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IMBONG VS.

OCHOA
KEY TAKE-AWAY: The Reproductive Health Law is a consolidation and enhancement of
existing reproductive laws. It seeks to enhance the population control program of the government
in order to promote public welfare. However, when coercive measures are found within the law,
provisions must be removed or altered in order to ensure that it does not defy the onstitution by
infringing on the rights of the people.
PONENTE: !"#$%&', (.
CONSOLIDATION OF 14 CASES NAMELY:
DATE/GR
NO/SCRA
PETITIONER RESPONDENT
'pril ),
*+,-, ..R.
#o. *+-),/
(ames !. Imbong Lovely0'nn .
Imbong, for themselves and in behalf
of their minor children, Lu ia arlos
Imbong and 1ernadette arlos
Imbong and !agnificat hild
$evelopment enter, Inc., a
domestic, privately0owned
educational institution
Hon. 2a3uito #. %choa, (r., "xecutive
4ecretary5 Hon. 6lorencio 1. 'bad,
4ecretary, $epartment %f 1udget 'nd
!anagement5 Hon. "nri3ue T. %na,
4ecretary, $epartment %f Health5 Hon.
'rmin '. Luistro, 4ecretary, $epartment
%f "ducation, ulture 'nd 4ports5 and
Hon. !anuela. Roxas II, 4ecretary,
$epartment %f Interior and Local
.overnment
.R. #o.
*+-/7-
'LLI'#" 6%R TH" 6'!IL8
6%9#$'TI%# 2HILI22I#"4, I#.
:'L6I;, represented by its 2resident,
!aria oncepcion 4. #oche, 4pouses
Reynaldo 4. Luistro < Rosie 1.
Luistro, (ose 4. 4ande=as < "lenita
4.'. 4ande=as, 'rturo !. .orre> <
!arietta . .orre>, 4alvador 4.
!ante, (r. < Ha>eleen L. !ante,
Rolando !. 1autista < !aria 6elisa
4. 1autista, $esiderio Racho <
Tra3uilina Racho, 6 emand 'ntonio
'. Tansingco < arol 'nne .
Tansingco for themselves and on
behalf of their minor children,
Therese 'ntonette . Tansingco,
Loren>o (ose . Tansingco, !iguel
6emando . Tangsingco, arlo
H%#. 2'?9IT% #. %H%', (R.,
"xecutive 4ecretary, H%#. "#RI?9" T.
%#',
4ecretary, $epartment of Health, H%#.
'R!I# '. L9I4TR%, 4ecretary,
$epartment of "ducation, ulture and
4ports, H%#. %R'&%# 4%LI!'#,
4ecretary, $epartment of 4ocial @elfare
and $evelopment, H%#. !'#9"L'.
R%A'4 II, 4ecretary, $epartment of
Interior and Local .overnment, H%#.
6L%R"#I% 1. '1'$, 4ecretary,
$epartment of 1udget and !anagement,
H%#. 'R4"#I% !. 1'LI4''#,
4ocio0"conomic 2lanning 4ecretary and
#"$' $irector0.eneral, TH"
2HILI22I#" %!!I44I%# %#
@%!"#, represented by its hairperson,
(osemaria . Tansingco < (uan 2aolo
. Tansingco, 4pouses !ariano B.
'raneta < "ileen &. 'raneta for
themselves and on behalf of their
minor children, Ramon arlos &.
'raneta < !aya 'ngelica &.
'raneta, 4pouses Renato . astor <
!ildred . astor for themselves and
on behalf of their minor children,
Ren> (effrey . astor, (oseph Ramil
. astor, (ohn 2aul . astor <
Raphael . astor, 4pouses
'lexander R. Racho < &ara &. Racho
for themselves and on behalf of their
minor children !argarita Racho,
!ikaela Racho, !artin Racho, !ari
Racho < !anolo Racho, 4pouses
'lfred R. Racho < 6rancine B.
Racho for themselves and on behalf
of their minor children !ichael
Racho, !ariana Racho, Rafael
Racho, !axi Racho, hessie Racho
< Laura Racho, 4pouses $avid R.
Racho < 'rmilyn '. Racho for
themselves and on behalf of their
minor child .abriel Racho, !indy
!. (uatas and on behalf of her minor
children "li=ah .erald (uatas and
"lian .abriel (uatas, 4alvacion !.
!onteiro, "mily R. Laws, (oseph R.
Laws < Catrina R. Laws
Remedios lgnacioRikken, TH"
2HILI22I#" H"'LTH I#49R'#"
%R2%R'TI%#, represented by its
2resident "duardo 1an>on, TH"
L"'.9" %6 2R%BI#"4 %6 TH"
2HILI22I#"4, represented by its
2resident 'lfonso 9mali, TH" L"'.9"
%6 ITI"4 %6 TH" 2HILI22I#"4,
represented by its 2resident %scar
Rodrigue>, and TH" L"'.9" %6
!9#II2'LITI"4 %6 TH"
2HILI22I#"4, represented by its
2resident $onato !arcos,
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T'4C 6%R" 6%R 6'!IL8 '#$
LI6" BI4'8'4, I#. and
B'L"RI'#% 4. 'BIL',
H%#. 2'?9IT% #. %H%', (R.,
"xecutive 4ecretary5 H%#. 6L%R"#I%
1. '1'$, 4ecretary, $epartment of
1udget and !anagement5 H%#.
"#RI?9" T. %#', 4ecretary,
$epartment of "ducation5 and H%#.
!'#9"L'. R%A'4 II, 4ecretary,
$epartment of Interior and Local
.overnment
.R #o. 4"RB" LI6" '.'8'# $" %R% %66I" %6 TH" 2R"4I$"#T,
*+-/)) IT8, I#., represented by $r.
#estor 1. Lumicao, !.$., as
2resident and in his personal
capacity, R%4"B'L"
6%9#$'TI%# I#., represented by
$r. Rodrigo !. 'lenton, !.$., as
member of the school board and in
his personal capacity, R%4"!'RI"
R. 'L"#T%#, I!"L$' ..
I1'RR', 2', L%B"#I'2.
#'"4, 2hd., '#TH%#8 ..
#'.', "'RL '#TH%#8 .
.'!1" and !'RL%# I. 8'2,
4"#'T" %6 TH" 2HILI22I#"4,
H%94" %6 R"2R"4"#T'TIB"4,
H%#. 2'?9IT% #. %H%', (R.,
"xecutive 4ecretary, H%#. 6L%R"#I%
1. '1'$, 4ecretary, $epartment of
1udget and !anagement5 H%#.
"#RI?9" T. %#', 4ecretary,
$epartment of Health5 H%#. 'R!I# '.
L9I4TR%, 4ecretary, $epartment of
"ducation and H%#. !'#9"L'.
R%A'4 II, 4ecretary, $epartment of
Interior and Local .overnment,
Respondents
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"A2"$IT% '. 19.'RI#, (R., %66I" %6 TH" 2R"4I$"#T %6 TH"
R"291LI %6 TH" 2HILI22I#"4,
H%#. 4"#'T" 2R"4I$"#T, H%#.
42"'C"R %6 TH" H%94" %6
R"2R"4"#T'TIB"4 and H%#.
4%LIIT%R ."#"R'L
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"$9'R$% 1. %L'.9"R and TH"
'TH%LI A81R42'"
'2%4T%L'T" %6 TH"
2HILI22I#"4,
$%H 4"R"T'R8 "#RI?9" T. %#',
6$' $IR"T%R 49&"TT" H. L'&%,
$1! 4"R"T'R8 6L%R"#I% 1.
'1'$, $IL. 4"R"T'R8
!'#9"L'. R%A'4 II, $"4
4"R"T'R8 'R!I# '. L9I4TR%
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2HILI22I#" 'LLI'#" %6
A4"!I#'RI'#4, I#. F2'AG,
herein represented by its #ational
2resident, 'tty. Ricardo !. Ribo, and
in his own behalf, 'tty. Lino
".'. $umas, Romeo 1. 'lmonte,
%smundo . %rlanes, 'rsenio &.
!enor, 4amuel (. 8ap, (aime 6.
!ateo, Rolly 4iguan, $ante ".
!agdangal, !ichael "ugenio +.
2lana, 1ienvenido . !iguel, (r.,
Landrito !. $iokno and 1aldomero
6alcone,
H%#. 2'?9IT% #. %H%', (R.,
"xecutive 4ecretary, H%#. 6L%R"#I%
1. '1'$, 4ecretary, $epartment of
1udget and !anagement, H%#.
"#RI?9" T. %#', 4ecretary,
$epartment of Health, H%#. 'R!I# '.
L9I4TR%, 4ecretary, $epartment of
"ducation, H%#. !'#9"L'. R%A'4
II, 4ecretary, $epartment of Interior and
Local .overnment, H%#. %R'&%# (.
4%LI!'#, 4ecretary, $epartment of
4ocial @elfare and $evelopment, H%#.
'R4"#I% 1'LI4''#, $irector0
.eneral, #ational "conomic and
$evelopment 'uthority, H%#.
49&"TT" H. L'&%, $irector.eneral,
6ood and $rugs 'dministration, TH"
1%'R$ %6 $IR"T%R4, 2hilippine
Health Insurance orporation, and TH"
1%'R$ %6 %!!I44I%#"R4,
2hilippine ommission on @omen,
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R"8#'L$% (. "H'B"&, !.$.,
('?9"LI#" H. CI#., !.$.,
8#THI' T. $%!I#.%, !.$.,
'#$ (%4"2HI#" !ILL'$%0
L9!IT'%, !.$.,
collectively known as $octors 6or
Life, and '#TH%#8 2"R"&,
!IH'"L '#TH%#8 .. !'2',
'RL%4 '#T%#I% 2'L'$,
@IL6R"$% (%4", L'IR"
#'B'RR%, '##' %4I%, and
.'1RI"L $8 LI'% collectively
known as 6ilipinos 6or Life,
H%#. 2'?9IT% #. %H%', (R.,
"xecutive 4ecretary5 H%#. 6L%R"#I%
1. '1'$, 4ecretary of the $epartment
of 1udget and !anagement5 H%#.
"#RI?9" T. %#', 4ecretary of the
$epartment of Health5 H%#. 'R!I# '.
L9I4TR%, 4ecretary of the $epartment
of "ducation5 and H%#. !'#9"L'.
R%A'4 II, 4ecretary of the $epartment
of Interior and Local .overnment,
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*+D-/,
42%94"4 6R'#I4% 4. T'T'$
'#$ !'RI' 6"##8 . T'T'$ <
'L' 6. 2'.9I', for themselves,
their 2osterity, and the rest of
6ilipino posterity
%66I" %6 TH" 2R"4I$"#T
of the Republic of the 2hilippines,
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2R%0LI6" 2HILI22I#"4
6%9#$'TI%#, Inc., represented by
Loma !elegrito, as "xecutive
$irector, and in her personal
capacity, (%4"L8# 1. 1'4ILI%,
R%1"RT &. %RT"4, 'RI"L '.
RI4%4T%!%, ("R"!8 I.
.'T$9L', RI4TI#' '.
!%#T"4, R'9L '#T%#I% '.
#I$%8, @I#4T%# %#R'$ 1.
2'$%(I#%., R96I#% L.
2%LI'R2I% III,
%66I" %6 TH" 2R"4I$"#T,
4"#'T" %6 TH" 2HILI22I#"4,
H%94" %6
R"2R"4"#T'TIB"4, H%#. 2'?9IT%
#. %H%', (R., "xecutive 4ecretary,
H%#. 6L%R"#I% 1. '1'$,
4ecretary, $epartment of 1udget and
!anagement, H%#. "#RI?9" T. %#',
4ecretary, $epartment of Health, H%#.
'R!I# '. L9I4TR%, 4ecretary,
$epartment of "ducation and H%#.
!'#9"L '. R%A'4 II, 4ecretary,
$epartment of Interior and Local
.overnment
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!ILL"##I9! 4'I#T
6%9#$'TI%#, I#., 'TT8.
R'!%# 2"$R%4', 'TT8. IT'
1%RR%!"%.'RI',
%66I" %6 TH" 2R"4I$"#T, %66I"
%6 TH" "A"9TIB" 4"R"T'R8,
$"2'RT!"#T %6 H"'LTH,
$"2'RT!"#T %6 "$9'TI%#,
4T"LL''"$"R', 'TT8.
1"RT"#I 'T'L9#' '94I#.
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(%H# @'LT"R 1. (9'T, !'R8
!. I!1%#., '#TH%#8
BIT%RI% 1. L9!I'%, (%4"2H
!'RTI# ?. B"R$"(%, '#T%#I'
"!!' R. R%A'4 and L%T' L'T0
.9"RR"R%,
H%#. 2'?9IT% #. %H%', (R.,
"xecutive 4ecretary, H%#. 6L%R"#I%
'1'$, 4ecretary, $epartment of 1udget
and !anagement, H%#. "#RI?9" T.
