Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Batasan Experience

The continous saga of Reproductive Health Bill is still a hot topic in the Philippines. Pro-RH and Anti-RH continuous to defend each others stand. I myself put my contribution by writing something about it here in my blogsite. The big question is what would be the impact of this bill once it is passed. Pro-RH said it will bring progress to our country and sure health services to our women. Anti-RH said that they oppose the bill because of its three dangerous contents, the bill promotes Abortion, Contraceptions & Mandatory Sex Education. It is against the constitution and it will lead to the destruction of the Filipino culture and values. Debates are given by TV networks and based on all its results, against RH Bill prevails. But the real debate and the future of this bill is happening at Congress.

June 6 & 8, 2011 are very significant days for me because that was the  first time I participated and experienced lobbying advocacy of  that controversial bill that will affect the future of our country. I was there as a part of Anti-RH group to support the Anti-RH congressmen specifically the young Cong. Nograles who did a privilege speech expose.

Its my First Time to set my foot here.The real debate on RH Bill is happening in this place.They call the place "Batasan".

The guards are quite strict but when they saw me, they gave a consideration and gave me permission to enter even the session are not yet started. I just took some pics  while waiting at the lobby.

At my back are the history of Philippine Politics. Enjoyed reading it and reminisced the past.

The tireless and full of optimism lobbyists group of Anti-RH. Rain or shine they are here to support and defend Life from womb to tomb.

At my back was the session hall of the Congress.

My second time here at congress. Noticed the big pile of papers on the top of each representative's table? I wonder if they read it all. Just wondering. :)

Pro-RH & Anti-RH supporters have separate galleries. If you will be facing the  session hall.Pro-RH gallery is on the left side while the Anti-RH Gallery is on the right side.

The Anti-RH side gallery. Me along with the Prolifer's group.

Me and my companions noticed these vans of a former mayor of Quezon City now a congressman coming  back and forth at the congress on the last day of the session. Probably its part of the "hakot" of the Pro-RH side. We just figured it out when at the start of the session most of the recognized audience at the Pro-RH side came from government offices and group from the said city.

Congressman Nograles was not able to give his privilege speech last June 6 . Maybe that's a part of delaying tactics. Congresswoman Garin keep on moving around the session hall and called other representatives to give their privilege speech on other impending laws. So we decided to go home early.

June 8 was different. This time Cong. Garin asked for a privilege speech and she was recognized. Cong. Garin is one of the proponents of RH Bill. She talked about "Viagra and Condoms". At first I was wondering why she's talking about viagra and what does it has to do with RH Bill.

As time goes by I was able to understand where her  speech is leading up to. She wants to stress out that we should treat Condoms and Pills as "LIFE SAVING DEVICES" rather than CONTRACEPTIVES like Viagra whom glorified for enhancing male sexuality.  I just asked myself upon hearing her speech, what happening to the reasoning of this doctor? Probably on my point of view shes more on a politician now or rather a marketing representative of contraceptives than a real doctor. Sad. :( 

The Anti RH gallery reacted on what she said and did some noise and  warned several times to keep quite as a respect to the one speaking on the floor. She's making an emotional tactic to win the sympathy of the other representatives to vote in favor on RH Bill.

Actually on my observations, not all congressmen are listening. They have their own business to make as the session goes on. Some just walking around or talking to other representatives. Some reading or browsing their papers, calling w/their cellphones and working on their laptops.

After her speech, finally the much awaited privilege speech of Congressman Nograles was recognized. His expose was all about "Devices of Death". He talked about the side effects of Contraceptives. If you want to read his privilege speech check this out at http://talklifelove.blogspot.com/2011/06/devices-of-death-by-cong-karlo-alexei.html?spref=fb

At the end of his speech, Cong. Nograles requested the House to initiate an immediate investigation on the serious failure of the health agencies in exercising its strict mandate to defend and safeguard the health of Filipinos, particularly our women, in accordance with the letter, spirit and intent of our laws.

