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Revised Comment in Intervention Rh Bill

Revised Comment in Intervention Rh Bill

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Republic of the Philipines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC (James M Imbong and Lovely-Ann C. G.R. No. 204819 Jmbong, et al.v.

Hon. Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Executive Secretary, et al.) (Alliance for the Family Foundation G.R. No. 204934 Philippines,Inc. (ALFI), et al., v. Hon. Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Executive Secretary, et al.) (Task Force for Family and Life Visayas, G.R. No. 204957 Inc. andValeriano S. Avila v. Hon. Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Executive Secretary et al.) (Serve Life Cagayan de Oro City Inc. et G.R. No. 204988 al. v. Officeof the President et al.) (Expedito A. Bugarin, Jr. v. Office of the G.R. No. 205003 President ofthe Republic of the Philippines, et al.) (Eduardo B. Olaguer and the Catholic G.R. No. 205043 XybrspaceApostolate of the Philippines v. DOH Secretary Enrique T. Ona, et al.) (Philippine Alliance of XSeminarians, G.R. No. 205138 Inc. v. Hon.Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Executive Secretary, et al.) · (Reynaldo J Echavez, MD., et al. v. Hon. G.R. No. 205478 PaquitoN. Ochoa, Jr., Executive Secretary, et al.) (Sps. Francisco S. Tatad and Maria G.R. No. 205491 Fenny C. Tatad,et al. v. Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines) (Pro-Life Philippines Foundation, Inc., G.R. No. 205720 et al. v.Office of the President, et al.) COMMENT-IN-INTERVENTION Intervenors, Sen. Pilar Juliana S. Cayetano, Dr. Esperanza I. Cabral, Dr. Francisco T. Duque III, Dr. Jamie Galvez-Tan, Dr. Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr. and Dr. Alfredo Bengzon (collectively referred to hereinafter as “Intervenors”) through the undersigned counsel and unto the Honorable Court respectfully ask for leave to intervene, and allege that: 1. On 19 March 2013, the Supreme Court issued a Resolution which granted the Office of the Solicitor General a period of until 3 April 2013 to file a consolidated comment on the Petition which consolidated G.R. Nos. 205478, 205491 and 205720 with G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, 204957, 204988, 205003, 205043 and 205138. On __________, the Office of the Solicitor General was granted an extended period of until ______________ to file the consolidated comment on the Petitions.


Senator Cayetano and all the other Intervenors invoke the public interest and state that they have a clear legal interest in the matter in litigation. The Petitions are pleas for declaratory relief outside of the jurisdiction of the Honorable Supreme Court. 1.1. the rights of the Intervenors will not be fully protected in a separate proceeding. 1. Intervenor Cayetano is currently a member of the Philippine Senate and is the main author of Republic Act No. The Petitions should be dismissed as the conditions for the exercise of the power of judicial review have not been met. Salcedo Village Makati City 1200. 10354 is constitutional. 4. 8. It is consistent with the constitutional right to privacy. 1. Thus. The question is not ripe for adjudication. The is no actual case or controversy. 10354 entitled “An Act Providing for a National Policy on Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health. 1. they are allowed to question the validity of any official action which. citizens and taxpayers. Moreover. The Petitioners have no “standing” to challenge the law.”[1] 1. 2. SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS 1. 1. On the contrary. Petitioner Cayetano has a standing to intervene as it has been established that “legislators have a legal standing to see to it that the prerogative. powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in their office remain inviolate. 4.” The other Intervenors are former Secretaries of the Department of Health who are intervening as such and as medical professionals. 1. Allowing herein Intervenors to intervene in the instant case will not unduly delay the adjudication of the case. 3. Republic Act No. All of the Intervenors may be notified of and served with pertinent processes through the undersigned counsels at 1904 Antel 2000 Corporate Center 121 Valero Street. 1. 2. II. 1. I. it will prevent multiplicity of suits. to their mind. . 1. infringes on their prerogatives as legislators. 3.

