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Justice De Castro Concurring Opinion.pdf

Justice De Castro Concurring Opinion.pdf

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Published by CBCP for Life
Justice De Castro Concurring Opinion
Justice De Castro Concurring Opinion

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Published by: CBCP for Life on Apr 10, 2014
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09/07/2014

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Jl\epuulic
of
the
J IJihppim.>g
~uprenn
Q[ourt
jjill{UiO
( [it '
G.R.
No.
204819
-
.James
M
I
mbong,
er al
versus
Hon. Paquito
1'.
Ochoa,
,Jr.,
t
al ;
G.R.
No.
204934
-
Alliance
for
the
Family Foundation Philippines,
Inc.,
t
al
versus
llon.
Paquito
N.
Ochoa,
.Jr.,
t
al ;
G.R.
No.
204957
-
Task
Force
for
Family
and
Life
Visayas, Inc.,
t
ul
versus
lion. Paquito
N.
Ochoa,
,Jr.,
t
al ;
G.H
.
No.
204988
-
Serve
Life
Cagayan
de
Oro
City,
Inc.,
t
al
versus
Office
of
the
President,
t
al ;
G.R.
No.
205003
-
Expedito
A.
Bugarin,
.Jr.
versus
Offices
of
the
Hon.
President
of
the Republic
of
the
Philippines,
t
al ;
G.R.
No. 205043 -
Eduardo
Olagucr,
t
al
versus DOH
Secretary Enrique
T.
Ona,
t
al ;
G.R.
No.
205138
-
Philippine
Alliance
of
XSeminarians,
Inc.
(PAX),
t
al
versus
Hon.
Paquito
N.
Ochoa,
,Jr.,
t
al ;
G.R.
No.
205478
-
Reynaldo
.J.
Echavez,
M.D.,
t
al
versus Hon.
Paquito
N.
Ochoa,
.Jr.,
t
al ;
C.R.
No. 205491 -
Spouses Francisco
S.
Tatad,
t
al
versus
Office
of
th<·
President
of
the
Republic
of
the
Philippines; G.R.
No.
205720
-
Pro
Ufc
Phi1ippines
Foundation,
Inc.,
t
al
versus
Office
of
the President,
et al ;
G.R.
No.
206355
-
Millennium
Saint Foundation,
Inc.,
i
al
versus Office
of
the President,
t
al ;
G.R.
No. 207111 -
John
Walter
B
ual,
t
al
versus
Hon.
Paquito
N.
Ochoa,
.Jr.,
et
al ;
G.R.
No.
207172
-
Coupll-s
for
Christ
Foundation,
Inc.,
t
al
versus
lion.
Paquito
N.
(>dw:J,
.fr.~
al :
CJ<
No.
207563
-
Almarim Centi Tillah,
t
al
versus
l':xe~utin:
Secretary Paquito
N.
Ochoa,
.Jr.,
t
al
Prom u I gated:
~~
 
i
 
_
 -2Dli
_____ _
x -------------------------------
 
p
- 
CONCURRING OPINION
LF:ONARDO-DE
CASTRO,
J.:
The
question
of
validity or nullily
of
laws is not dctcrrrnncd
by
\.vhu
makes
the
most popular
of
arguments in lcgislati vc
or
academic
h~ills
Or
Lhc
rnost p<issionatc
or
picas in the
pL r
iarncnt
ol
the
streets.
Th~
issue
o:
validity
of
laws
is
not
a
matter
:lf
popularily
or
passion
brn
is
~
question
o ·
L~o11fl)rrn1ty
with the
Con:~titlll;U t.
/\.nd in
our
lcg:.il
sy.stcrn,
this Court,
a:-
u1~
linal
interpreter
or
the Constitution
~ind
the
articulator
of
its
underlying
 
