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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES SUPREME COURT Manila, Philippines

JOHN WALTER B. JUAT, MARY M. IMBONG, ANTHONY VICTORIO B. LUMICAO, JOSEPH MARTIN Q. VERDEJO, ANTONIA EMMA R. ROXAS; and LOTA LAT-GUERRERO, Petitioners, -- versus -G.R. No. ____________ For Certiorari and Prohibition, with a Prayer for a Writ of Injunction

HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., Executive Secretary; HON. FLORENCIO B. ABAD, Secretary, Department of Budget and Management; HON. ENRIQUE T. ONA, Secretary, Department of Health; HON. ARMIN A. LUISTRO, Secretary, Department of Education; and HON. MANUEL A. ROXAS II, Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government. Respondents. x ----------------------------------------------------- x

PETITION
Petitioners, by counsel, and to this Honorable Court respectfully state: Nature of the Petition This is an original petition for Prohibition with a prayer for Preliminary Injunction against the respondent public officers, to assail the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 10354 entitled, “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH,” (the “law”).

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The Parties Petitioner John Walter B. Juat is a Filipino, of legal age, residing at 10 Giraff St., Greenmeadows, Quezon City, a student of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City and a member of U.P. Students For Life; Petitioner Mary M. Imbong is a Filipino, of legal age, residing at 65 Jocson St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City and is a member of Class 2013 of the Ateneo de Manila University and is an Intern of World Youth Alliance; Petitioner Anthony Victorio B. Lumicao is a Filipino, of legal age, residing at 159 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City and is a student of the University of Asia and the Pacific and a members of Youth United for Philippines (YUP); Petitioner Joseph Martin Q. Verdejo is a Filipino, of legal age, residing at Tambuli Residence Hall, Champagne Edition Condominium, Escriva Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City and is a student of the University of Asia and the Pacific; Petitioner Antonia Emma R.Roxas is a Filipino, of legal age, residing at 14-C, The Greenbelt Chancellor, 112 Rada St., Legazpi Village, Makati, and is the President of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists-Manila; Petitioner Lota Lat-Guerrero is a Filipino, of legal age, married, residing at Barangay Suna-Sabang, Lipa City, Batangas and is a Midwife, Barangay Health Worker and Health Trainor; Respondents are public officials having charge of the enforcement and administration of the law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations relative to the discharge of their respective duties as such. Respondents are sued in their official capacities and may be served with summons and other processes at their respective offices, to wit: 1) Hon. Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Executive Secretary Office of the President of the Philippines Malacañang Palace, City of Manila 2) Hon. Florencio B. Abad, Secretary Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Malcañang, City of Manila 3) Hon. Enrique T. Ona, M.D., Secretary Department of Health (DOH) San Lazaro Compound, City of Manila 4) Hon. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, Secretary Department of Education (DepEd) DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City

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5) Hon. Manuel A. Roxas II, Secretary Department of Internal and Local Government (DILG) EDSA cor. Mapagmahal St., Diliman, Quezon City and through their statutory counsel, the Solicitor General, at 139 Amorsolo Street, Legaspi Vilage, Makati City. Grounds for the Petition I. THE LAW VIOLATES SUBSTANTIAL DUE PROCESS A. THE LAW VIOLATES SUBSTANTIAL DUE PROCESS BY CREATING VAGUE TERMS AND OVERBROAD CONCEPTS. B. THE LAW VIOLATES SUBSTANTIAL DUE PROCESS BY CREATING MEASURES THAT DEFY AND VIOLATE ITS GUIDING PRINCIPLES. THE LAW VIOLATES SUBSTANTIAL DUE PROCESS BY TRAMPLING ON FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS.
THE AND

C.

II.

IN PRIORITIZING THE POOR, THE NEEDY, AND MARGINALIZED, THE LAW MOCKS SOCIAL JUSTICE ABETS AN ABUSIVE EXERCISE OF POLICE POWER.

Arguments in Support of the Petition I. THE LAW VIOLATES SUBSTANTIAL DUE PROCESS A. THE LAW CREATES VAGUE TERMS AND OVERBROAD CONCEPTS.

