A group of community women interrupted a session in the House of Representatives, calling for delays on the passage of the RH Bill to end. This was not a silent call. The women shouted. They were immediately escorted out of the session hall because shouting in Congress is against the rules.
But what the women shouted about is not against the rules. It is not against the rules for Rep. Garcia and Rep. Kisumbing to be absent for their scheduled interpellations. It is not against the rules for Rep. Garcia to bring up conspiracy theories, nor is it against the rules for Rep. Daza and Rep. Bagatsing to waste an entire session talking about how boxing should be judged. And it is not against the rules for Rep. Apostol to step out in the middle of the session and make everyone wait while he had an hour-long merienda.
Even with all these dilatory tactics, these legislators played by the book and were not thrown out of the session hall. But they should have been. They should have been thrown out for all the taxpayer money spent on wasted session days, which some estimate at P17-20M per day. They should have been thrown out for using every loophole and tactic to delay the vote on RH, even if it means making a mockery of our legislative system. They should have been thrown out for even entertaining the idea that the suffering of countless women deserves less time than chatting about boxing and having a nice merienda.
By following the rules, the anti-RH legislators may not deserve to be thrown out of Congress. But by disrespecting democracy, they don’t deserve to be in there in the first place.