RH law to survive hit on constitutionality, says solon

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RH Bill sponsor Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman. KAREN BONCOCAN/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the main proponent of the Reproductive Health measure in the House of Representatives on Thursday criticized the first petition filed against Republic Act 10354 and defended the new law’s constitutionality.

In a statement, Lagman said that the newly signed law was “completely constitutional and will surmount any attack or test on its constitutionality.”

He was reacting to a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the RH law filed by lawyers James Imbong and his wife Lovely-Ann at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the first business day of 2013.

“The RH law has not defiled any constitutional principles on proscription of abortion, protection of the unborn, religious freedom, family life, marriage and responsible parenthood,” said Lagman, who pointed out that “all relevant provisions of the Constitution” had also been included in the law.

He enumerated reasons why invoking Section 12 of Article II of the 1987 Constitution which provides, among others, that the State “shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn” as a challenge on the RH law was “flawed and fallacious”:

1. The genesis of the subject provision shows that the “unborn” does not refer to the “fertilized ovum” which was not given the right to life;

2. The life of the “unborn” is protected “from conception”, not before conception when there is nothing yet to protect; and

3. The intention of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is to prevent the Congress and the Supreme Court from legalizing abortion, which criminal act the RH law does not tolerate and in fact prohibits.

Lagman said that what the Constitution mandated was that the life of the unborn be protected from conception. “No less than the Constitution acknowledges that life begins when conception sets in, and it is upon conception that there is an ‘unborn’ which is entitled to protection.”

“The rejected precursor of the subject provision on the ‘protection of the unborn’ was the proposal to include in Section 1 of the Bill of Rights the proposition that the ‘right to life extends to the fertilized ovum’,” he said, pointing out how the proposal was rejected by the Constitutional Commission of 1986.

This, he said, “unmistakably evinces that the purported concept that ‘life begins at fertilization’ was not constitutionalized.”

The Albay legislator added how such a provision was “in consonance with medical science” which he said does not view the fertilized ovum as viable until it implants on the woman’s uterus.

He said that the provision sought to ensure that abortion will not be legalized and explained that this was something that the RH law subscribed to.

“It does not legalize abortion,” Lagman maintained, pointing out how the new law “recognizes that abortion is illegal and punishable by Law” and includes as part of reproductive health care the “proscription of abortion and management of abortion complications”.

He further explained how no law prohibits the use of contraceptives which he said “are not abortifacients.”

“Contraception prevents conception or pregnancy, while abortion terminates pregnancy. This is the whale of a difference which the detractors of the RH law refuse to see,” said the lawmaker.

One of the RH law’s provisions states that the government will not promote contraceptives that “prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).” Lagman said that once contraceptives failed, “no human or medical intervention is authorized to prevent its implantation in the mother’s uterus.”

He said that the RH law respected the couples’ rights to start their family in accordance to their religious convictions. “The RH law is replete with provisions upholding religious freedom and respecting religious convictions consistent with the hallmark of the law on freedom of informed choice.”

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • John Sulayman

    The Church and all the antis should just give up.

    • rayingga

      Give them a chance to play their cards, it is their rights under our democratic system. Just wait and see what will be the next scenario, If the SC says it is constitutional and legal wala na silang dahilan para mag-ingay.

      • Htee

        Hehe…next step…they will call on the ALMIGHTY to send us a sign that he disapprove this law.

      • motorcyclemama

         They already did. But it only goes to show that God did not obey their will.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

        hehe, eh di ba nga sabi na nung isang bishop na ang bagyong pablo daw ay galing sa diyos dahil gusto natin ng rh law?  :-P

      • motorcyclemama

        They have their chance for almost 14 years. And yet, people are ignorant about reproductive health.

  • brunogiordano

    He further explained how no law prohibits the use of contraceptives which he said “are not abortifacients.”
    “Contraception prevents conception or pregnancy, while abortion terminates pregnancy. This is the whale of a difference which the detractors of the RH law refuse to see,” said the lawmaker.

    MAHIRAP BANG INTINDIHIN ITO?????

    RH LAW IS 100 PER CENT LEGAL and CONSTITUTIONAL.

