Oral arguments on RH law resume Tuesday

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MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court will resume Tuesday hearing the oral arguments on the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RH) law, which was suspended on Aug. 20 due to the bad weather brought by Tropical Storm “Maring.”

Senior State Solicitor Florin Hilbay of the Office of the Solicitor General will speak for the government in the fifth and last round of oral arguments on the RH law, otherwise known as Republic Act No. 10354.

The conclusion of Tuesday’s oral arguments will pave the way for deliberations by the high court on whether or not to declare the RH law constitutional and whether to lift the tribunal’s second order stopping the government from implementing it.

Since July 9, the 15-member Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno has listened to and debated with speakers representing Catholic groups challenging the constitutionality of the RH law and those representing the government and private sector who support it.

The law, signed by President Aquino in December last year, allows the state to use public funds to educate the youth on RH matters, improve maternal health and provide couples who ask for it with contraceptives.

While the high court was listening to the oral arguments, it extended on July 17 its status quo ante (SQA) order preventing the government from implementing the RH law “until further orders.”

It first issued an SQA for 120 days on March 19.

An SQA is issued to preserve the last uncontested status before the litigation or filing of a petition.

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