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Rm. N-411, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
+63 2 931 5497, +63 2 931 5001 local 7370

(Speech of Rep. Edcel C. Lagman during the Roundtable Discussion on Policy Reform to End Child, Early and Forced Marriages on 07 March 2018 at the House of Representatives)

Child, early and forced marriages (CEFMs) seem to be practices that hark back to the Dark Ages or a plot in a tearjerker telenovela. The archaic image of the innocent and ill-fated child bride is one that is readily associated with primitive tribes or nations in Africa or South Asia, not with a country like the Philippines – a country that has consistently performed very well in gender surveys and ranked high in global assessments measuring indicators of women empowerment.

But the scourge of CEFMs is not restricted to soap operas and countries like India and tribes like the Masai in Kenya. There are child brides in the Philippines. It is happening in our country and the numbers are alarming.

(Privilege Speech of Rep. Edcel C. Lagman of the First District of Albay)


Mr. Presiding Officer and Distinguished Colleagues:


Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia in a privilege speech last Valentine’s Day, scored repeatedly this Representation for being critical of the position of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of not enforcing her dismissal as ordered by the Ombudsman on the grounds that (1) he is going to determine the validity of the Ombudsman decision; and (2) only the House of Representatives can discipline or dismiss its Members.


(Response and Keynote Address delivered by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman in receiving the Human Development Legislator Lifetime Achievement Award during the Fifth Anniversary of the Enactment of the Reproductive Health Law at EDSA Shangri-La on December 12, 2017)

My family and I truly appreciate and are immensely thankful for the singular recognition which the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) has bestowed on me tonight: The Human Development Legislator Lifetime Achievement Award.

I am inspired to no small measure by this award even as I am humbled by this honor.

I am sharing this recognition with all the RH champions and advocates in the (a) Congress of the Philippines; (b) Executive Department; (c) vast NGO community; (d) civil society; (e) mass and social media; and (f) international fora.

Burden and Responsibility

But the burden and responsibility which this recognition impliedly imposes, I alone shall bear. It is comforting, however, to know that kindred spirits will always lend a helping hand in our continuing crusade to have the RH Law fully implemented and constantly safeguarded from diminution by adverse legislative amendment or repeal.

(Speech delivered by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman at the 2nd National Family Planning Conference at the Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City
on 08 November 2017)

When people and policymakers realized that here is urgent need to moderate population growth rate and to conserve depletable resources, the concern on reproductive health and family planning meandered from the privacy of the couple’s bedroom to the arena of public discourse and eventually to the domain of politics.

(Speech delivered by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman at the Memorial for Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani at the UP NISMED on 29 September 2017)


It is at this disquieting juncture of our nation’s history that people of principle like Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani are sorely missed.

The Philippines has recently been conferred the dubious distinction of being at the bottom of the Global Impunity Index by the University of the Americas Puebla and the Center of Studies on Impunity and Justice. Although the data used were from 2012 to 2014, the Duterte administration debunked the ranking with a guilty conscience. The ongoing extrajudicial killings and human rights violations aggravate and confirm the Philippines’ ranking.

The term EJK has now been promoted to a verb – as in “he was EJKed by policemen in a dark alley” – because of the rising number of the almost-daily summary executions of suspected criminals.