MANILA, Philippines - Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was forced to rise from her sick bed after her colleagues in the House of Representatives decided to move to Monday the voting on whether or not to terminate the debates on the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.
Arroyo was ordered to have complete bed rest since she was still suffering from her acute cervical and lumbar strain. She was excused earlier today by the Sandiganbayan from her pre-trial for plunder charges in connection with the botched NBN-ZTE deal.
Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales Jr. earlier told reporters a consensus was arrived at during a caucus over lunch attended by members of the lower House and President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang.
He said the majority, even the anti-RH Bill advocates, have already reached a consensus to end the debates today.
Pro- and anti-RH Bill leaders will next battle it out during the period of amendments. Gonzales suggested to create a committee to study the amendments.
He could not say yet when the second reading for the controversial bill will be scheduled.
Members of the lower House will not yet vote to pass or not the bill. However, the development today is seen as a major boost to the bill, which is widely criticized by the Catholic Church. - from a report by Jon Ibañez, dzMM