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They may have been forcibly disappeared by agents of the State but the desaparecidos are never forgotten. Tomorrow, 30 August 2007, their families, relatives and friends will collectively and simultaneously remember them the world over as they observe the International Day of the Disappeared.

Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, principal author of House Bill 236 or the “Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2007” and brother of disappeared labor and human rights lawyer Hermon C. Lagman, calls on his fellow legislators to mark the day with an unshakeable resolve to ensure that the bill will be among the first legislation that the current Congress will enact.

“It is distressing that the miracle of life means death to 10 mothers daily in the Philippines,” Rep. Edcel C. Lagman of Albay stressed during the 2nd National Multi-Sectoral Conference on Population and Development last August 15, 2007.

The Bicol solon is the principal author of House Bill No. 17 or the “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2007”.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo “is not a lame duck under any realistic assessment, political standard, lexicon definition and idiomatic expression.”

Rep. Edcel C. Lagman of Albay made this clear as he refuted the statements of some senators who labeled GMA as a “lame duck president” who feels “insecure”.

The camp of Rep. Pablo Garcia Sr. deliberately defaulted in nominating Representative Garcia after they realized the inevitable defeat of their candidate for Speaker.

This was the assessment of Rep. Edcel C. Lagman of Albay who said that the allies of Rep. Garcia “saw the writing on the wall after the counting by tellers resulted in the defeat of the motion questioning the authority of Secretary General Roberto P. Nazareno as acting Presiding Officer by 160 over 46 votes.”

The supporters of Rep. Garcia were given ample opportunity to nominate their candidate against Speaker Jose C. De Venecia, Jr. but they did not submit their nomination.

“It is well settled that after the electorate has cast its vote and the winner is declared, ‘question of technicality’ must bow to the popular mandate,” Lagman said.

With the Philippine population expected to almost double to an alarming 160 million by 2038, Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman has re-filed the proposed “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act” as House Bill No. 17. Lagman is confident that the 14th Congress will finally pass the measure into law because it is a “consistent, coherent and rights-based policy that will improve maternal and infant health even as it will help shatter the negative tandem of excessive population growth and poverty.”