FOR sure it may not sound nice, but it is not too farfetched to advance that this 15th Congress will go down in history as the most harassed ever. While supposedly a constitutionally independent body, the members of this congress have been literally summoned by another supposedly independent body, the Executive Department, to Malacañang in just a period of about few months for one reason or the other, but always ending up rushing to Congress through hell or high waters, like lapdogs, to maneuver the immediate passage of the Reproductive Health Bill.
It may be said that this breed is a pitiful group. Aside from a president who maybe cartooned as dangling food to his puppies and doing a blitzkrieg to scheme an impeachment, some of them are under pressure, or say, harassed, by foreign countries and multinational companies who, according to reports, have been bankrolling them with lobby money, and therefore, are too confident enough to give deadlines when this legislation should be approved by hook or by crook.
Es lastima!, as the Spaniards would say. And it is even observable that during floor deliberations the very arguments that they tow come neither from their own patriotic convictions—if at all there is such a thing—nor from the needs and sentiments
of their constituents whom they represent and, therefore, they should follow more than the moneyed lobbyists from pharmaceutical companies and other foreign entities.
By the likes of it, there seem to be a timeframe structured or dictated by foreign lobbyists. If such should be the case, then there is a plausible explanation why the rush to approve such a most contentious and unnecessary bill even at this 11th hour when, in fact, there are more pressing legislative concerns that should be attended to—not to mention other exigencies such as the ongoing calamity in Mindanao that Representatives had to set aside just to attend to the whims of a foreign-dictated legislative agenda—which, hopefully, does not smack of foreigners trampling upon the sovereignty of such an august body, that in itself spells disaster.
By cursory review, perhaps this is the only Congress and the only House Bill in Philippine history that has been too persistent and too pestering. And perhaps this is the only Bill that was not certified as a priority bill by the President, but is being pursued de facto by him and his lackeys more than any other priorities. But again, it’s a pity to see Congress harassed—even without them realizing that they are being had happily or otherwise.