Palace not losing hope on RH bill passage

Posted at 11/22/2012 3:51 PM | Updated as of 11/22/2012 6:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Palace is still not ruling out the passage of the reproductive health (RH) bill in the 15th Congress.

In a press conference, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said discussions are still ongoing at the House of Representatives.

He said he called up Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, who denied saying that the RH bill is already "dead" in the 15th Congress.

"As they say, it is not over until the fat lady sings," Lacierda said.

Asked if Aquino is certifying it as urgent, Lacierda said the Palace has not held discussions with the lower House leaders yet.

The responsible parenthood bill, Malacanang’s version of the RH bill, was submitted as a priority bill of the administration.

Pangasinan 5th District Rep. Kimi Cojuangco claimed Gonzales does not intend to hasten proceedings for the RH bill. “Well, this is what he told me. ‘Wala na yan. Forget the RHBILL. If ever baka 16th Congress na lang. We can just repackage it.’ I was flabbergasted and said ‘So why are you leading Manong Edcel (Lagman) along? Why are you saying something different in front of Speaker (Sonny) Belmonte?’ I can't accept this!” – by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News