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. Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  2. Name names, Lacson told
  3. Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  4. Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  5. Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  6. Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  9. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  10. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
Advertisement

News

  • Roxas on suspension: I’m not above the law
  • Singaporean fined nearly $8,000 for animal cruelty
  • Pope in hot water over ‘personal’ phone calls
  • Foreign food aid drying up in North Korea
  • Cayetano to DOJ: Bare Napoles’ list of ‘pork’ officials
  • Sports

  • Guiao fined P100,000 for ‘mongoloid’ comment vs Meralco forward
  • Hawks and Grizzlies revel in home wins
  • Floyd: Manny’s power gone
  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • BDO nets P5.5 B in Q1
  • Pacquiao may be 2013 top taxpayer
  • Emperador nets P1.7 B in Q1
  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Plane lands at Bali airport in suspected hijacking—Indonesia air force
  • Obama lands in Seoul as N. Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Militant protests vs Obama, US set
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement