Miriam to PNoy: Certify RH Bill as urgent

Posted at 11/22/12 4:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Miriam Santiago is appealing to President Aquino to certify the Reproductive Health Bill as urgent.

"We are hoping the President will be as compassionate to the RH bill as he was with the sin tax, which we have passed," said Santiago.

Santiago said they might run out of time because senators will be going on a Christmas break on December 21, and then have 2 weeks of session left before the 203 elections.

"So unless the President certifies it as urgent, it may be possible that again after 15 times, it has passed 15 Congresses, the RH bill might fail to get even a vote on the Senate floor. We want to avoid that failure. We are not willing to surrender to time," she said.

She added, "We want a genuine division of the Senate, who are in favor and who are against the RH (bill)."

The senator admitted they are having a harder time with the RH bill because the Catholic Church is very aggressive in its campaign against the bill.

But Santiago also assured her fellow senators who might be afraid of being unpopular among Catholics.

"I doubt very much that the bishops can control independent minded Catholics. The Catholics have never paid absolute obedience to the wishes of the Catholic Church," she said.

She cited the experience of former Senator Juan Flavier who was not endorsed by the church but won anyway.