Cong. Lagman asked permission to interpolate Cong. Nograles which I wonder why because I thought there will be no interpolations like the privilege speech of Cong. Garin. Cong. Lagman seems asking   misleading questions to put the young congressman on the spot. He wants to put the fact what the Pro-RH believed that Life begins at implantation not at fertilization so there's no life yet and no terminating effect when contraceptive was used. But the young congressman bravely answered the old congressman's questions that Life begins at fertilization and most of the contraceptives devices available in the market are abortifacient. 

A congressman requested a few minutes of session suspension and it was granted. Pro-RH proponents immediately had a ready table on the floor for a meeting. I wonder why people who was not part of the congress was allowed at the floor? e.g Beth Angsioco etc.

Cong. Nograles with the his fellow Pro-Life Representatives showing force.

One question that caught my interest was the question of Cong. Lagman about the proposal in the 1987 Constitutional Commission giving the right to life on the fertilized ovum. He said that the proposal was rejected by the Constitutional Commission.It was not approved, it was not constitutionalized.

The gallery of Anti-RH uproar showing an objection on what he said. I heard one commented "He's telling a lie again". I personally made some research about this and I found the best resource who can testify that the proposal of giving right to life on the fertilized ovum was not rejected, was approved and constitutionalized. It is worth noting that the particular sponsor of that particular Constitutional provision in Section II is the economist Bernardo Villegas who has the say what happened. http://fightrhbill.blogspot.com/2010/12/behind-scenes-on-1986-constitutional.html . Indeed Conception is Fertilization.. Life begins at fertilization.

Cong. Crisologo made a call to point of order and stressed out that the speech of Cong. Nograles is just a call for investigation and facts should be deal during the committee hearing and there was a certain rule violated. 

The last congress session ended with a closing remarks of Cong. Edcel Lagman followed by the House Speaker Cong. Sonny Belmonte.

Along with the Pro-Lifers, we waited for Cong. Nograles at the lobby  to congratulate him, show our support and gratitude for a job well done. As Pro-RH supporters came out at the lobby with Cong. Lagman, We were surprised when we heard Cong. Lagman's loud voice and the Pro-RH supporters started chanting "Ipasa! Ipasa! Now Na!" "Ipasa! Ipasa! Now Na!" . As we heard that, someone from the Pro-Lifers group started a graceful chant ( I know who she was :) ) that eventually changed the mood to a loud chant "Ibasura! Ibasura! Now Na!" "Ibasura! Ibasura! Now Na!" One of the congress guard, a woman warned us to stopped the chanting and said an insulting comments on us. One of the Pro-Lifers asked her why during the time the Pro-RH supporters were doing their chant not one of the guards stopped them. The woman guard made an alibi. Naturally they will not stopped the Pro-RH chanting with the presence of Cong. Lagman. I noticed some of the guards and employees of  Congress are biased. They seem to be unfriendly and strict to the Anti-RH supporters.

My souvenir pic with Cong. Karlo Nograles. The young congressman from Davao. With me is Ms. Ellen and Mam Lorna.

My Batasan experience gave me so much learning. The experience gave me different kind of feelings of excitement, irritations, fear and perhaps added an  adventure in my life's  journey. Perhaps defending Life from womb to tomb will not just stop from lipservice.....a call to defend life must be lived. To Act Justly, To Love Tenderly and To Walk Humbly with the Lord. (Micah 6:8)

On the RH Bill issues...you should know the truth. Read and study the bill and research. Don't just rely on media and TV personalities. Let us make stand to respect the value and dignity of  Life from womb to tomb and the Filipino Family. NO TO RH BILL!


  1. What a lovely post and a lovely blogsite. I had a taste of the Session through you. I also felt all the anger, irritation and elation because of Cong. Nograles. Thank God for congressmen like him. Continue the fight for life!!! PS I love your background song.

  2. Continue to fight what you believe is right! We love you...We are always behind you. Take care and GOD BLESS!