Quorum dispute forces early adjournment of House session-A A +A
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
THE House of Representatives adjourned its Tuesday session early after a congressman opposing the reproductive health (RH) bill accused the secretariat of miscounting the number of lawmakers present inside the plenary hall.
The House secretariat counted 155 legislators present after the roll call. The number is enough to constitute a quorum.
Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez shouted at members of the House secretariat, saying he only counted 111 members present on the floor.
“They can never fool us by saying that there is quorum. Based on perception alone, you can say there were no warm bodies on the floor,” he told reporters after the session.
Rodriguez said the supposed miscounting of present congressmen was a ploy of the pro-RH camp to start the period of amendments on the controversial measure.
“We will rise everyday here if there is no quorum… It is the responsibility of the pro-RH side to ensure there are enough warm bodies here,” he said.
House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II decided to adjourn the session.
Gonzales said Rodriguez's actions only delayed discussions on national bills, adding the RH bill was not in Tuesday's agenda.
"If he wants to count the members, he should resign as congressman and be a member of the secretariat," the House leader said.
The RH bill, a priority measure, is pending in second reading approval in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)