Sen. Pia Cayetano says P-Noy’s deprioritization of RH bill "indicates an indecisive leadership vulnerable to pressure;" DSWP’s E

Senator Pia Cayetano, one of the advocates of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, has expressed disappointment over Malacañang’s decision to exclude the bill from its list of priority measures, reports PhilStar.com. Their decision "indicates a leadership that is indecisive and vulnerable to pressure," she said earlier this week.

"What was worse was that President (Noynoy Aquino) pulled out the RH Bill from the list of priority bills at a time when the congressional hearings are about to be concluded and the plenary debates would commence," Cayetano added. "This will be a true test of the political will of this administration, as well as the President's sincerity and conviction."

Meanwhile, Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) Chair Elizabeth Angsioco said in a statement released this week, "(The administration’s move) is not only anti-women, but also anti-poor. (The President) is betraying the millions of Filipinos who voted for him because he made a pact that he will listen to them. The RH bill was a campaign promise under his social contract with the Filipino people."

DSWP added, "Women’s organizations have repeatedly requested for a dialogue with P-Noy on this issue, but we were, and are continuously ignored. Instead, he gave in to the whims of the Catholic hierarchy." Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda earlier denied that the Malacañang has given in to the Catholic Church’s anti-Reproductive Health Bill stand, but said they "are not introducing the bill until after (they) finish the dialogue with the bishops."

Ramon San Pascual, executive director of the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc., told PhilStar.com, "We urge him (Aquino) to reconsider the inclusion of (the) RH bill as a priority bill." He added, "This is the time that the President must act on behalf of poor women and families by standing firm on his promise to pursue responsible parenthood... It would be unfair for women to continue to become hostage of a dialogue and debate that has been going on for the past 10 years."

For more on this story, log on to PhilStar.com.

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