One of the most controversial issues in the country today dividing an individual’s sense of right and wrong and making a din in religious opinions and beliefs in the different sects is the proposed reproductive health law; and its obvious omission during President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) held at the House of Representatives on July 25, 2011 was not lost on the supporters of the RH bill.
The non-inclusion of the RH Bill from the SONA gave credence to those against the bill who perceived it as the president a backing down from the issue. Undaunted, proponents of the RH bill remain confident that it will pass before year’s end and some criticize the president for bowing to pressure from the religious sector. However, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said that President Aquino has not softened his stand on the reproductive health bill. “It’s not really softening of his stand (on RH bill). He’s just opening the doors for negotiations to keep this issue from becoming adversarial.”
Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco with Pres. Aquino after the SONA. (Photo by Dhang Manaois)
Also, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the same. “We just wanted to make mention of the fact that the CBCP is under new leadership. There has been lately a media conflict between the government and the church. That’s why we wanted to dispel that and with the new leadership coming in, we would expect a more fruitful dialogue and a more harmonious relationship.”
Congresswoman Kimi (center) with peers inside the House of Representatives. Photo taken after President Aquino’s SONA. (Photo by Dhang Manaois)
Pangasinan 5th district solon, Kimi Cojuangco, also explained that at the start of the session of the members of the Camara de Representante that morning prior to the president’s SONA, House speaker, Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. assured supporters that the very first thing that they shall be discussing is the proposed RH bill. “The speaker will not say it if it hadn’t come from the President himself!” she said.
. “It’s not really softening of his stand (on RH bill). He’s just opening the doors for negotiations to keep this issue from becoming adversarial.” … Ochoa