    • motorcyclemama

       Korek ka dyan!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PZR7JI7G2WD2CTVMZ7LM667FD4 Ugly Bunny

    STOP THIS NONSENSE. IT IS ALREADY A LAW, TIME FOR FOI AND ANTI-DYNASTY BILL!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPLUBLEOSERDBOIJTDOC6XIWGU mxsclxmxn

      owwsss…what about the Cyber Law? Fool!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PZR7JI7G2WD2CTVMZ7LM667FD4 Ugly Bunny

         Fool your face. Moron! :D

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPLUBLEOSERDBOIJTDOC6XIWGU mxsclxmxn

        Fool? Was Cyber Law stop by the SC? Fool you are!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PZR7JI7G2WD2CTVMZ7LM667FD4 Ugly Bunny

        Fool your face. Moron! :D

  • acidicboy

    where are the cut-n-paste brainless hordes? the modern day pharisees? they should be insulting lagman and wishing death on him by now….

  • Garote

    This Lagman is a “constitutional joker.” He makes me laugh every time he gives his interpretation on  a constitutional provision, He knows how to extrapolate out of context anything he reads in the constitution. He was the clown of GMA, now he is  the clown of PNoy. What is the common denominator Lagman likes of GMA and PNoy — it’s their “PORK.”

    • taga_ilog

      Do you presume to know more about the constituton than Lagman?

      • Garote

        The right questions to be asked are: Does Lagman think he has the monopoly in interpreting the constitution? Can Lagman read minds (of SC justices), why is he preempting the  SC by saying the RH law is constitutional?

      • taga_ilog

        who said that he has the monopoly in interpreting the constitution, the real question is who among you are qualified to interpret it, I do not presume to qualify in interpreting it because I am a layman in terms of the law, if you consider him as a joke then it is but natural to think that you know more about the constitution, and besides when was he preeempting the sc? do you mean to say that the sc doesn’t have a spine and will listen to lagman. I never knew he was that influential with the sc

      • Garote

        Aside from showing you’re his apologist, your statement assumes Lagman to know more about the constitution than the rest of the Filipinos, to include our SC. Is he? Where did he get such an absurd idea?

      • taga_ilog

        I never was an apologist of anyone, is that how you respond to valid argument? Can you site any thing in my previous comment that I, in anyway indicated that lagman knew more of the constitution? 

    • joshmale2004

      Then can you refute Lagman’s “constitutional joker” interpretation of the constitution and just write down here how you interpret as your own a more credible interpretation than that of Lagman which you consider a joke? This is your moment to prove Lagman is nothing compared to you intelligence.

      • Garote

        Read the petition for certiorari filed with the SC, I share the petitioner/s’ interpretation of the constitution.

    • rayingga

       Now prove to all readers your valid and correct interpretation within the context and convince us that Lagman is wrong…..No mentioning of pork barrel that is irrelevant.

      • Garote

        Read the petition for certiorari filed with the SC, I share the petitioner/s’ interpretation of the constitution.

    • motorcyclemama

       All right, you are always correct. thank you.

      Next candidate, please.

  • LalakeAko

    sore losers ang mga ati-rh…. yun lang!

  • BurgerBeacon

    Sa mga Anti-RH people, may kaunting exam lang po sa baba to test your knowledge regarding the R.H Law:

    1) TRUE or FALSE:  “R.H.” stands for Republic Health

    2) TRUE or FALSE: RH Law REQUIRES all males to use condom for every intercourse to prevent conception to impede population growth

    3) TRUE or FALSE: RH Law REQURIES all pregnant women to submit themselves for abortion to impede population growth

    4) TRUE or FALSE: Condoms are made of plastic material

    Kung lahat ng sagot ninyo sa apat na tanong ay TRUE, meron pong crocodile farm sa Cavite sa Island Cove, tumalon kayo don sa pugad ng mga buaya para lamunin kayo at mapapakinabangan pa nila ang mga karne at buto ninyo at mabusog pa sila.

    Thank you for taking the exam.

    • rayingga

      Ano ang maiituro mong mabuti para sila maeducate? Dapat ipinaliwanag mo ng maayos para nakatulong ka sa hindi gaanong naiintidihan ang talagang issue.