It is in furtherance of the Philippines’s state obligations under international law. . to wit: “Judicial review. he has personal and substantial interest in the case. In assailing the RA 10354 as unconstitutional. 10354 entitled “An Act Providing for a National Policy on Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health” as unconstitutional.2. Petitioners are invoking the “judicial supremacy” for the Supreme Court to assert the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution.”[3] There is no actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of the judicial power The requirement that there must exist a case or controversy is inferred from a reading of constitutional provisions on the grant of judicial power upon the Supreme Court. 2. It does not violate the freedom of religion. (2) the question must be ripe for adjudication. It does not violate of the right to life. and (3) the person challenging must have “standing”. Petitioners call on the Honorable Supreme Court to exercise its power of judicial review and declare Republic Act No. that is. it is well-settled that like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution. 4. demands the following: (1) there must be an actual case calling for the exercise of judicial power. DISCUSSION The Petitions should be dismissed as the conditions for the exercise of the power of judicial review have not been met. 3. 3.[2] However. the power of judicial review is subject to limitations. such that he has sustained or will sustain direct injury. 4. which is merely an aspect of judicial power.

Passing upon the validity of laws when there is no case or controversy shall be tantamount to the Judiciary playing the role of another chamber of the Philippine Government.[6] the Supreme Court discussed when an actual case or controversy exists. and habeas corpus. the “insistence on the existence of a case or controversy before the judiciary undertakes a review of legislation gives it the opportunity. proclamation. ordinance.”[5] In Guingona vs. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. Article VII of the Constitution providesSection 1. mandamus. modify. or regulation is in question. in that the former involves a definite and concrete dispute . reverse. to: 1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors. Court of Appeals. among others. Under Article VIII. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. Should no such case or controversy exist. law.. denied to the legislature. order. (2) Review. Section 5 of the Philippine Constitution. the Judiciary may not exercise the power of judicial review vested upon it by the Constitution.presidential decree. prohibition. A justiciable controversy is distinguished from a hypothetical or abstract difference or dispute. to wit: “An actual case or controversy exists when there is a conflict of legal rights or an assertion of opposite legal claims. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. i.e. international or executive agreement.[4] Moreover. or affirm on appeal or certiorari.Section 1. the Supreme Court shall have the power. instruction. revise. final judgments and orders of lower courts in: (a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty. quo warranto. which can be resolved on the basis of existing law and jurisprudence. of seeing the actual operation of the statute as it is applied to actual facts and thus enables it to reach sounder judgment. and over petitions for certiorari. other public ministers and consuls. as the law or the Rules of Court may provide. the legislature. the requirement that there must be an actual case or controversy is clearly seen. From the above constitutional provisions.

“the fruit of abortion is nuclear war. Failing such requirement to show that there exists an actual case or controversy. (b) divorce law. petitioner implores the Honorable Supeme Court and its sense of right and wrong as well as its highest and absolute fidelity to God’s laws. lesbians. Petitioner Bugarin. will pave the way for the passage of other anti-life and anti-family laws such as: (a) same sex marriage law. raises the argument that the “passage of Republic Act No. stated that“For the sake of our children and our children’s children. concrete. Petitioners attempt at abstraction absent an actual case or controversy “could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities. adopting the statement of Mother Theresa. (d) abortion law. 10354 “introduces policies that negate and frustrate the foundational ideals and aspirations of the sovereign Filipino people as enshrined in the Constitution. Thus. The Petitions are based on hypothetical dispute and abstract propositions. (c) laws punishing criticisms of gays. A justiciable controversy admits of specific relief through a decree that is conclusive in character.[10] In G. Petitioners in G.R.”[12] Petitioner Bugarin then posits that the Supreme Court should exercise its power of judicial review because. Petitioners offer an abstract proposition that the Republic Act No. the Petitions should be dismissed. whereas an opinion only advises what the law would be upon a hypothetical state of facts. No. No.”[8] No such actual case or controversy exists in the Petitions assailing the constitutionality of RA 10354. or to declare principles or rules of law which cannot affect the result as to the thing in issue in the case before it. 205003. to shield our beloved country from a possible nuclear annihilation by declaring as unconstitutional Republic Act No. 204988 argue against the constitutionality . and. the Supreme Court ruled that“The Court is not empowered to decide moot questions or abstract propositions. thus.” Petitioner Bugarin.”[11] In G. real or substantial controversy that touches on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests.”[7] Moreover.touching on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests. No. bisexuals and transgenders.”[9] Judicial prudence should therefore be exercised and the power of judicial review be not exercised.R. 204819.R. Undoubtedly.”[13] The same is true with respect to the other Petitions. The fact that the Petitions are abstract propositions and hypothetical disputes may be gleaned from the arguments contained therein. 10354. 10354 which is the first anti-family and anti-law in this country. the manner by which the Petitioners framed their arguments is such that there is no definite.

b) merely AVOIDING to get PREGNANT by other men with whom wives are having pleasurable sexual “experiences” but unknown to their husbands. In our jurisdiction. Petitioners therein also offer an abstract proposition that “when the FO (fertilized ovum) or later on when the implanted live fetus. now a PERSON under the law.”[14] In G. and second. JUSTICE for such victims of serious physical injuries.R. the issue of ripeness is generally treated in terms of actual injury to the plaintiff. and/or being the source of serious conflicts between spouses where either one of them refuses to have a child yet or even NEVER. They argue that it is “like giving a child cyanide laced candy then giving the appearance of responsibility by saying don’t eat it but nevertheless hoping the child will eat the candy inasmuch as that would be one mouth less to feed and drain the resources. but the other spouse wants to have a child as part of their mutual commitment in their marriage vows. No. An alternative road to review similarly taken would be to determine whether an action has already been accomplished or performed by a branch of government before the . fails to survive due to the lingering lethal effects of either abortifacients or abortives. 205043. a question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. the Honorable Supreme Court is called on to dismiss the Petitions and to not exercise its constitutionally-vested power of judicial review.” In the United States. the issue at hand is not ripe for adjudication as there is no actual injury sustained by the Petitioners as caused by the passing of the law being assailed. Hence. will be practically impossible!” Petitioners therein also argue that the fertilized ovum will be unconstitutionally discriminated against together with “the present husbands/fathers of existing FAMILIES legitimately married and faithful to their wives. the assailed law particularly under Sections 3 and 4 thereof… is veritably a state supported program for FACILITATING CUCKOLDRY or ADULTERY among married couples. homicide or even MURDER.of Section 9 of Republic Act No. 10354 on making available any product or supply included or to be included in the Essential Drug List on the condition that it is not be used as as an abortifacient. or. or indeed may not occur at all. courts are centrally concerned with whether a case involves uncertain contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated. Nograles. the hardship to the parties entailed by withholding court consideration. and c) are being tempted or PLANNING to have such adulterous relationships. Thus.[16] the Supreme Court reiterated the principle of ripeness. The question is not ripe for adjudication Apart from the fact that there exists no actual case or controvery.”[15] As the threshold requirement that there be an actual case or controversy existing is not met. the fitness of the issues for judicial decision. Another approach is the evaluation of the twofold aspect of ripeness: first. where the latter independently and unilaterally a) refuse to have children sired by their husbands. In Lozano vs. to wit: “An aspect of the “case-or-controversy” requirement is the requisite of “ripeness.

”[20] . that is.courts may step in. Anti-Terrorism Council. it is “a party’s personal and substantial interest in a case where he has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result” of the act being challenged. Then again. in many cases. has discussed this principle of locus standi. In Bayan Muna vs. over which the Court has no original jurisdiction. The Supreme Court. it is not ripe for judicial adjudication.” where both the activity the petitioners intend to undertake and the anticipated reaction to it of a public official are merely theorized. The Petitions are Pleas for declaratory relief outside of the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court In Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network vs. Petitioners have no locus standi to challenge the law Another limitation to the exercise of judicial review is that the person challenging must have “standing”. The fact that it was brought too early is bolstered by the issuance by the Supreme Court has already issued the status quo ante order on 19 March 2013 before the law was even implemented. there exists no actual case or controversy such as to meet the condition for the Supreme Court to exercise its power of judicial review. declaratory actions characterized by “double contingency.” Specifically. The controversy. he has personal and substantial interest in the case. This was because the case was brought too early. the Supreme Court ruled that “it has been established that “(w)ithout any justiciable controversy. lie beyond judicial review for lack of ripeness. it explained that“Locus standi is “a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question. the court would find it difficult to evaluate the practical merits of each party. the petitions have become pleas for declaratory relief. if one may exist at all has not become concrete and focused. and “calls for more than just a generalized grievance.”[17] Petitioners have not sufficiently shown that the law as it was passed has brought about direct adverse effect on them individually. Romulo[19].”[18]” As argued above. Since the issue is brought too early. such that he has sustained or will sustain direct injury. Thus.

Moreover. shall not be subjected . to wit: (a) The right to make free and informed decisions. family. At this point. to wit“The State recognizes and guarantees the human rights of all persons including their right to equality and nondiscrimination of these rights.”[21] Petitioners herein failed to meet the requirement that they show personal and substantial interest in the case where they have sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the passing of the RA 10354. It is consistent with the right to privacy which has been recognized in our jurisdiction.”[26] (Emphasis supplied) Moreover. Arroyo[22]. In Ople vs. Anti-Terrorism Council. and the right to choose and make decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions. the right to sustainable human development. and the demands of responsible parenthood. and other forms of relationships lies at the very core of the right of privacy.[24] the Supreme Court emphasized that “(t)he essence of privacy is the “right to be let alone.”[23] Republic Act No. The validity of a statute or ordinance is to be determined from its general purpose and its efficiency to accomplish the end desired. it bears stressing what the Supreme Court has reiterated in David vs. not from its effects in a particular case. 10354 is constitutional The Law is consistent with the Constitutional Right to Privacy The law in its entirety is constitutional. This freedom of choice in marriage. Torres. cultural beliefs. the Court reiterated that “(l)ocus standi or legal standing is a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. the right to education and information. in Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network vs. What they allege is but a “generalized grievance” which was not sufficient to grant them standing to challenge the validity of the law. It is so because the law opens up the choices of individuals in the realm of reproductive health. the right to health which includes reproductive health.”[25] The state policy enunciated in the law is consistent with this right of privacy. which is central to the exercise of any right. ethics. the guiding principles of the law dovetail with this very essence of the right to be let alone. to wit: “Settled is the rule that courts are not at liberty to declare statutes invalid although they may be abused and misabused and may afford an opportunity for abuse in the manner of application.

to all methods of family planning.[28] where our Supreme Court first adopted Griswold v. non-abortifacient. (4) conduct studies to analyze demographic trends including demographic dividends from sound population policies towards sustainable human development in keeping with the principles of gender equality. born and unborn and the promotion and protection of women’s reproductive rights and health. of the rights to have children.”[27] In Morfe vs. That the State shall equip each parent with the necessary information on all aspects of family life. like the right itself. monitoring and evaluation of people-centered programs to enhance the quality of life and environmental protection. and effective in accordance with scientific and evidence-based medical research standards such as those registered and approved by the FDA for the poor and marginalized as identified through the NHTS-PR and other government measures of identifying marginalization: Provided. taking into consideration the State’s obligations under various human rights instruments. women and adolescents. consistent with the needs of acceptors and their religious convictions. (f) The State shall promote programs that: (1) enable individuals and couples to have the number of children they desire with due consideration to the health. xxx (h) The State shall respect individuals’ preferences and choice of family planning methods that are in accordance with their religious convictions and cultural beliefs. Mutuc. (2) achieve equitable allocation and utilization of resources. public morals and their religious convictions: Provided. particularly of women. xxx (k) Each family shall have the right to determine its ideal family size: Provided. (3) ensure effective partnership among national government. and (5) conduct scientific studies to determine the safety and efficacy of alternative medicines and methods for reproductive health care development. That the State shall also provide funding support to promote modern natural methods of family planning. Connecticut. however. coordination. xxx (e) The State shall promote and provide information and access. especially the Billings Ovulation Method. implementation. protection of mothers and children. in order to make that determination. and the resources available and affordable to them and in accordance with existing laws. including reproductive health and responsible parenthood. legal. integration. without bias.to any form of coercion and must be fully guaranteed by the State. including effective natural and modern methods which have been proven medically safe. adult individuals. local government units (LGUs) and the private sector in the design. That no one shall be deprived. (b) Respect for protection and fulfillment of reproductive health and rights which seek to promote the rights and welfare of every person particularly couples.[29]the constitutional . for economic reasons.

