By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News | 12/03/2012 4:34 PM
MANILA, Philippines - Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the President was expected to stress the need for a quorum and vote on the reproductive health/responsible parenthood bill when he met with leaders of the Liberal Party and other members of House Monday.
Valte said the President will reiterate his position in support of the measure but would “not necessarily” rally his allies to vote for it.
“Striness (stress) ng Pangulo ang kanyang posisyon. Sinabi naman niya noong Biyernes na, ‘Pro-RP bill ako. Pero ‘yung konsensya n’yo ang magdidikta sa inyo. Pero dapat merong hangganan ‘yung pag-uusap natin dito.’”
Valte said it was Speaker Belmonte who moderated the caucus. Rep. Dina Abad “stressed the importance of passing the measure already,” she said.
Asked if there was a mention of the Freedom of Information bill, Valte said there was none.
Secretary Ricky Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office earlier said President Aquino is meeting congressmen today to discuss pending legislation in the Lower House, particularly the controversial RH bill.
Carandang said the President is interested in seeing the House of Representatives vote on the RH bill instead of relegating the decision to the next Congress. He said the President will not force congressmen to vote for the bill, noting that Aquino respects the opinions of lawmakers who oppose the measure.
"Let's not kick the can down the road and pass it on to the next Congress. Let's take the responsibility. Tayo na ang magdesisyon dito. Tayo na ang bumoto dito. Let's have a decision within this Congress," he told radio dzMM.
He said the bill has been pending in Congress for 10 years.
Meanwhile, Senator Pia Cayetano was all smiles this morning after hearing news about the President's meeting with congressmen.
"All I can say is 'salamat', yun lang masasabi ko," she said. With a report from Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News; and radio dzMM