FROM SESSION HALL TO SOCIAL MEDIA | House members twit one another on RH Bill–house-members-twit-one-another-on-rh-bill

By: Lira Dalangin-Fernandez,
November 21, 2012 3:02 PM
The online news portal of TV5

Twitter has become the next battlefield for the Philippines’ Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

Unfortunately, it’s not between the bill’s proponents and opponents.

The latest skirmish is between one of the bill’s authors and a leader of the House of Representatives.

The word war started when Pangasinan Representative Kimi Cojuanco started posting tweets that accused Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II of delaying the bill’s discussion, citing influence from the Catholic hierarchy.

Asked to react to Cojuangco’s twitter messages, Gonzales said, “I don’t know what she had for breakfast.”

Gonzales’ remark prompted Cojuangco to post another tweet.

“In fairness to all the Catholic priests, monsignor, bishops in Manduyong they never tried to influence me. Besides, when Cardinal Rosales became the Archbishop of Manila, he lived in Manila, not in Mandaluyong. It would be wise for her for the sake of RH advocates tokeep her mouth shut,” Gonzales said in a text message.

Gonzales does not have a Twitter account.

The lack of quorum delayed the RH bill, preventing it from being tackled in the plenary, Gonzales added.

Copies of a substitute bill were distributed last month to the House members for their review.

House leaders are hoping the substitute bill could become the basis for discussion when the measure goes intothe period of amendments.

But the measure’s new version has yet to be raised on the floor since lawmakers returned to session three weeks ago.

A quorum was reported only on one day (Monday, November 19) in the eight days the House held sessions since returning from a break on November 5.

It registered its lowest attendance in the 15th Congress, with only 70 members present, on Tuesday, November 20, according to Kabataan partylist Representative Raymond Palatino.

“The lack of quorum is slowly killing the RH bill,” Palatino said in a separate tweet.

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