and the law is in pursuance of this legal obligations- • The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (ratified by the Philippines without reservations on 23 October 1986) protects the “equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant. ethics. which belongs to the individual. and the demands of responsible parenthood”[32] is recognized and guaranteed. The Supreme Court decided that“The Griswold case invalidated a Connecticut statute which made the use of contraceptives a criminal offense on the ground of its amounting to an unconstitutional invasion of the right of privacy of married persons. This is indeed one of the basic distinctions between absolute and limited government. The law is consistent with the legal obligations of the Philippines under international law The Philippines has the express legal obligations. in all aspects of his life. safeguards a private sector. is the hallmark of the absolute state. All the forces of a technological age — industrialization. a system of limited government. which the state can control. and organization — operate to narrow the area of privacy and facilitate intrusion into it. In that case.”[30] With the passage of the law. Protection of this private sector — protection.” including the “inherent right to life. in other words. The constitutional right to privacy has come into its own. the right of individuals to make fundamental decisions and choices with respect to their reproductive health is actualized. the capacity to maintain and support this enclave of private life marks the difference between a democratic and a totalitarian society. the Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional right to privacy is recognized as an independent right that is fully deserving of constitutional protection.foundation of the right of privacy was traced. Ultimate and pervasive control of the individual. urbanization. The language of Prof. Emerson is particularly apt: “The concept of limited government has always included the idea that governmental powers stop short of certain intrusions into the personal life of the citizen. cultural beliefs. it is fully deserving of constitutional protection. The law recognizes that the “vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness of free men (and women)[31] with the declaration that “the right to choose and make decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions. So it is likewise in our jurisdiction. The right to privacy as such is accorded recognition independently of its identification with liberty. firmly distinguishing it from the public sector.” It has wider implications though. In modern terms. of the dignity and integrity of the individual — has become increasingly important as modern society has developed. In contrast. under the following international treaties. in itself. rightfully it stressed “a relationship lying within the zone of privacy created by several fundamental constitutional guarantees.” right to liberty .

Social. 16) and nondiscrimination in offering them access to HIV-related information. and means to enable them to exercise these rights. the law declares that “(t)he State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe. products and programs.”[35] The Committee on Economic. and 5) “ensure.and security of persons. services. confidential sexual and reproductive health services. giving preferential access to those identified through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and other government measures of identifying marginalization. including on sexual and reproductive health. and quality reproductive health care services.” among others. including those related to family planning”. counseling and services in family planning:. and free or low-cost contraceptive methods and services.” and the duty of the State Parties to “provide for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child. as well as adequate nutrition during pregnancy and lactation. whether natural or artificial. without reservations) provides for the individual’s right to the highest attainable standard of health. Significantly. guidance for parents and family planning education and services. including information and advice on family planning”.[34] • The International Covenant on Economic. 4) “take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas (and) ensure to such women the right:….”[38] The Child Rights Committee has interpreted the CRC to mean that “States Parties are encouraged to ensure that health services employ trained personnel who fully respect the rights of children to privacy (Art. methods. including information.”[41] .[33] With the Philippines’s ratification of the First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR (22 August 1989). education. (b) to have access to adequate health care facilities. it recognizes the jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee to hear individual complaints. the law instructs that “(n)o person shall be denied information and access to family planning services.” Moreover. children and other underprivileged sectors. and Cultural Rights has noted that the right to health includes “access to health-related education and information. on a basis of equality of men and women… (e) the same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information.”[39] • • Significantly.[36] The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (ratified by the Philippines on 5 August 1981 without reservations) specifically obligates the State-Parties to: 1) “(e)nsure access to specific educational information to help to ensure the health and well-being of families. consistent with the above legal obligations. access to health care services. as well as HIV-related care and treat if and when needed. devices.” 2) “take appropriate measures to develop preventive health care. 3) “ensure to women appropriate services in connection with pregnancy. who shall be voluntary beneficiaries of reproductive health care.” the “right to found a family. Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) (ratified by the Philippines on 7 June 1974. supplies which do not prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and relevant information and education thereon according to the priority needs of women. knowledge of their HIV status. legal. affordable.”[40] The law also mandates the DOH to “implement programs prioritizing full access of poor and marginalized women as identified through the NHTS-PR and other government measures of identifying marginalization to reproductive health care. voluntary counseling and testing. on a basis of equality of men and women. without reservations). services and supplies for free. effective.”[37] The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (ratified by the Philippines on 21 h 1990) specifically obligates State-Parties to: 1) “recognize the right of the child to the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health… strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.” and a corollary government duty to provide family planning services and information. granting free services where necessary. 2) “take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of health care in order to ensure. confinement and post natal period. non-abortifacient. the Human Rights Committee has already interpreted the ICCPR to declare that “women should be given access to family planning and methods.

