No excuse to further delay RH bill

News Release
23 July 2012

It’s an embarrassment to say ‘we’re not ready’ to vote on RH
Transcript of interview of Sen. Pia Cayetano
Opening of Third Regular Session
(Excerpts)

Question: Ma’am, si Sen. Enrile sabi hindi pa raw kaya this year ipasa yung RH Bill..

SPSC: Bakit hindi kaya? All it requires is to tumayo ako and i-close na ‘to at ilagay sa boto. Ano yung hindi kaya? Ano dun yung ‘hindi ready’ di ba? Ano dun? Ano yung issue na hindi pwedeng pumasa or hindi pwedeng matapos? We’ve done our part. We’ve presented the whole case, I will just have to present my committee amendments and after that, we vote. What is so difficult about that? We vote. I am not being overconfident. I am not claiming that 100% may victory. I am just doing my constitutional duty which is to propose bills and to fight for it and then every other Senator here in this hall must do their duty, which is to vote for it.

Question: Ma’am tingin niyo ba bago umpisahan yung bagong chapter ng Cha-Cha, dapat tapusin muna ang RH?

PSC: Yes, definitely. I mean, when the impeachment process was going on, in caucus, sinabi sa akin na, “Wag na daw. Sa July na raw ang RH.” And I fought for it and I said ‘No.’ Every morning when we have session ready po akong idebate ang RH Bill, wag niyo naman i-isantabi yan kasi yung ibang measures naman tinitake-up. So, ready ako araw-araw. So, the same way, pag resume natin nitong third term nitong 15th Congress, ready din po ako and I think all of our colleagues should be ready also to put it to a vote. Before they put a vote they can make their individual amendments and then make a vote. How difficult is that? It’s an embarrassment to the Filipino people to say that ‘we are not ready.’ Ibig sabihin, hindi tayo nag-aaral, hindi tayo nagbabasa [ng panukala].

Question: Ma’am, according to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, mahirap talaga maipasa ang bill kung ang two top leaders ng Senate ay nag o-oppose dun sa bill.

PSC: Yes, I agree with him and we know that for a fact. So, the question is, let us now challenge every single member of this Senate to be ready to vote for this measure. And like I said, before that happens, I will present the committee amendments and everyone is free to propose individual amendments. Kapag ako po ay nakarining ng ‘hindi pa ready,’ eh taumbayan na ang dapat humusga. Hindi pa ready, eh isang taon nang nakabinbin itong bill na ito? Paanong hindi pa ready? Mag-aral naman po tayo ng kaunti para naman matapos na ito and we can move on to other bills. Kasi it is the height of irresponsibility to say let’s take up other measures tapos hindi rin tinatapos yung iba.

Question: Ma’am paano po yung Malacañang parang nagsabi na ready na sila na kung ano man yung maging decision ng Congress. Para bang lumamig na sila sa RH?

PSC: Well, hindi ko alam. I haven’t talked to the President. So, I don’t want to put words in his mouth and I’d like to believe na nagsu-support pa rin naman ang Presidente natin on the RH Bill.

Reporter: So, hindi excuse Ma’am na umpisahan muna yung Cha-Cha. Unahin yung Cha-Cha? Hindi ho excuse ‘yon?

PSC: I don’t care what bills are pending. I don’t care what time we finish, but the RH Bill should be on the agenda everyday and those who have concerns should raise it now and then we vote on it. #

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