Bishop fears Palace will use pork for RH bill

Posted at 12/03/2012 5:31 PM | Updated as of 12/03/2012 5:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes fears Malacanang will use the pork barrel of lawmakers to sway them into voting for the reproductive health (RH) bill.

In an interview with Radio Veritas, Bastes said: “I am afraid also na baka gamitin ng Malacanang ang pork barrel…That’s my personal fear, na baka kapag bumoto sila against RH bill ay hindi sila mabibigyan ng pork barrel lalo pa ngayon ay mag-e-eleksyon at kailangan nila ng pera sa kanilang kandidatura.”

He hopes that “pro-life” lawmakers will still vote against it, even if their pork barrels are dangled in front of them.

President Benigno Aquino III wants a vote on the RH bill this week so that this can finally be tackled by both houses of Congress, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said.

In a statement issued after the lawmakers’ luncheon meet with Aquino, Lagman said: “[Aquino] impliedly suggested that a vote be taken on the bill this week in order to afford time for the Senate to pass its own version and for both chambers to conduct a bicameral conference.”