it is the responsibility of State to provide information about the current state of knowledge which necessarily includes information about human beings themselves. since Petitioners ostensibly favor only the Roman Catholic-sanctioned natural family planning methods.The law does not violate the Freedom of Religion The theme prevailing under the law is the grant of freedom of choice when it comes to reproductive health. This imposition is anathema to the State’s Constitutional duty to defend “the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood”. What the Petitioners would have this Honorable Court do is to unduly interfere with the State’s Constitutional duty to defend spouses’ right to found a family because what they all want to do is to ultimately favor only natural family planning methods. It only prohibits those acts and practices. the very nature of their work require them to act professionally.and Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education in schools as directed by under Section 14 of the law is justified as part of the State’s constitutional obligation to create an environment that can produce healthy and informed citizens. the law widens the spectrum of effective options for individuals and couples by providing them information and subsidizing access to contraceptives. The State’s defense of spouses’ rights to found a family demands nothing less than embracing a pluralist approach to . which the State cannot do without violating the free speech and the non-establishment clauses. for whatever personal reason which may or may not be related to their religious beliefs.based conscientious objection would amount to a viewpoint discrimination. The State does not impose upon the citizens the mode of family planning or type of contraceptives which they should use. As for doctors and healthcare providers. which deprive others of their right to reproductive health. how their bodies work. Neither does it impose acceptance of any belief. Insofar as children are concerned. Moreover. Adults are free to reject information relating to reproductive health provided by the State. The inclusion of Age. and what their bodies can and cannot do. divorcing their personal views in the exercise of their profession. If Petitioners were to have their way. More importantly. Contrary to what is envisaged under the Constitutional duty of the State. whether based on belief or whim. the State ought to impose only a a single or unitary view on family planning upon all Filipinos. spouses are divested of any ‘real’ or ‘informed’ choice in founding their families. the absolute privileging of a doctor’s religion.

If at all. health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost. assures the right to life by providing a broad and comprehensive approach to maternal health care anchored on a generous view of the right to health of the people. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged sick. and social status. the law emphatically “recognizes that abortion is illegal and punishable by law. spouses must be free to choose solely in accordance with their religious convictions. disabled. or a general civil religion. Rather. and children. Muslim. the State is also obligated to “adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods. that every citizen must be given equal access and equal rights in the political community. Flowing from this. if any. Whether the decision is to use natural family planning methods or artificial methods of contraception. In a situation of competing visions of the good. ethnicity. it in fact. The Law is consistent with the Constitutional Right to Life The Petitioners harp on the alleged violation by the law of the constitutional protection of life. In the very first place. The Constitution mandates the State to “protect and promote the right to health of the people”. That is not what a State founded on democratic principles is about. Instead. secularist. the State does not exist simply to protect majoritarian interests. regardless of faith. In giving force to this right. Thus. In fact.” This exactly is what the questioned law intends to do: providing for the most liberal conditions to support the .spouses’ decision to build a family. a single view of family planning violates the freedom of religion protected under the Constitution because it imposes only one view – the Roman Catholic one – and eschews the reality that the Philippines is a pluralist society of citizens who belong to different faiths. Secondly. in the same way that they should be treated regardless of their skin color. the State’s primary duty is to ensure public justice – the task of giving what is due to each differentiated sphere in society. elderly.”[42] Indeed. the questioned law assumes utmost fidelity to the constitutional protection for the unborn. some of which may not necessarily share the same convictions on family planning as the dominant faith in the Philippines. and the demands of responsible parenthood. our Republic must be built as a community of citizens that finds no room for discrimination against anyone solely because of his/her faith. gender. women. it should be emphasized that the law clearly states that it does not legalize abortion. a political community such as ours should not be shaped as a religious community of whatever faith – Christian. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers.

