Quantcast
Latest Stories

Palace welcomes anti-RH suit

By ,

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Malacañang on Thursday welcomed the suit filed in the Supreme Court against the new reproductive health (RH) law, but belittled the arguments raised by the petitioners.

Secretary Edwin Lacierda, presidential spokesperson, said it was “good” that lawyer-couple James and Lovely Ann Imbong filed a case because “now the government through the Office of Solicitor General will be prepared to defend the RH law.”

In a press briefing Thursday, Lacierda said the petitioners did not raise any new issues that had not been brought up and answered during the congressional debates.

“The contention that was raised by Mr. James Imbong is not something new, it had already been raised during the debates,” he said.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said it was the right of the Imbongs to question Republic Act No. 10354—the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law—but “whether they would succeed was another matter.”

“They have to overcome the strong constitutional (as already cogently argued by eminent constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas), jurisprudential, equity and practical (both local and international experience) foundations upon which the much delayed responsible parenthood policy stands,” said Abad in a text message.

The RH law mandates the state to provide reproductive health services, including access to contraceptives and information on family planning, to couples that ask for it, and age-appropriate sex education to schoolchildren.

Arguing that this was unconstitutional, the Imbongs petitioned the high court to stop the government from enforcing the law.

 

Negating PH aspirations

In their petition for certiorari and prohibition, the Imbongs said the law introduced policies that “negate and frustrate the foundational ideals and aspirations of the sovereign Filipino.”

The law is to take effect on Jan. 17, or 15 days after its publication in a periodical of general circulation. It was quietly signed into law by President Aquino on Dec. 21, apparently to avoid stoking the passions that had surrounded it since its inception, especially on the part of the local Catholic Church.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Thursday it supported the Imbongs’ petition although it did not have a direct hand in its filing.

Petition was lay initiative

 

Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission On Family and Life, said the petition was a lay initiative and was not orchestrated by the bishops who had been blocking passage of an RH law for 14 years.

He said the fact that James Imbong was the son of CBCP legal counsel Jo Imbong was “only incidental.” Jo Imbong is a “collaborating counsel” in the case.

“We are glad the ordinary Catholic faithful are taking the initiative to further the discussion on the RH bill. Its enactment into law would not end our opposition to it,” Castro said.

The law’s principal author in the House of Representatives yesterday rushed to its defense.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman belittled the petition filed by the Imbongs,  saying it was “premature because it seeks to prevent the implementation of a law which is not yet in effect.”

“(It) is completely constitutional and will surmount any attack or test on its constitutionality,” Lagman said in a statement.

‘Flawed and fallacious’

 

Lagman also said that questioning the RH law based on the state guarantee of equal protection for the “life of the mother and the life of the unborn was flawed and fallacious.”

“The Constitution mandates the protection of the life of the unborn from conception. In other words, 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,” he said.

Another coauthor said the challenge to the RH law gave its proponents

one more opportunity to further explain its merits to the people, including its critics.

“I see no legal infirmity or illegality in any of its provisions,” Akbayan party-list Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, a lawyer, said in a phone interview. “If they want to question it, this is a good opportunity to explain it more to them.”

Senators both for and against the RH law also welcomed the Supreme Court case.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, one of the main proponents of the RH bill in the upper chamber, noted the measure survived intense scrutiny during heated debates in the Senate.

Subject to intense scrutiny

“The controversies and divisiveness attached to the measure while undergoing the legislative processes involved in lawmaking added more interest and caution before it was finally approved in both houses of Congress,” he said in a text message.

Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto, who opposed the measure, said he believed the Supreme Court would intensely scrutinize the law but his concern was still that it was imposed on Filipinos by foreign powers to influence or regulate the Philippine population.

“That’s why even if my amendments were accepted, I still voted against it,” he said. With reports from  Cathy Yamsuan, Christian V. Esguerra and Leila B. Salaverria

 First posted 12:31 am | Friday, January 4th, 2013


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Government , James Imbong , Judiciary , Legislation , Lovely-Ann Imbong , Politics , RH bill , RH law , Supreme Court




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • How other faiths observe Holy Week
  • No noise, partying in Boracay on Good Friday
  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement