Quantcast
Latest Stories

Sotto derails RH bicam meeting

By

Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The bicameral conference committee tasked with reconciling the Senate and House versions of the reproductive health (RH) bill suffered a setback Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III invoked several rules barring the bill’s principal sponsor, Sen. Pia Cayetano, from forming the Senate contingent to the bicameral conference committee and from holding the bicameral meeting.

Citing Rule 12 Section 35 of the Senate rules, Sotto said only Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile could appoint the seven senators who would comprise the chamber’s panel in the bicameral meeting.

Cayetano’s office has yet to provide Sotto clean copies of the RH bill that contain the amendments he introduced on Monday night.

In a 13-8 vote, senators approved the measure on Monday night.

Sotto said he wanted to read the clean copies of the Senate and House versions as, according to him, he intended to become a member of the bicameral panel.

But as Senate majority leader, it would be imprudent for him to leave his post inside the session hall and attend the 4:30 p.m. bicameral meeting that Cayetano called in the Senate Tuesday.

Some members of the House of Representatives, who were to participate in the bicameral meeting, were already in the Senate building before the afternoon session.

Sotto said the bicameral meeting was considered a committee hearing.

Senate rules also did not allow senators to hold hearings when there was a session. Otherwise, this could result in a lack of quorum, he explained.

Tradition

 

Cayetano, however, said Senate “tradition” allowed the chairman of a committee the “privilege” of naming bicameral members instead of the Senate President.

“It is my prerogative to select the members. I don’t think there is anything wrong (with that). It is absurd and contrary to ask to delay a process which I would like to continue,” she said.

Cayetano would have wanted her brother, Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, and Senators Ferdinand Marcos III, Teofisto Guingona III, Francis Pangilinan, Panfilo Lacson and Sotto to join her in the chamber’s bicameral panel on the RH bill.

“Nothing prevents me from calling a bicam (meeting). I am offended that (I am) being imposed upon, not to call for a bicam. The House panel already agreed to hold it here (in the Senate),” she added.

The senator also said she was “offended” by Sotto’s apparent new “steps being taken to delay the process” of turning the RH bill into law.

Senate President Enrile said the tradition that Cayetano invoked was allowed only when no member objected to the bicameral lineup or its creation.

Enrile and Sotto are the Senate’s most vociferous opponents of the RH bill. Despite the numerous amendments they managed to include in the Senate version of the bill, they still voted “no” to its approval on second and third readings on Monday.

The two claimed the RH bill would promote promiscuity, result in an aging population supported by fewer younger people and merely accommodate the global birth control business.

Drilon’s suggestion

 

Sen. Franklin Drilon stood at one point and proposed that Cayetano be allowed to meet with House members in a “prebicameral” meeting.

“It would not be a bicameral conference, your honor,” Drilon assured Enrile.

Drilon also suggested that the bicameral conference be held this morning instead after senators shall have gone over the clean copies provided by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Delayed

 

As it is, the schedule set by RH sponsors for the bill’s road to ratification and signing into law in Malacañang was already delayed.

Cayetano and a bill’s sponsor, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, initially wanted the bicameral conference held Tuesday, the reconciled version’s ratification Wednesday and its submission for President Aquino’s signature so it could become law by Thursday.

If the bicameral panel begins its work only Wednesday, such a schedule will have to be revised.

Sotto immediately clarified that his objections were not another attempt to delay the bill’s transformation into law.

“If I were intent on doing that, the unfinished business for this day alone would already take us four days to take up, but I’m not insisting on that,” he told Cayetano before Enrile ordered an end to their bickering.

Senate coup?

 

Last week, Santiago warned that Enrile’s opposition toward the measure could lead to his “highly likely”  removal as Senate President between January and February next year.

Santiago added that Enrile’s move of returning the gifts that she and Cayetano gave the Senate President for Christmas was seen as an indication of the animosity borne out of their differing positions on the RH bill.

Santiago quoted Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who had his own verbal tussle with Enrile over another issue, saying that Malacañang “has already been giving careful attention to (the) political contretemps” in the Senate and that the hostilities arising from the RH bill ran counter to “the flow of this present administration.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Congress , Contraception , Government , HB 4244 , Legislation , Population control , RH bill , Senate , Sexual Education , sexual health , Social Issues , Vicente Sotto III




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • $57-B mega plan to solve Metro’s mega woes
  • Aquino vows to step up fight against corruption
  • Santiago scoffs at rushing defense pact for Obama visit
  • Former solon, 2 others sanctioned for unfair labor practice
  • Let us pray for the nation, healing priest asks leaders
  • Sports

  • PH pug Hipolito Banal decisions Colombian in Aiba
  • Former Pacquiao sparmate Porter keeps IBF title
  • Grueling 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas hits road
  • ICTSI Tour big hitters have edge at Sherwood
  • What Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could do
  • Lifestyle

  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Entertainment

  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement