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Rm. N-411, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
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26 September 2008

“Delay is not victory. It is merely postponing the eventual defeat of those opposed to the reproductive health bill.”

This was underscored by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, principal author of HB 5043 on reproductive health, as he discredited the “patently dilatory tactics” of the oppositors of the bill.

Lagman was referring to the long winding interpellations, baseless procedural objections on the committees’ approval of the bill and irrelevant attacks on the funding and motives of NGO advocates.

Deputy Speaker Raul del Mar has already consumed two sessions days of interpellation after an almost 30-minute long preliminary discourse on his objections which many considered as a premature turno en contra speech.

Del Mar also raised alleged “technical defects” in the approval of the bill by the Committee on Health and the Committee on Population and Family Relations which jointly approved the bill without a dissenting vote and no seasonable motion for reconsideration was filed against its approval pursuant to the rules of the House.

The reproductive health bill was approved by four committees, namely the Committee on Health, the Committee on Population and Family Relations, the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Rules.

Del Mar even went to the extent of questioning the legitimate funding support and reproductive health advocacy of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD), of which he was a founding member and erstwhile supporter.

“As the interpellations meander, the attendance in the plenary predictably dwindles, giving the oppositors the chance to question the existence of a quorum,” Lagman lamented.