with all its impact on their health. The policy choices Petitioners want forces women into choosing between pregnancy and abstinence and. Petitioners’ desired outcome ultimately denies women the flourishing of their right to life by also violating their right to equal protection in significant ways: (a) it disproportionately places in men the right to decide whether women should get pregnant. Apart from severely limiting the fundamental right of women to decide whether or not to get pregnant.flourishing of life. If Petitioners will have their way however. and (b) it unfairly compels women to submit to that decision because the anti-contraception stance Petitioners want this Court to enforce will substantially impair women’s ability to nullify their partners’ decision (or ignorance). This denial of the ability to make informed consent which prevents women from deciding fundamental questions affecting their lives under conditions of parity is a clear violation of the Equal Protection Clause. and are denied appropriate public health care treatment and information that allow them to make the same reproductive choices as their male counterparts. the CEDAW Committee has recognized that child bearing imposes “inequitable burdens” on women in . The fundamental right of the individual to associate entails the right to determine the details of intimate conduct or to control the terms by which that individual engages another in a purely personal manner. the disparate impact of prohibiting the implementation of the questioned law amounts to a denial of the equal protection of the laws as it places women (most especially those who are poor) at a severe disadvantage in relation to men in deciding on matters that affect the former more than the latter. and other life choices. in effect. and to say when and whom and why they will marry…. Women are thus inevitably subordinated to male choices. career.” Further to this. they will ensure that women will bear the brunt of their avowed policy of enforced ignorance.[43] It is women who primarily bear the risk and consequences of pregnancy.Barbarous peoples coerce their women into matrimony. The Petitioners have no right to disempower the women Petitioners in relation to men under the guise of “moral regeneration. civilized people coerce them into maternity under [anti-contraception laws]. not just for mothers but for families as well. Such regime as Petitioners want to implement is what Margaret Sanger referred to as “compulsory motherhood”— The man and the woman have as much natural right to say how many children they will bring into the world and when. traps them in a system that compels women to suffer for engaging in acts of sexual intimacy. unintended or not.

305 (1988) [9] Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network vs. Estrada. [4] Mendoza. Electoral Commission. No. No.R. G. The Philippine Truth Commission. 1998 [7] Id. access to “information and advice on family planning” and to “health care services. 806. [2] Angara vs. July 15. . 484 U. p. 810 (1955). No. Philippine Political Law. 259. October 5. G.R. Therefore. 2004. Macapagal. premises considered..relation to “their right of access to education. 680-682. 191988. December 7. Vicente V. pp. 58. 43 SCRA 678.R. 125532. 2010 [10] Apormento vs. Judicial Review of Constitutional Questions. G.. Estrada. 192935 and 192936. Doe. 2010 citing Cruz.R. 22 February 2010. Secretary of Education. February 29. 65 Phil. [1] Biraogo v. page 86. including those related to family planning”.R.R. Makati City for Manila. G. Citing Isagani A. August 31. states parties under CEDAW are mandated to “take all appropriate measures” to eliminate discrimination against women and to ensure. July 10. No. G. No. employment and other activities”. Anti-Terrorism Council. Manila: Rex Printing Company. No. it is respectfully prayed that the Petitions be DISMISSED for lack of merit and the STATUS QUO ANTE ORDER be lifted IMMEDIATELY. Inc. Cruz. [5] Ibid. 14 April 2013.. Isagani. 178552. Court of Appeals. 1998 citing Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities vs. 1995 ed. 189698. 241-242. L-45081. 191988. 89 (1937). G. August 31. [6] G. No. Nos.R.S. 125532. July 10. [8] Pormento v. PRAYER WHEREFORE.R. 2002 Edition. on a basis of equality between men and women. 1972 and People vs. 2010 citing G. and Tan vs. Vera. 97 Phil. 1936 [3] Guingona vs. 2010 citing Honig v. Philippine Political Law.