%#', 4ecretary, $epartment of Health,
H%#. 'R!I# '. L9I4TR%, 4ecretary,
$epartment of "ducation, ulture and
4ports and H%#. !'#9"L '. R%A'4
II, 4ecretary, $epartment of Interior and
Local .overnment
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%92L"4 6%R HRI4T
6%9#$'TI%#, I#., 42%94"4
(9'# 'RL%4 'RT'$I
4'R!I"#T% '#$ 6R'#"4'
I4'1"LL" 1"4I#.'0
4'R!I"#T%, '#$ 42%94"4
L9I4 6R'#I4 '. R%$RI.%, (R.
and $"1%R'H !'RI"
B"R%#I' #. R%$RI.%.
H%#. 2'?9IT% #. %H%', (R.,
"xecutive 4ecretary, H%#. 6L%R"#I%
1. '1'$, 4ecretary, $epartment of
1udget and !anagement, H%#.
"#RI?9" T. %#', 4ecretary,
$epartment of Health, H%#. 'R!I# '.
L9I4TR%, 4ecretary, $epartment of
"ducation, ulture and 4ports and H%#.
!'#9"L'. R%A'4 II, 4ecretary,
$epartment of Interior and Local
.overnment, Respondents
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'L!'RI! "#TI TILL'H and
'1$9LH944"I# !. C'4HI!,
H%#. 2'?9IT% #. %H%', (R.,
"xecutive 4ecretary, H%#. "#RI?9" T.
%#', 4ecretary of the $epartment of
Health, and H%#. 'R!I# '.
L9I4TR%,4ecretary of the $epartment
of 1udget and !anagement
FACTS
Petiti!I to declare provisions of Republic 'ct #o. ,+7D- as unconstitutional
F"#t$"% A!te#e&e!t'
De#e()e* +1, +-1+: ongress enacted R' #o. ,+7D- also known as the Responsible
2arenthood and Reproductive Health 'ct of *+,* FRH L'@G
The presidentJs imprimatur and support for the said law lead to a range of petitions
against the law leading to iuris controversy in court. 2etitions for certiorari and
prohibition were placed by numerous parties. 'll in all, ,- petitions and * petitions0
in0intervention were filed.
M"*#. 1/, +-10I the RH0IRR or enforcement of the law took place
M"*#. 11, +-10I 'fter deliberating the issues and arguments raised, the court issued
4tatus ?uo 'nte %rder F4?'%G which lead to a ,*+ day halt on the implementation
of the legislation
$ue to further arguments and debates from opposing parties, the 4?'% was extended
until further orders of the court last 2$%3 14, +-10
St"t$te I!5%5e&:
Republic 'ct ,+7D-, KThe Responsible 2arenthood and Reproductive Health 'ct of
*+,*L
P'iti! 6 Petiti!e*:
o 2etitioners claim that the provisions of R' ,+7D- are unconstitutional as they
violate the rights to life, to health, to freedom of expression and speech, to the
privacy of families, to academic freedom, to due process of law, to e3ual
protection, and against involuntary servitude. They also intrude on the autonomy
of local governments and the 'R!!, and violate natural law. 6urthermore, they
claim that ongressJ delegation of authority to the 6$' in determining which
should be included in the "$L is invalid.
P'iti! 6 Re'7!&e!t
There is no actual case or controversy and, therefore, the issues are not yet ripe
for =udicial determination
4ome petitioners lack standing to 3uestion the RH Law
The petitions are essentially petitions for declaratory relief over which the ourt
has no original =urisdiction.
ISS8ES
P*#e&$*"%
o @hether or not the ourt may exercise its power of =udicial review
o @hether or not there is an actual case or controversy
o @hether the ourt may apply facial challenge
o @hether or not the petitions are praying for declaratory relief
o @hether the petitions violate the %ne 4ub=ectM%ne Title Rule
S$)'t"!ti5e
o @hether or not the RH Law is unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates
Right to Life
Right to Health
6reedom of Religion and the Right to 6ree 4peech
The 6amily
6reedom of "xpression and 'cademic 6reedom
$ue 2rocess
"3ual 2rotection
Involuntary 4ervitude
'utonomy of Local .overnmentsM'R!!
#atural Law
o @hether or not ongressJ delegation of authority to the 6$' in determining
which should be included in the "$L is valid
HELD
P*#e&$*"%
o W.et.e* * !t t.e #$*t ("3 e9e*#i'e it' 7:e* 6 ;$&i#i"% *e5ie: - YES
@hile the ourt may not pass upon 3uestions of wisdom, =ustice or
expediency of the RH Law, it may do so where an attendant
unconstitutionality or grave abuse of discretion results. The following
re3uisites for =udicial review were metI FaG there mustbe an actual case or
controversy5 FbG the petitioners must possess locus standi; F cG the 3uestion of
constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity5 and F dG the issue of
constitutionality must be the lis mota of the case
o W.et.e* * !t t.e*e i' "! "#t$"% #"'e * #!t*5e*'3 < YES
onsidering that the RH Law and its implementing rules have already taken
effect and that budgetary measures to carry out the law have already been
passed, it is evident that the sub=ect petitions present a =usticiable controversy.
's stated earlier, when an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged
to have infringed the onstitution, it not only becomes a right, but also a duty
of the (udiciary to settle the dispute.
!oreover, the petitioners have shown that the case is so because medical
practitioners or medical providers are in danger of being criminally prosecuted
under the RH Law for vague violations thereof, particularly 7$)%i# .e"%t.
66i#e*' who are t.*e"te!e& t )e &i'(i''e& 6*( t.e 'e*5i#e :it.
6*6eit$*e 6 *eti*e(e!t "!& t.e* )e!e6it'.
o W.et.e* t.e C$*t ("3 "77%3 6"#i"% #."%%e!=e < YES
The scope of application of facial challenges extends to the regulation of 6*ee
'7ee#., but also those involving *e%i=i$' 6*ee&(, and t.e* 6$!&"(e!t"%
*i=.t'.
onse3uently, considering that the foregoing petitions have seriously alleged
that the constitutional human rights to life, speech and religion and other
fundamental rights mentioned above have been violated by the assailed
legislation, the ourt has authority to take cogni>ance of these kindred
petitions and to determine if the RH Law can indeed pass constitutional
scrutiny.
o W.et.e* * !t Locus Standi "77%ie' < YES
Regardless of whether the petitioners are directly in=ured of affected by the
RH Law or not, the ourt leans on the doctrine that Nthe rule on standing is a
matter of procedure, hence, can be relaxed for non0traditional plaintiffs like
ordinary citi>ens, taxpayers, and legislators when the public interest so
re3uires, such as when the matter is of transcendental importance, of
overreaching significance to society, or of paramount public interest.N The
RH Law falls under transcendental importance as it drastically affects the
constitutional provisions on the right to life and health, the freedom of religion
and expression and other constitutional rights.
o W.et.e* * !t t.e 7etiti!' "*e 7*"3i!= 6* &e#%"*"t*3 *e%ie6 - YES
!ost of the petitions are praying for in=unctive reliefs, not declaratory reliefs,
and so the ourt would =ust consider them as petitions for prohibition under
Rule HD, over which it has original =urisdiction. @here the case has far0
reaching implications and prays for in=unctive reliefs, the ourt may consider
them as petitions for prohibition under Rule HD.
o W.et.e* t.e 7etiti!' 5i%"te t.e O!e S$);e#t/O!e Tit%e R$%e < NO
In a textual analysis of the various provisions of the law, both Nreproductive
healthN and Nresponsible parenthoodN are interrelated and germane to the
overriding ob=ective to control the population growth. Thus, the ourt finds
no reason to believe that ongress had the intention to deceive the public
regarding the contents of the said law.
S$)'t"!ti5e
o @hether or not the RH Law is unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates
Ri=.t t Li6e < NO
onstitution intended that ,.G conception to refer to the time of
fertili>ation and *.G the protection of the unborn upon said fertili>ation
#ot all contraceptives are to be banned Fonly those that kill a fertili>ed
ovumG
ontraceptives that prevent union of sperm and egg are thus permissible
It is the intended by the framers of the ,/)E onstitution to prevent the
enacting of a law that legali>es abortion.
RH law prohibits abortion
RH law recogni>es that abortion is a crime
RH law prohibits abortifacients
Ri=.t t He"%t. - NO
@ith the provisions of R' -E*/ still in place, the status 3uo on the sale of
contraceptives is maintained and the ourt believes that there are ade3uate
measures that ensure that the public has access to contraceptives that have
been determined safe following testing, evaluation, and approval by the
6$'
F*ee&( 6 Re%i=i! "!& t.e Ri=.t t F*ee S7ee#. < NO "!& YES
RH law does not violate guarantee of religious freedom via the state0
sponsored procurement of contraceptives, which contravene the religious
beliefs of the people including the petitioners. This is because in doing so,
the state would be adhering to one religions, making a de facto state
religion which is contrary to religious freedom.
The separation of hurch and 4tate shall be inviolable
There limits to the exercise of religious freedom Fcompelling state interest
testG
1enevolent neutrality
RH law does not violate the guarantee of religious freedom by re3uiring
would0be spouses, as a condition for the issuance of a marriage license, to
attend a seminar on parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant
nutrition Fsec.E, *7, *-G
H:e5e*, RH Law violates the guarantee of religious freedom by
compelling medical health practitioners, hospitals, and health care
providers, under pain of penalty, to refer patients to other institutions
despite their conscientious ob=ections
T.e F"(i%3 - YES
4ection *7FaGF*GFiG of the RH Law, which needs only the consent of the
spouse undergoing the provision in order to undergo reproductive
procedures intrudes into martial privacy and autonomy and goes against
the constitutional safeguards for the family as the basic social
institution. #ot only that, but the exclusion of parental consent in cases
where a minor undergoing a procedure is already a parent or has had a
miscarriage F4ection E of the RH LawG is also anti0family and violates
'rticle II, 4ection ,* of the onstitution, which declares that the rearing
of children by parents is a natural right.
F*ee&( 6 E97*e''i! "!& A#"&e(i# F*ee&( < 8NDECIDED
The court decided that making a ruling on 4ection ,- of the RH Law,
which mandates the 4tate to provide 'ge0and $evelopment0'ppropriate
Reproductive Health "ducation, is premature. The $epartment of
"ducation has not yet created a curriculum on age0appropriate
reproductive health education, thus the constitutionality of the specifics in
such a curriculum still cannot be determined. The exclusion of private
educational institutions from the mandatory RH education program under
4ection ,- is valid. There is a need to recogni>e the academic freedom of
private educational institutions especially with respect to religious
instruction and to consider their sensitivity towards the teaching of
reproductive health education.
D$e P*#e'' - NO
The definitions of several terms pinpointed by the petitioners in the RH
Law are not vague.
2rivate health care institution O private health care service provider.
KserviceL and KmethodsL are also broad enough to include giving
information and performing medical procedures, so hospitals run by
religious groups can be exempted.
Kincorrect informationL connotes a sense of malice and ill motive to
mislead the public.
E>$"% P*te#ti! - NO
It is pursuant to 4ection ,,, 'rticle AIII of the onstitution, which states
that the 4tate shall prioriti>e the needs of the underprivileged, sick elderly,
disabled, women, and children and that it shall endeavor to provide
medical care to paupers.
I!5%$!t"*3 Se*5it$&e - NO
The 4tate has the power to regulate the practice of medicine in order to
ensure the welfare of the public. #ot only that, but 4ection ,E only
encourages private and non0government RH service providers to give pro
bono service5 they do not incur penalties if they refuse. onscientious
ob=ects are exempt if their religious beliefs do not allow them to provide
the said services.
A$t!(3 6 L#"% G5e*!(e!t'/ARMM < NO
The RH Law does not infringe upon the autonomy of local governments.
9nder paragraph FcG of 4ection ,E, unless a local government unit FL.9G
is particularly designated as the implementing agency, it has no power
over a program for which funding has been provided by the national
government under the annual .eneral 'ppropriations 'ct, even if the
program involves the delivery of basic services within the =urisdiction of
the L.9s. #ot only that, but L.9s are merely encouraged and not
compelled to provide RH services. 2rovision of these services are not
mandatory. Lastly, 'rticle III, 4ections H, ,+, and ,, of R' /+D- deor the
%rganic 'ct of the 'R!! merely outlines the powers that may be
exercised by the regional government and does not indicate the 4tateJs
abdication to create laws in the name of public welfare.
N"t$*"% L": < &i'*e="*&e&
#atural law, according to the ourt, is not recogni>ed as proper legal basis
for making decisions
o W.et.e* * !t C!=*e''? &e%e="ti! 6 "$t.*it3 t t.e FDA i! &ete*(i!i!=
:.i#. '.$%& )e i!#%$&e& i! t.e EDL i' 5"%i&- YES
9nder R' 7E*+, the 6$', being the primary and sole premiere and only
agency that ensures the safety of food and medicines available to the public,
has the power and competency to evaluate, register and cover health services
and methods
Final Ruling
o 2etitions partially granted. T.e RA 1-0/4 i' &e#%"*e& #!'tit$ti!"%, "!& St"t$'
@$ A!te O*&e* %i6te& :it. *e'7e#t t 7*5i'i!' 6 RA 1-0/4 t."t ."5e )ee!
&e#%"*e& "' #!'tit$ti!"%. H:e5e*, t.e 6%%:i!= 7*5i'i!' "!& t.ei*
#**e'7!&i!= 7*5i'i!' i! t.e RH-IRR ."5e )ee! &e#%"*e&
$!#!'tit$ti!"%:
Se#ti! A "!& t.e #**e'7!&i!= 7*5i'i! i! t.e RH-IRR insofar as theyI
aG re3uire private health facilities and non0maternity specialty hospitals and
hospitals owned and operated by a religious group to refer patients, not in an
emergency or life0threatening case, as defined under Republic 'ct #o. )7--,
to another health facility which is conveniently accessible5 and bG allow
minor0parents or minors who have suffered a miscarriage access to modem
methods of family planning without written consent from their parents or
guardianMs5
Se#ti! +0B"CB%C "!& t.e #**e'7!&i!= 7*5i'i! i! t.e RH-IRR,
particularly 4ection D .*- thereof, insofar as they punish any healthcare
service provider who fails and or refuses to disseminate information regarding
programs and services on reproductive health regardless of his or her religious
beliefs.
Se#ti! +0B"CB+CBiC "!& t.e #**e'7!&i!= 7*5i'i! i! t.e RH-IRR insofar
as they allow a married individual, not in an emergency or life0threatening
case, as defined under Republic 'ct #o. )7--, to undergo reproductive health
procedures without the consent of the spouse5
Se#ti! +0B"CB+CBiiC "!& t.e #**e'7!&i!= 7*5i'i! i! t.e RH-IRR
insofar as they limit the re3uirement of parental consent only to elective
surgical procedures.
Se#ti! +0B"CB0C "!& t.e #**e'7!&i!= 7*5i'i! i! t.e RH-IRR,
particularly 4ection D.*- thereof, insofar as they punish any healthcare service
provider who fails andMor refuses to refer a patient not in an emergency or life0
threatening case, as defined under Republic 'ct #o. )7--, to another health
care service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently
accessible regardless of his or her religious beliefs5
Se#ti! +0B)C "!& t.e #**e'7!&i!= 7*5i'i! i! t.e RH-IRR, particularly
4ection D .*- thereof, insofar as they punish any public officer who refuses to
support reproductive health programs or shall do any act that hinders the full
implementation of a reproductive health program, regardless of his or her
religious beliefs5
Se#ti! 1A "!& t.e #**e'7!&i!= 7*5i'i! i! t.e RH-IRR regarding the
rendering of pro bona reproductive health service in so far as they affect the
conscientious ob=ector in securing 2hilHealth accreditation5
Se#ti! 0.-%B"C "!& Se#ti! 0.-1 GC 6 t.e RH-IRR, which added the
3ualifier NprimarilyN in defining abortifacients and contraceptives, as they are
ultra vires and, therefore, null and void for contravening 4ection -FaG of the
RH Law and violating 4ection ,*, 'rticle II of the onstitution.
Di''e!ti!= O7i!i!
Le!e!, 2.
I. P*e%i(i!"*3 C!'i&e*"ti!'
#one of the petitions properly present an Kactual case or controversyL which deserves the
exercise of =udicial review. The consolidated petitions do not provide the proper venue to
decide on fundamental issues. The law in 3uestion is needed social legislation.
'n actual case or controversy is Kone which involves a conflict of legal rights, an
assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of =udicial resolution5 the case must not be
moot or academic or based on extra0legal or other similar considerations not cogni>able
by a court of =ustice.L
No locus standi. 2etitioners, by no stretch of the imagination, cannot be representative of
the interests of Kthe entire 6ilipino nation.L #ot all 6ilipinos are Roman atholics. #ot all
6ilipinos are from the Bisayas. ertainly not all 6ilipinos have a common interest that
will lead to a common point of view on the constitutionality of the various provisions of
the RH law.
