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Enrile, Sotto deny delaying RH bill deliberations


Known Reproductive Health (RH) bill oppositors Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Monday denied they were delaying the deliberations on the controversial measure.
 
"Paano magkakaroon ng delaying tactics? We are working in accordance with the rules.  There's no effort on the part on any one of us to delay the proceedings," Enrile told reporters during an interview.
 
Enrile's remark came after Senator Pia Cayetano earlier in the day branded as "irresponsible and a delaying tactic" the possible postponement of the deliberations on the RH bill in the Senate.
 
Cayetano, for her part, was reacting to Enrile's statement over the weekend that given congressional breaks and the upcoming polls, the period of amendments on the RH bill may be moved to June next year.  
 
But on Monday, Enrile clarified that he only said that because he cannot predict what will happen during the remaining session days.
 
"Sinabi ko lang yun because of the presence of many pending issues here...budget, sin tax...lahat yun priority bills yun.  [And] I cannot say how many will be presenting amendments and how soon the amendments will be disposed," he said.
 
"She can make the proper motion if she wants to hasten it then we will submit it to a vote," he added.
 
Sotto likewise said that this is just the claim of the pro-RH camp, that they are delaying the proceedings.
 
"If delaying tactics are going to be used, then they will not have it on the floor, as simple as that," Sotto said in a separate interview.
 
The period of amendments was supposed to follow Sotto's three-part Turno En Contra against the RH bill. Sotto is expected deliver the third part on Wednesday.
 
"If regular bills or even local bills are subjected to scrutiny why not a very controversial bill that seeks to divide the country and it is dividing the country right now, bakit kailangan apurahin ‘yan at hindi natin pag-usapan mabuti rito," he said. — RSJ, GMA News