R. Abbott Laboratories v. citing Steffel v. 2005. 3d ed. 1972. 354 Phil. 2006. vs.” 4 Harvard Law Review 193-220 [1890] — this article greatly influenced the enactment of privacy statutes in the United States (Cortes. page 11. June 16. p. [22] G. 118 Or 77. 830. et al.R. Zamora. 187883.R. 136 (1967). February 1. Sec. Gardner.S. 618. Jr. and G. p. 245 P 1074. President of the Republic of the Philippines. 682. G. [19] G. cert den 280 US 610. 489 SCRA 160 and Jumamil v. 10354 . 1. No. [26] Section 2..R. Carr. see also Warren and Brandeis “The Right to Privacy. Court of Appeals. 392 Phil. 282 P 1. citing David v. 1998 [25] Id. pages 9 and 10. TRIBE.332 (3rd ed.R. September 21.. Dyson. 70 ALR 1261. 2009 [17] Id.S.R. Guingona. 633 (2000). 369 U. July 23. L-34161. 43 SCRA 677. 34 NM 346. May 3. citing Cooley on Torts. No. August 15. [15] Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by Olaguer and the Catholic Xybrspace Apostolate of the Philippines. American Constitutional Law. 144570. citing LAWRENCE H. Jr. [24] G. 2006 [23] Id. 335. 50 S Ct 158. 901-902 (2003). I. citing Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. 415. February 29. 427-428 (1998). [1932]. 171396. 127685.R. Republic Act No.. [16] G. 415 U. No. v.[11] Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by Imbong et al. 2000. et al. Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Dist. page 4 [12] Bugarin. G. [21] Citing Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. 46 ALR 1173 and Gutierrez v. [18] Id. 141284. 4th ed. Zamora. page 7 [13] Id.. citing Baker v. No.. 135.R.. 338 SCRA 81.S. 460 Phil. May 3. No. 2000. Offices of the Hon. Francisco. I. citing Tribe. House of Representatives. 186 (1962). The Constitutional Foundations of Privacy. 470 SCRA 475. 2000). 159618. 421 U. No. AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW Vol. G. vol. Citing Uren v Bagley. page 8 [14] Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by Serve Life Cagayan de Oro City Inc. 171396. Jr. 2011 [20] Id. 387 U.. 426 (1975). No. Macapagal-Arroyo. v. Café.S.. p. No. Thompson. 74 L ed 653. 452 (1974) and Ellis v. 15 [1970]).

. 1448 (entered into force on 2 September 1990).M.N.N. Republic Act No. HRI/GEN/1/Rev. 484 (1965) [30] Morfe v.N. 12. and 26. Social and Cultural Rights. U. 24. 23(2). 20.N. 2200A (XXI). 3.2. Doc. Art. 479. [40] Section 7. Republic Act No. S.[27] Section 3. 11. 3. at 90. citing Grisworld v. 21 st Session. 10(h).A. [36] General Comment 14: The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health (Art. GAOR. U. G. Doc. 12.N. 1976).. U.5 (2001) [37] Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. at 49. Doc.N. 1976). and 16. 14.January 31. 10354 [41] Section 11. in Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations by Human Rights Treaty Bodies. 388 US 1 (1967) [32] Section 2.N. 1968 [29] 381 U. adopted 18 December 1979. U. 10354 [42] Section 3 (j). 17 th Session Para.N. Republic Act No. [31] Loving vs. at para. [38] Convention on the Rights of the Child.T. 2003) in Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations by Human Rights Treaty Bodies.2. Art. A/34//36 (entered into force on 3 September 1981). 6(1). 485. N. U. 3 (entered into force on January 3. 2000). Art. 10354 . HIV/AIDS and the right of the child (32nd Sess. Doc.. A/44/49. U. para. Mutuc.S. CCPR/CO/70/ARG (2000). Art. Res.1 and 24. No. U. [34] Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Argentina. 12. December 16. Republic Act No. U. Supp. 10354 [28] G.. 16. 10354 [33] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.1. 14. 44 th Sess.1 and 12. Connecticut at p. 12) (22 nd Sess. paragraph 2 of Republic Act No.1. 34th Sess. Virginia. Doc. Doc A/6316 (1966). adopted 20 November 1989.2(b).2. reprinted in LL. L-20387. Doc CRC/GC/2003/3(2003).R. [35] International Covenant on Economic. 1966. No. 999 U. [39] General Comment No. A/6316 (entered into force on March 23. 9(1).

People.S.[43] Brief on behalf of the Plaintiff in Error. at 40-41. . 251 U. 537 (1919). Sanger v.

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