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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Camsur Envy of RH Bill Advocates

The smackdown that occurred the other day between Senate President Enrile and Senator Trillanes IV could not have been missed by news followers, which had the elements of a telenovela: insults, accusations of backdoor dealings, bombastic speeches, a walkout, and the casting of aspersions on character.

Have you placed your bets?
(Courtesy of

My, my. What a show.

While social media is bursting at the (cyber) seams with commentaries on why a single senator is representing foreign policy decisions on behalf of our government (which is the gist of Enrile's speech in the Senate that day, punctuated with the never-neutral word "traitor"), I am focusing on why Trillanes IV spoke up: a bill that was not really brought to public consciousness until he did, pushing for the partitioning of Camarines Sur.

Apparently, the Lower House has approved this bill that would divide the said province, and it was forwarded to the Senate for approval.

Trillanes IV maintains that this was the handiwork of former President Arroyo, whose son is a legislator in the said province. He also brought to the fore the fact that Rep. Villafuerte has been seen "lounging" around Enrile's office, apparently lobbying for the bill to be approved. Enrile admitted as much during his interview posted at the ANC Facebook page, and considers the congressman a friend.

Which brings me to a confession: I have Camsur Envy.

I wish the Senate President felt an urgent need to discuss the Reproductive Health Bill, and bring the matter to a vote, the way Trillanes IV has described Enrile with regards to House Bill 4820: "pressured".

(See more here:

Far be it for a "mere" citizen like me to remind any senator that s/he was voted not as a local, but as a national representative. That they are supposed to give priority to measures and bills that are national in scope, that have implications for everyone in this country, that their votes have consequences that extend beyond their terms.

Comparing the scope, implications and consequences of the RH Bill with Camsur's division, and considering the latter to be more "urgent" says to me that our senators have a rather cavalier attitude towards matters like maternal deaths, but would rise up in parliamentary anger should their biases ever be questioned.

I chanced upon Enrile being interviewed by Mareng Winnie Monsod, who asked for his reaction when he is thought of as delaying voting on the RH Bill. He denied it, saying that without the amendments, the bill would surely lose.

You would think that as a staunch opponent of the said bill, he would immediately call for the period of amendments to end and to immediately vote for or against it in order did Sen. Sotto say it, get it out of their hairs.

A quote I find to be truer with each breath I take is that "people may not always believe what you say, but they'll always believe what you do." Or in Enrile's case, what he doesn't do.

This latest revelation merely proves one thing: what is deemed "necessary" to be discussed in the halls of the Philippine Senate is a matter of will, political and otherwise.

Buti pa ang paghahatian ng Camsur, napagtoonan ng pansin ng Senado. (The partitioning of Camsur fared better, because the Senate gave it due attention.)

Kawawa naman ang RH Bill. Boto lang ang kailangan para mairesolba, di pa magawa. (Alas for the Reproductive Health Bill, all it needs for the issue to be resolved is to vote for or against it, and the senators couldn't even be bothered to do so.)

And so, my Camsur Envy goes on.


  1. mas malaki kasi kikitain kung hahatiin ang cam sur kaysa pagbotohan ang RH Bill hahahaha...

    1. As we now say in the vernacular, "true ka dyan".

  2. thanks for sharing..