02 June 2011

Round 1! Fight!



My live tweets during the May 17 session of the House of Representatives for the consideration of House Bill No. 4244 or the Reproductive Health Bill:

  • Minority Leader Edcel Lagman takes to the floor to defend the #RHbill.
  • Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing interpellates Albay Rep. Lagman on the #RHbill.
  • Rep. Bagatsing claims that rich countries have large populations. He also questions the budget for RH.
  • Rep. Lagman: Contraceptives are not abortifacients. Availability is not access!
  • Rep. Lagman enumerates salient points of the #RHbill to prove that it is beyond contraception.
  • Rep. Bagatsing: There are existing laws that cover those enumerated by Rep. Lagman. Nakatago ang abortion sa #RHbill.
  • Rep. Bagatsing: Bakit may salitang 'universal' sa #RHbill? Para sa lahat ba sa buong mundo o para sa Pilipino lang? [Ugh...]
  • Rep. Lagman: China, a country with a large population, is only at 89 in the Human Development Index. [Rep. Bagatsing earlier said rich countries had large populations.]
  • Rep. Lagman: UN studies say that contraceptives are NOT abortifacients.
  • Rep. Lagman: #RHbill is anti-abortion. It will reduce abortion to 85% based on empirical studies.
  • Hindi pa rin daw matanggap ni Rep. Amado Bagatsing na hindi abortifacients and contraceptives. Ayon sa kanya, "When you don't want something to happen, you abort it."
  • Deputy Speaker Crispin Remulla chastises members of the House. Makinig daw kayo sa debate!
  • Rep. Bagatsing: Bakit sinama ang natural method sa artificial? Ang natural method, legal. Ang artificial method is probably illegal. [Probably?!]
  • Rep. Lagman: Kung walang fertilization, walang life to be aborted!
  • Rep. Lagman: #RHbill = Freedom of INFORMED CHOICE! Neither the State nor the Church can impose any family planning method!
  • Rep. Lagman to Rep. Bagatsing: Proscription of abortion = PROHIBITION. [For more basic definitions ang moda. Haha!]
  • Rep. Bagatsing: Bakit may management of abortion complications? | Rep. Lagman: Ang daming bawal na hindi nasusunod. Ipinagbabawal ang abortion pero nangyayari pa rin. Anong gagawin natin sa kababaihan na nagre-resort to abortion dahil wala silang impormasyon? Sila ba ay pababayaan natin? Sila ba ay hindi na gagamutin? Sila ba ay itatakwil ng komunidad? Hindi po dahil it is a Christian and humane treatment if we take care of women who suffer from abortion complications.
  • Rep. Bagatsing questions the term 'universal' again. Look up 'universal health care', Sir.
  • Kairita. Yosi break muna! Pampalamig ng ulo ko!
  • Rep. Lagman: Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit paulit-ulit binabasa ng mga anti-RH ang mga probisyon na wala naman sa (panukalang) batas.
  • Ayon kay Rep. Bagatsing, magulang lang dapat magturo ng sex ed. Baka raw may malisya pag mga guro ang nagturo. What?! Teachers,what say you?
  • Rep. Lagman: Sex ed in the #RHbill is AGE-APPROPRIATE!
  • Rep. Lagman: Sex ed in the #RHbill entails proper sexual values!
  • Rep.Lagman cites very alarming figures about the youth's perceptions and beliefs about sexual intercourse and sexually-transmitted diseases.
  • Rep. Lagman: The #RHbill is not about sex and religion. It is about rights and health.
  • Rep. Lagman: Walang problema na makialam ang Simbahan sa legislation. Ang problema ay kapag nag-iimpose sila ng dogma.
  • Rep. Lagman: I could have said that I am a Congressman who is a Catholic... but I am not a Catholic Congressman!
  • Rep. Lagman: You cannot enforce Catholic dogma in legislation.
  • Rep. Bagatsing: Ang ating bansa ay 113 pa lamang. Gaano na katanda ang batas ng Diyos? 2,000 taon na. [Gawd.]
  • Rep. Lagman: Hindi natin pinag-uusapan ang age ng Church. AGE IS NOT AN INDICATION OF WISDOM!
  • Rep. Bagatsing: Ang batas ng Simbahan, hindi naamyendahan tulad ng sa tao. This an affront to the 85% of Filipinos who are Catholic. [Ugh...]
  • Rep. Lagman: 80% of young women don't know their fertile period. Teen pregnancy 30% of annual birth. Almost 30% of youth thought AIDS curable.
  • Rep. Lagman: In the #RHbill, nobody will be compelled to use a particular method of family planning or to embrace contraceptives.
  • Bumabalik na naman si Rep. Bagatsing sa "age difference" ng Church at State. Itigil mo 'yan. 'Di naman sila magjojowaan e!
  • Rep. Lagman: Humanae Vitae was adopted in 1968 while the independent Philippine Government was established in 1898!
  • Rep. Lagman: UNICEF said that family planning will bring more benefits and less costs than any human technology.
  • Rep. Lagman: P 5.5B annually in health care costs for the management of unintended pregnancies. This is not cost-effective.
  • Rep. Lagman: The P 3B allocation is not just for contraceptives, but for information campaigns. No informed choice if there's no relevant info.
  • In legislation, it should be fact over faith!
  • Five minute recess. Deputy Speaker and Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia's up next.
  • Habang naka-break sa plenaryo ng House, nagpapatugtog kami ng Get Outta My Way ni mareng Kylie Minogue dito sa office. Full volume!