      • BurgerBeacon

        Mahirap turuan ang mga nagdudunungdunungan, nag-aabo-abogadohan, at nagpapare-pare-an!

      • motorcyclemama

         Ah ok, atorni. Ipaliwanag  mo pa uli.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    SATANAS CARNIVAL TAGLE DAMASO!! BRAIN WASH PILIPINO TO BE IDIOTS AND STUPID!!

    • joshmale2004

      Sir I’ve been noticing a lot of your comments. Although probably we are both PRO RH, I don’t find it in good taste the way you are bashing the Catholic Church especially its Cardinal and Bishops. They maybe ANTI and most of the times act arrogant but it’s not also proper calling them names and profanities. I don’t believe these offensive words are the right way to win any arguments.I hope you are not offended by this but accept it as a friendly advice from a brother.

      • where_I_stand

        It is good that you take notice of his rants. It is unnecessary for him to launch his antichurch propaganda. In fact, name calling Cardinal Tagle is a paranoid of an irrational mind. His antichurch paranoid has become madness. What a pity!

        If this Edgardo Mendoza is a member of the Filipino Freethinkers of Tani, he must call his attention. Freethinkers enthroned reason over madness, either in the form of religious fanaticism or a cultural illness of society.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPLUBLEOSERDBOIJTDOC6XIWGU mxsclxmxn

        Hahaha…he cant understand it. He is an abnormal being!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPLUBLEOSERDBOIJTDOC6XIWGU mxsclxmxn

        You should hold your
        dog by its collar so it won’t bark and bark like a mad stupid dog! Train your
        dragon…ahe your dog I mean…just tell it, hey doggie don’t eat your shxt! 

      • joshmale2004

        Why don’t you tell him your self my friend.Just be careful of rabies.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPLUBLEOSERDBOIJTDOC6XIWGU mxsclxmxn

        Hahaha, ayaw ko! Ano breed nyan? Hahaha!

    • rayingga

      I go and vote for joshmale2004 opinion, very civilized.

  • AgnosticLeader

    the content of the petition is just a rehash of the objections raised during the debates in congress and these have been parrotted a lot of times in most of the blogs. seriously, what is the basis to state that the “unborn” is a fertilized ovum? 

  • http://twitter.com/akosijapney Al Japney J. Loredo

    With all what he’s said, I rest my case. Only those narrow minded people who will never get it. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FQQPZLNOMD2EBFTHSWOP6QGZWY Marshall

    Cong. Edcel pakibugahan nga ninyo ng inyong hininga ang mag-asawang Tumbong na to para bumalik sa kanilang katinuan..mukhang nadaplisan ng mga stray bullets sa kukote itong dalawang kaya nagwawala…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/44XCXHEOF5JX5BJV5SGBNAYI5Y I

    Panahon na nating mga Pilipino na alamin ang pagkakaiba ng Science sa Relihiyon. hindi naman kelangan na parating Relihiyon ang nangingibabaw and vice versa. sa pagkakataong usapan tungkol sa RH bill sa palagay ko mangingibabaw ang Science para sa ikakabuti ng mas nakakaraming Pilipino.

  • boldyak

    a government who provide his people materials to pursue their L,U,S,T…is an immoral government…teach people how to be responsible, be a good parent but should not provide condoms…laws shall only be made based on moral grounds..if you don’t know the word moral values…the society is doomed…

    • mucho_cheapo

      Based on your statements, the Philippine Catholic Church FAILED miserably to teach his flock to be responsible parents. It’s not soley the government job, the Church has a lot more say on Moral Values of it’s flock.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

      i guess you are the only morally upright person in the world by the way you force your brand of morality.  i would presume you do not have an iota of immorality in you. that you never, in your entire life, have lustful thoughts.  say yes and you are nothing but a hypocrite.

      morality is relative.  depending on culture. 

  • weeshfulThinker

    This bill (now a law) has been in Congress for more than a decade. I really think that with that length of time, the legislators have straightened out all the details that the anti-RH will throw at them. I really think every Filipino give the law a chance. The thing with the anti-RH people is that they are twisting the components of the law. Then they are telling people the twisted truths, thus creating more confusion.

    hmm… Just maybe, these anti-RH people are the ones that has a hidden agenda… That is why they won’t give up and continues on bashing the RH law.

