The Reproductive Health bill may have the numbers for its passage in the Senate, no less than Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, a staunch foe of the measure, admitted this on Sunday.
Enrile said he learned of this after informally asking his colleagues about their positions on the controversial proposed measure.
“Ang reading ko, may numero na ang pro-RH,” he said in an interview on dzBB radio.
He also said the pro-RH side appeared to “have the numbers” even before President Benigno Aquino III certified the bill as urgent.
Enrile declined to give figures, but said the count may be “very close,” adding there are still some senators who are undecided and may make their mind after hearing all arguments on the bill.
“Marami ang nagsasabi na hindi nila alam ang position, hihintayin nila na marinig ang lahat na argumento o amendment,” he said.
The bill has been passed by the House of Representatives on second reading even as the Senate tackles its version of the bill on Monday.
“Conscience vote ito, kanya-kanyang paningin, kanya-kanyang position batay sa paniniwala niya kung ano ang nararapat na gagawin at ano ang mabuti sa bayan,” Enrile said.
But he also said the senators who voted on the bill will be judged only by the passage of time.
“Ang maghuhusga sa bawa’t isa sa amin, ang panahon. Hindi mo naman mapapatunayan ang position mo ang totoong position. Darating ang panahon maramdaman ng taumbayan kung tama o hindi ang decision,” he said.
On the other hand, Enrile said he is not keen on questioning the bill should it become law so long as he is in the Senate, but hinted he may question it once he leaves the Senate in 2016.
“You have to respect my position as part of the institution that approved it. (But) when I am no longer in the Senate, I can raise an issue against it in the proper case,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Malacañang, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said they are hopeful the House of Representatives will pass the bill on third reading.
She said most of the 60-plus absentees who did not vote last week are being considered as pro-RH.
“We hope the vote will be sustained,” she said on government-run dzRB radio on Sunday.