirt on the small man’s back, providing more roof over their heads, respecting his right to life, speech, from want and religion.  It begins by suppressing human births without taking into consideration current developments in the global stage, only based on questionable past statistics, against the very life its Constitution is bound to protect.  To avoid transgression of the Constitution, it tries to define “conception” as the beginning of pregnancy and, closing its eyes to clear and present danger to women and young adults and teenagers, deny parents their duty, leaving it to condoms and abortion to take care of “problems” right moral guidance should have been emphasized in the bill.  It has succeeded too, to portray moral obligations as erased by legislation, in order to have a safe refuge zone from moral liability for human acts. 

    That a law is passed is not a guarantee that it is in conformity with divine positive law (e.g., the commandments) and the Natural Law in God.  Human laws are subject to higher powers.  It is only a valid law if it is in accordance with justice, to be binding.  We are not bound to follow a law that is not valid or morally binding.

    • Tony Deb

      The Natural Law you speak of is defined by human beings, whether you like it or not. Each religion espouses its own version of natural law, and proclaims it to be the sole Truth. The Hindus have their own version, the Shia Muslims another one, the Sunni Muslims yet another, the Jews claim the Absolute Truth of yet another one….ad infinitum.  How certain are you that the version you espouse is the one True version? You can’t because all religious doctrines, including yours, are products of the human imagination, each one possessing a fragment of the Divine Truth, which each one only approximates, and yours not more nor less accurately than the others.

    • vendetta07

      for once, I agree with you. No one is bound to accept condoms, contraceptives, or sexual education. It’s your choice.

  • Dynamic

    The laws of God are written in the Hearts of all mankind.We are given the choice of our own freewill to enact and exercise the laws written by men and of God.In order for a person to read what is in man’s own Heart,one must know the basics and the determination of good and evil.If you become more aware on both,which one would you rather choose to carry on in your everyday life?when you say good,then righteousness is well at hand.There are thousands of deaths each year caused by diseases like the HIV/Aids that has become a pandemic,more over are being infected as young as fifteen,atleast thousand a month.The devastating part of it is- there are no cures.The medicines of today to cure such disease is in it’s infancy, and they can only come-up with a medicine that allows a person to live a little bit longer,that’s when the idea of the use of condoms became an urgent necessity to protect oneself from contracting a sexual disease.The practical use of condoms are also becoming more popular to those who are married and un-married couples who are not ready to accept the responsibility of having a baby.Families who already have 5,8,10 or more children-now have the proper solution by simply using a condom as contraception to a new pregnancy.New couples are also encourage to use them as part of healthy family planning.The poor,the hungry and all destitutes are becoming more unstopable problem because there are no encouragement of family planning.This is one reason why we need the RH bill.Even if a peson or couple who have jobs could hardly meet a descent and healthy life and the quality and upbringing of the family is always poor and sub standard.The government can only do so much.It’s not only what the govenment can do for the poor it’s also what you can do to your self and family.Have a Merry christmas to all even if you are that poor.
    Colors have meaning in a spiritual way:
    Pink is love,white is purity,yellow is wisdom,black is darkness,gray is aloneness/loneliness,green is healing and prosperity,gold is abundance etc.

  • disqusted0fu

    it doesnt matter what color they wear, at the end of the day, the passing of this bill still has something to do with the color yellow.

  • Hein S

    Hahaha LOOZER bishops.

    LYING got you Nowhere.

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