One lazy sunday afternoon, I collated statistics: 5-6 pro RH Bill senators, 5 anti RH Bill senators , and 12 undecided senators. Just a week before, while having a Pinoy themed lunch with Carlos Celdran, Scott and Ryan, we discussed the challenges of the RH bill at the House of Senate. There are just too many fence sitters. Senator Koko Pimentel has made it clear he is against the RH Bill.
I was terribly disappointed with Senator Pimentel’s latest statement:
Why spend billions for condoms, etc.? We should be spending on education, jobs, real medicines that cure illnesses. Fertility is not an illness.”
I have been rooting for him to be at the Senate and he gives this kind of statement?
Yesterday I sent a tweet ranting about my disappointment on his anti RH Bill stand. I am not really out to convince the anti RH bill senators to change their stand . Senator Tito Sotto is one fine example of a staunch anti RH Bill senator but refuses public debate to defend his statements.
So I was quite surprised when Senator Pimentel via his @TeamSenKoko account tweeted this
Dear @MomBlogger, Hi ma’am goodafternoon! I and my team monitor the web daily and we stumbled on your recent tweet regarding the #RHbill.
I explained to the senator of my disappointment and that my focus is more on the undecided senators . He then added that “We can have a friendly discussion here in #Twitter. My office aims to be the most social media adept government office.” That was quite humbling and unexpected. I said that I could bring in @tweetnirizal and @carlosceldran. Pretty soon, Twitterverse soon began to engage with Senator Pimentel.
Tweets soon asked “why are you not in favor of the RH bill?” to which the reply was “The Senator is not totally against the principles of the RH bill. He is against some points in the law which are valid.”
That sounds reasonable. I thought he was dead set on being an anti-RH Bill senator. He concurs that “we have to see the bigger picture here that this isn’t only about providing condoms, etc. It is improving on basic services.” However , he seemed worried of the condom manufacturers asking ” Why don’t we let the condom, pills, iud manufacturers market them the same way as all other commercial products?”
@raissawriter raised a good point to the senator “… the profit that condom makers get from being used is INCIDENTAL to the RH bill. The law is not being passed FOR THEM.”
Besides the RH Bill is not just about giving free contraceptives. It is about informed choices.
It was decided that a discussion on Twitter through the #RHdebateonTwitter will be scheduled . Meantime, tweets came pouring in urging the senator like @jimparedes tweet to “… please heed the people and vote for RH. This is no time for political games. We want the RH bill passed.”
The senator may or may not change his stand on the RH Bill but he gets brownie points for reaching out to the citizenry. Like he said “As representative of the people, Senator Koko desires to hear both sides. Let us redefine the meaning of “Representative” Salamat! #RHbill”.
“KOKO IS YOUR SENATOR”, he says.
Those are just lip service for now. Let’s see if he is really working for the interest of the people.
May truth and reason prevail.
Below is just some of the discussion on twitter.