What’s the score? Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada said that there are 10 senators in favor and 10 against the RH bill.
Sen. Ping Lacson claimed that there are 14 senators in favor of the bill.
Senate President Enrile estimated 9 in favor and 8 against with 6 undecided.
The final vote will defend on what amendments are approved.
Sen. Pia Cayetano has started to compromise by deleting an entire subsection that Sen. Sotto said could be used to legalize abortion.
Cayetano also moves to amend the provision including certain family planning supplies and drugs in the essential list of medicines as suggested by Senate President Enrile.
In both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the final vote will depend on what the final version of the bill will be.
Rep. Jun Abaya said that there’s still no LP party position on the matter. It is expected that President Aquino will intervene to craft the final version.
Expect the debate to continue up to the end of the year, maybe longer.
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INVESTIGATION . . ABS-CBN management has written Vice President Jejomar Binay that it is now investigating the comments of Korina Sanchez in her Rated Korina show on August 24. She used the words maliliit, maitim at may spiritong maligno to refer to VP Binay who she claimed was lobbying to get the DILG post.
The investigation is being conducted by the Office of the Network Ombudsman headed by Jose Vitug.
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IMPROVEMENT . . The Philippines improved its global competitiveness ranking to no. 65 out of 144 countries from no. 75 last year. That is good news.
But it still trails its Southeast Asian neighbors namely Singapore (2nd), Malaysia (25th), Thailand (38th) and Indonesia (50th).
The only negative rating is the Philippines dropped in the area of primary education and health.
Meanwhile, the Philippines’ inflation rate hit a 7-month high at seven percent.
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BROADCASTER KILLED . . Eddie Jesus Apostol was found dead at the Liguasan Marsh near Sultan Sa Baronguis town in Maguindanao. He is the 6th journalist killed this year.
Subanen Chief Lucerio Manda of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur survived an attack, but his 11-year-old son was killed. Manda had opposed mining operations in his area.
Feliciano Infante, 64, head of Pasada, a driver’s group was shot dead by a motorcycle riding gunman in Angeles City.
A 3-day-old baby was kidnapped from the nursery room of Sta. Teresita Gen. Hospital in QC.
The incidence of crimes in Metro Manila increased by 57% for the first 6 months of 2012.
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KOTONG COPS . . Two Quezon City policemen have been sacked and are facing administrative and criminal charges for an extortion attempt on the son of Gen. Leonardo Espina.
Hulidap policemen are still plying their trade all over Metro Manila. Kotong cops routinely shake down cargo truck drivers.
Mayor Fred Lim has filed charges against 4 policemen for kidnapping a Pasig businessman.
DILG Sec. Mar Roxas must accord priority attention to reforming the police.
This is made urgent by the finding that crimes in Metro Manila has gone up by 57%.
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61% IN FAVOR . . In a poll conducted by The Center, 61% favored allowing President Macapagal Arroyo to seek medical treatment abroad.
She already underwent an operation here which did not succeed in solving her problem.
The titanium implant is now affecting her esophagus and making it difficult for her to swallow.
Certainly, humanitarian considerations should allow her to seek treatment abroad.
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NO FAST BREAK . . Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile rejected a motion by Nueva Ecija Congressman Rodolfo Antonino to approve DILG Sec. Mar Roxas in absentia. Enrile insisted that the required 7-day publication of Mar’s appointment must be complied with.
He is scheduled to be confirmed on Sept. 19.
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NO CHANGE . . Former National Treasurer Luz Briones has charged that P-Noy has a P317 billion special purpose fund that he could use for the 2013 campaign.
It was hoped that when President Aquino assumed office in 2010, he would start to dismantle the pork barrel system. The opposite happened as pork barrel allocation of Congressmen and Senators were increased.
It is common knowledge that there is a standard 30% commission being paid to legislators for their PDAP projects.
Certainly, this is one area where corruption is still the rule of the day.
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POLITICAL UPDATE . . On her birthday party, President Noynoy Aquino asked MTRCB Chairwoman Mary Grace Poe to run for the Senate. She is also being considered for an UNA slot.
Leni Robredo issued a statement saying she is 200% sure she is not running for Senator.
Annabelle Rama, talent manager, announced her candidacy for Congresswoman of Cebu City North District against comebacking Cong. Raul del Mar. Husband Eddie Gutierrez is campaigning for her.
Vice Gov. Enrico Corvera of Agusan del Norte is running for Mayor of Nasipit.
Mayor Sonia Torres of Tanauan, Batangas is sure to win her reelection bid. She has done well as Mayor.
Rep. Teddy Casiño is running for the Senate under Makabayan Coalition.
Former Gov. Arnan Panaligan is running for City Mayor of Calapan, Mindoro against Vice Mayor Jojo Perez.
City Mayor Paulino Leachon is running for Congress against Nico Valencia, youngest son of Rep. Rodolfo Valencia.
Greetings to avid readers Cong. Rodolfo Albano (Isabela), former Congressman Santiago Respicio, Rhona Alvarez, Roberto Bombasi, Bong and Ditas Aquino Ignacio, Girlie Ignacio, Mayor Virgilio Varias of Alfonso, Cavite, Board Member Irene Benecito of Cavite, Dra. Apple Manahan of Tagaytay City, Directors Danilo Dequito and Gilbert Gonzales of Legaspi.