  • boldyak

    people lower their moral values to satisfy their worldly satisfaction and make immoral things as if they are morally good to justify their immoral acts…

    • mucho_cheapo

      Are you talking about pedophile priests?

    • motorcyclemama

      “So that you will become the children of your Father who is in Heaven,
      for his sun rises on the good and upon the evil and his rain descends on
      the just and on the unjust.” – Mat 5:45.

  • boldyak

    having sex without the purpose of procreation is an immoral act, immoral acts only endulge in wordly satisfaction….L,U,S,T..

    • http://twitter.com/ibumalatuk Romel Humiwat

    • Htee

      Boldyak, ang ibig mong sabihin hindi na dapat sumiping ang kumpare kong baog kay kumare. Aba, paano kung maghanap ng iba si kumare?
      Pambihira ka naman…sarilinin mo na lang ang moralidad mo.

      • boldyak

        ibig sabihin kung hihiwalayan ng kumare mo ang kumpare mong baog, nagsasama lang sila dahil sa sex…is that good?…where is LOVE?…is that what marriage is all about, sex?…..hahaha….wala na nga tayong moralidad kung ganyan…you just proved my point……dapat na nga silang di na magsama dahil ang kumare mo, L,I,B,O,G lang gusto..hahaha…you have try more than that…have you seen people caring for there love ones, kahit paralisado?…they have no sex but because of love, inaalagaan nya ng husto…OMG…lalo mong pinapakita na mababa na talaga ang moralidad natin..count me out of your kind of morality..

      • http://ourleftfoot.blogspot.com/ Tristanism

        You kinda missed the point.

        Kung ang pakikipagtalik ay para lang sa procreation, paano naman ang kalagayan ng mga taong baog? Hindi naman nila kasi kayang makipagtalik for the sake of procreation. Hindi na ba sila makikipagtalik?

    • http://twitter.com/akosijapney Al Japney J. Loredo

      Define morality. 

      • boldyak

        hindi mo alam?…pag-aralan mo…

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/UZF4OTGY4BREFE42RXP7FZJKFY Ding

        Bahala ka diyan, Jack, kaya mo ‘yan.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6UL2UG4OGTMCLSYGB5MVJ7USE InSearchOfTruth

        hindi rin nya alam ang morality kaya ang sagot nya “pag-aralan mo”

        ang galing di ba?

    • motorcyclemama

       Ah kaya pala sa lalake pumapatol ang mga pari.

    • mucho_cheapo

      What about those pedophile priests who prey on innocent young boys and poke their poop chute? Is that moral? I know they’re not procreating either.

    • constant_thinking

       If you have sex to make love, e.g. married couples having sex to express their love with one another, is that immoral?

    • madallison

      So how about when a couple uses natural means of family planning like only having sex on days when the woman isn’t fertile? They will also be having sex without the purpose of procreation. But the Church doesn’t think that’s immoral. What hypocrites!

      • artz555

        You’re exactly right ‘ madallison ‘….. ‘ boldyak and the likes should read your reply/message. 

    • wawangpenoy

       I am very tempted to accuse you of hypocrisy but no.  You are not dumb ‘cuz you’re beneath that. You are not ignorant, again ‘cuz your’re way beneath that. To even use those words on you would be a complement. For lack of a more suitable word you are TOTALLY STUPID.

      Hey fellow posters! Can you help me out here. I can’t seem to grab the word to describe this guy.
      Thank you.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UZF4OTGY4BREFE42RXP7FZJKFY Ding

      nagugulat ako sa iyo…sana, totoo na sa loob mo ang sinasabi mo this time.  Sana, ilaban mo ‘yab.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NV25ZPWMBDYFXEYR3AWQ43ZS5E Hein S

    When the RH Bill was approved in OTALY, the pope was QUIET.

    Why are the lowly bishops so NOISY?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/25UAHA74QQS5NENIA3EXO2A7PY Faisal salman

      tanong lang po…saan po ba ang OTALY….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    GOOD JOB SIR LAGMAN OBISPO SALOT SA PILIPINAS KUNG MAG SINUNGALING WAGAS!! DAMASO!! SATANAS CARNIVAL TAGLE DAMASO!!

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