  • Rep. Garcia: The versions of the RH Bill that were refiled in previous Congresses never sailed to see the light of day despite the valiant efforts and the elaborate and well-funded support in media and elsewhere, by various lobby groups, domestic or foreign. Nonetheless, this bill created a lack of knowledge in media and generated controversy among our people nationwide. As we start plenary debates in this reformist RH Bill, we are like a city built on a hill. The eyes of our nation are upon us. Watching and waiting to see if this House will be an exception of "No to RH Bill". And now, to the interpellation... [Dramatic, 'teh?]
  • Rep. Garcia: The Philippines is a nation under God, a nation that believes and trusts in God, in his omnipotence... [Zzz...]
  • Rep. Lagman: We are the certain that the RH Bill will be approved within the year. Despite the previous versions, no vote was taken before.
  • Rep. Garcia: I believe the distinguished sponsor believes in God. Is my assumption correct? | Rep. Lagman: Yes. I am a Catholic.
  • Rep. Lagman: I also believe that this nation is under God. But this nation is not under the bishops.
  • Rep. Garcia: If you are a Catholic, then you are a Catholic Congressman (referring to Lagman).
  • Rep. Garcia: Since Lagman says he is a Congressman who happens to be a Catholic, does he agree that god is the creator of all life? [Whut?!]
  • Rep. Lagman: When we talk of god, we cannot solely talk of the god of Catholics.
  • Rep. Lagman: The god of one may not be necessarily the god of the distinguished gentleman from Cebu.
  • Rep. Garcia: It is only one god with different names. Does Rep. Lagman insist that there are other gods?
  • Rep. Lagman: I am here to cross swords with the distinguished gentleman on the salient features of the #RHbill, not for a discourse on god.
  • Rep. Garcia: This bill offends god. [Weh? Asan ang burning bush? Nagsalita ba?]
  • I purposely didn't capitalize G in god in my previous tweets. The god Rep. Garcia is referring to is not MY God. #RHbill, ipasa!
  • Rep. Lagman reiterates that the #RHbill is not about sex and religion. It is about RIGHTS! It is about HEALTH!
  • Rep. Lagman: The #RHbill is about the right of parents and women who bear the brunt of pregnancy and child care in deciding the number and spacing of children pursuant to international conventions.
  • Rep. Garcia: Rights and health of a person come from god.
  • Rep. Lagman: The #RHbill is about health-- it aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals.
  • Rep. Lagman: I am ready to answer direct questions. Do not meander with religious arguments and dogma.
  • Rep. Garcia: The #RHbill violates the constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.
  • Rep. Garcia cites a Supreme Court doctrine on the relationship between the Church and State.
  • Rep. Lagman: Religious freedom,like all other rights guaranteed by Consti,can be enjoyed only with the proper regard for the the rights of others.
  • Rep. Lagman cites Justice Frankfurter: "The constitutional protection of religious freedom terminated disabilities, it did not create new privileges. It gave religious equality, not civil immunity. Its essence is freedom from conformity to religious dogma, not freedom from conformity to law because of religious dogma."
  • Both Lagman and Garcia cited Estrada v. Escritor.
  • Rep. Garcia: Do we need a law to operationalize one's freedom of choice? This bill is a violation of the freedom of choice.
  • Rep. Garcia: The #RHbill will lead Catholic women to temptation. [Double whut?!]
  • Rep. Lagman: When it comes to the right of the State to exercise police power for the protection of the people, there is no benevolent neutrality (which was cited by Garcia earlier).
  • Rep. Lagman: Congress is not a congregation of the religious. There is need to craft a fundamental law for parents to determine the number and spacing of their children. There has to be legislation to implement the various provisions in the Bill of Rights.
  • Rep. Lagman to Cebu Rep. Garcia: Majority of the people of Cebu agreed that there should be a law on RH, according to a survey.
  • Rep. Lagman cites the Ateneo faculty, saying that the #RHbill adheres to core principles of Catholic social teachings.
  • Kailangan ng yosi break kung ang debate ay nakaka-headache! (Ooh, rhyming! Haha!)
  • Rep. Garcia keeps on saying that the #RHbill was rejected by the past four Congresses. Wala ngang botohan noon e, ano ba?!
  • Rep. Garcia quotes from Bible. "...Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the Earth and subdue it..." Are these words of god supportive of the #RHbill?
  • Kaunti na lang ang Congressmen at audience sa plenaryo...
  • Rep. Lagman: Garcia is imagining a windfall from multinationals. We have no affinity for them. Accusation has no basis.
  • Rep. Lagman: The Bible has nothing to say about birth control.
  • Consideration of HB 4244 is suspended. Session is adjourned until tomorrow, 4:00 pm.
  • Uwian na! Bukas ulit! #RHbill, ipasa!
  • Dahil diyan, ang closing song ko dito sa opisina ay I'm Every Woman ni Whitney Houston! Ang #RHbill ay para sa kababaihan! IPASA!


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