Concurring Opinion G.R
Nos.
20
4819/204934/204957/
204988
/
205003
/
2050
43/205138/
2054
78/
205
4
91
1
205720
/2063 55/
207
111/
207
172/207563
principles,
has
been
conferred
the
power
to
de
t
erm
ine
whether
a law
ts
n
harmony with the
Constitution.
Arguably,
no
law
has been as
controvers
ial
under
the regime
or
the 1987
Constitution
as
Republic
Act
No. 10354,
otherwise known
as
T
he
Responsible Parenthood
and
Reproductive
Health
Act
of 2012, and more
commonly known
as
the Reproductive Health
(RI
I
Law. ft is not merely a collision
of
the
conservative
and liberal
sector
s
of
Philippine
soc
iety, or a colossal clash
between the (Catholic)
Church and the
Sta
te as
so
me project
it
to be,
or
the paradox
of
an irresistible force meeting an
immo
vable object.
It
is perceived to
have
started
a cultural
war
and spawne
d t
he
se consolidated cases,
which
highlight a deep
disagreement and
an in
tense debate
on the
implications
of
the
law
on
various fundamental righ
ts
.
I
submit this Opinion
in
the hope
of
contributing
to our
people's
appreciation
of
the
issues involved so that
we
may
continue
to collect
iv
el
y look for
ways to promote our democratic
institutions
and
protect individual liberties.
The
R
Law: Legislating
RH
Rights
After more than
a decade
of
deliberation in
Congress,
the
RI
l Law was
enacted
by
the
Fi
ftecnth
Congress
as Republic Act No.
J
03 54
on December
J
2
20
J
2. It
was signed
by
the
Pre
sident
in
to
l
aw
on December
21,2012.
In
connection with the President's signing
of
the
RH
Law, the
Of
fice
of
the
President
issued a
statement
that said:
The
passage
into law
of
the Responsible
Parent
hood
Act closes a highl) divisive chapter ol'
our
history -a
chapter
bo
rne
of the convictions or
those who argued
for.
or
against this
J\ct
whether in the l
eg
islative branch
or
in civil society.
At
the
same
time.
it
opens
the possibility
of
coope
ration
and
reconciliation
among
di ffercnt sectors in society:
engagemen
t and
dialogue characterized
not by animosity. but by
our
co
llecti
ve
d
es
ire
t
better the welfare
of
the
Filipino people.
This
is
the
n1ark
of
a true democracy:
one
in which
debat
e
th
at
spans
a
ll
levels
of
society
is
spurred by deeply-held beliefs and values. enriching
 
Concurring
Opinion
G.R
Nos
. 204819/204934/2049571
204988
/205003/205043/205138/
2054
78
/
20549
11
205720
/206355/
207
111/
207
]72/207563 and
elevating
public discourse. as we all
wor
k toget
he
r to i
nd wa
ys to improve the lives
of
our
fellow citizens.
The
RH
Law
creates
a
bundle
or
rights
known
as
the
"
RH
rights"
defined
as
follows:
Reproductive health
rights
refers
to
the
ri
ghts of individuals a
nd
couples. to decide freely and responsibly wheth
er
or
not to have c
hi
ldren: the
number
,
spacing
and timing
of
their children: to
ma
ke other d
ec
isions
concerning
reproduction, free
of
discrimination. coercion and violence; to
hav
e the information and m
ea
ns
to
do so; and to attain
th
e highest standard
of
sexual health and reproductive 'health:
Provided however 
That reproductive h
ea
lth
ri
ghts do not include abortion.
and
access to abortifacients.
2
The
RH
rights
are fortified
by
the
concept
of
"uni
versa
l access" to
so
called
medically-safe,
non-aborti facient, effective, l
ega
l,
affordab
le, and
quality reproductive health care
services,
methods, de
v
ic
es,
sup
p
li
es
which
do
not
prevent
the implantation
of
a fc1iilized
ovum
as
determined by the
Food and
Drug
Administration
(FDA).
3
The
R
Law
and
Constitutional Questions
Anti-RH
Law
advocates
did
not
wa
ste
time
in questioning the
constitutionality
of
the
law.
The
first petition against
th
e said l
aw,
G.R. No.
204819,
was
filed in
this
Court
on
January
2,
20
I 3. Thirteen
pe
titions
we
re
subsequently
filed.
The common
arguments
of
the
various petitioners
aga
inst the
RI
I L
aw
arc
as
follows:
( 1)
the
RH Law
violates
the
con
s
ti
t
utiona
l
safegu
ard for the
sanctity
of
the
family under
Section 12,
Article
11
,
and
Article
XV
or
the
1987
Constitution;
Statement dated
De
c
ember
29.
20
~
of
Deputy
Presidential
Spok
espe
r
so
n
Abigai
l
Val
tc
on
the RH
l,aw,
http
 www
 
g9__y_.p
h
/
;
fil_:f j
 
~~
 
9Lfilfil< ;J
nent-the
-dg?ill) .:-
 
m:.esi<;if.D
t
 
a
l-
sQQ.kespenon
-
on
t
he-re
s
nonsibl~:P.11
TC
n hood and r~
 PJ:
OJ.juctjvc-l.
~
alth-a
st
-
of
-
2Q_l J,
l
ast
vis
it
ed
Septem
b
er
30. 201
3
Section
4 (
s)
.
RH
L A W
Section 2,
RH
Law.

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