II. S$)'t"!ti5e Di'#$''i!'
The court cannot make a declaration on the beginning of life. 'ny declaration on this
issue will be fraught with contradictions. "ven the onstitutional ommissioners were
not in full agreement5 hence, the use of the word KconceptionL rather than Kfertili>ed
ovumL in 'rticle II, 4ection ,* of the onstitution. There were glaring factual
inaccuracies peddled during their discussion.
The onstitutional ommission deliberations show that it is not true that the issue of
when life begins is already a settled matter. There are several other opinions on this issue.
The Constitutional Commissioners adopted the term conception rather than fertilized
ovum.
Insisting that we can impose, modify or alter rules of the 6ood and $rug 'dministration
is usurpation of the executive power of control over administrative agencies. It is a
violation of the principle of separation of powers, which recogni>es that K:e;ach
department of the government has exclusive cogni>ance of matters within its =urisdiction,
and is supreme within its own sphere.L The system of checks and balances only allows us
to declare, in the exercise of our =udicial powers, the 6ood and $rugs 'dministrationJs
acts as violative of the law or as committed with grave abuse of discretion. 4uch power
is further limited by the re3uirement of actual case or controversy.
The petitions have failed to present clear cases when the provisions for conscientious
ob=ection would truly amount to a violation of religion. They have not distinguished the
relationship of conscience and specific religious dogma. They have not established
religious canon that conflict with the general provision of 4ections E, ,E and *7 of the
law. The comments in intervention in fact raise serious 3uestions regarding what could be
acceptable atholic doctrine on some issues of contraception and sex as only for
procreation.
Se7"*"te C!#$**i!= O7i!i!
C"*7i, 2.
I. P*e%i(i!"*3 C!'i&e*"ti!'
The court is not competent to declare when human life begins. The issue with regards to
this must be settled within the scientific and medical community.
II. S$)'t"!ti5e Di'#$''i!'
R' #o. ,+7D- protects the ovum upon its fertili>ation Fwithout actually saying that life
begins hereG. The issue then, of whether life begins during fertili>ation or when the ovum
plants itself on the uterus wall, is covered as this protects at both stages.
'lthough the law does not provide a definition of conception, it has provisions that
embody the policy of the state to protect the travel of the fertili>ed ovum to the uterus
wall. The law states that it will provide means :.i#. & !t 7*e5e!t i(7%"!t"ti! 6 "
6e*ti%iDe& 5$( as determined by the 6ood and $rug 'dministration.
Se7"*"te C!#$**i!= O7i!i!
B*i!, 2.
I. P*e%i(i!"*3 C!'i&e*"ti!'
The petitions are ripe for =udicial review. The petitions allege actions by the legislature
and by the executive that lie outside the contemplation of the onstitution. ' controversy
exists appropriate for this ourtPs initial consideration of the presence of grave abuse of
discretionI and conse3uent ad=udication if the legislative and executive actions can be so
characteri>ed.
II. S$)'t"!ti5e Di'#$''i!'
@hile the RH Law generally protects and promotes the unbornJs right to life, its 4ection
/ and its IRR fail in their fidelity to the onstitution and to the very terms of the RH Law
itself. It fails to adopt the principle of double effect under 4ection ,*, 'rticle II of the
,/)E onstitution.
The ourt should formulate guidelines on what the government can actually procure and
distribute under the RH law, consistent with its authority under this law and 4ection ,*,
'rticle II to achieve the full protection the onstitution envisions.
The attack on 4ection ,-Js constitutionality is premature because that the lack of an
implementing curriculum by the $epartment of "ducation makes it premature to rule on
constitutionality. The court cannot determine yet how parental rights will be affected
since the specifics of what would be taught under the RH education program do not yet
exist.
The RH LawJs implementation could have political and economic conse3uences. It could
also produce social conse3uences by ushering in behaviors and perceptions about sex,
marriage, and family that are vastly different Fin a negative wayG from the norm.
4ection *7FaG FlG of the RH Law is an unconstitutional subse3uent punishment of speech.
It has overreached the permissible coverage of regulation on the speech of doctors and
other health professionals. The existing information dissemination program found in the
RH law is sufficient in providing information about available reproductive health services
and programs, and the existing regulatory framework for their practice already
sufficiently protects against such negligence and malpractice. 6urthermore, the said
section can create a chilling effect for those in the profession.