Due process demands that a law should contain clear and unambiguous language. Reason also demands that a law’s prescriptions should be consistent with its declared purpose. There are weighty reasons for these imperatives: first, the average person needs to know what course of action is commanded by a law, as it

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would be unjust that he be penalized for not following a confusing or unclear law; second, if a law’s prescriptions are broad or ambiguous, its implementing rules will either suffer from the same ambiguity and vagueness, or worse, exceed or thwart the intent of the law; third, penumbras not intended by the law could emerge through unreasonable and belabored interpretations of its vague language. The law introduces the following vague and overbroad concepts: 1. “Safe x x x and satisfying sex life” (Section 4):

“(p) Reproductive Health (RH) refers to the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. This implies that people are able to have a responsible, safe, consensual and satisfying sex life, that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so. This further implies that women and men attain equal relationships in matters related to sexual relations and reproduction.” After all, as applied to sexuality, what is “safe”, or “satisfying” can assume myriads of meanings, which meanings may not be in keeping with good customs, decency, and public morality. 2. “Enhancement of life and personal relations” (Section 4)

“(q) Reproductive health care refers to the access to a full range of methods, facilities, services and supplies that contribute to reproductive health and well-being by addressing reproductive health-related problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations.” (underlines ours) Since when was “enhancement of life and personal relations” a necessary component of reproductive health? A person who is terminally ill may have a meaningful life in the midst of his sufferings and even enjoy deep and meaningful personal relations with his caring family and friends; unless, an “enhanced life” is meant to be interpreted in light of “the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health” as explained below.

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3.

“The highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health” and “to make other decisions concerning reproduction” (Section 4)

“(s) Reproductive health rights refers to the rights of individuals and couples, to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children; the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make other decisions concerning reproduction, free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and means to do so; and to attain the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health; x x x The phrase “the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health” when read together with the phrase “safe x x x and satisfying sex life” in subsection (p) above opens the door to an unbridled interpretation that could border on licentious behavior especially for adolescents to whom the law applies. This is not all: Reading subsections (p) and (s) of Section 4 above, together with the State’s guarantee expressed in Section 2 of: “x x x universal access to medically-safe, nonabortifacient, effective, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies x x x (Fifth paragraph, Section 2) and the State’s promise in Section 2, sixth paragraph, to— “x x x eradicate discriminatory practices, laws and policies that infringe on a person’s exercise of reproductive health rights.” “Safe x x x and satisfying sex life” and “the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health” portend badly for the moral upbringing of adolescents, children, and youth on whom the law accords “reproductive rights”. Danger lurks for adolescents, children and youth, in light of the law’s Guiding Principles for Implementation (Section 3) where it is said that: “(a) The right to make free and informed decisions, which is central to the exercise of any right, shall not be

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subjected to any form of coercion and must be fully guaranteed by the State, like the right itself; (b) Respect for protection and fulfillment of reproductive health and rights which seek to promote the rights and welfare of every person particularly couples, adult individuals, women and adolescents;” (Underlines ours.) 4. “Pleasurable and safe sexual experiences” (Section 4)

The law continues: “(w) Sexual health refers to a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free from coercion, discrimination and violence.” (underline ours) Upon what legal premise is it a function of the State to be a provider of pleasurable sexual experiences? Or of safe sexual experiences? If that is what the law seeks to provide, what then would be “pleasurable”? And what would be “safe”? The law thereby makes our Barangay Health Centers—the front-line enforcers—legalized public providers and instruments for “pleasurable and safe sexual experiences.” 5. “Life skills education and other approaches” (Section 4)

The law says: “(t) Reproductive health and sexuality education refers to a lifelong learning process of providing and acquiring complete, accurate and relevant age- and development-appropriate information and education on reproductive health and sexuality through life skills education and other approaches. It will be a case of ambiguous means promoting ambiguous content. “Life skills education” is unclear as to what skills and in what. And what could be meant by “other approaches”? If the provisions of the law must be read in harmony with each other, will “life skills” be employed in

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service of “the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health” (Section 4s), the promotion of a “safe x x x and satisfying sex life” (Section 4p), and “pleasurable and safe sexual experiences” (Section 4w)? The broadness and vagueness of “other approaches” is disturbing in light of the law’s policy of “universal access” (Section 2, fifth paragraph) which will include children who, in the same paragraph, are mentioned as having “priority needs”. Children as priority targets for reproductive health education is guaranteed by the State when it states in the succeeding paragraph that: “The State shall eradicate discriminatory practices, laws and policies that infringe on a person’s exercise of reproductive health rights.” (Section 2, sixth paragraph) (underlines ours) 6. “Incorrect information regarding programs and services on health” (Section 23)

The following acts are proscribed and penalized: “Sec . 23. Prohibited Acts. – The following acts are prohibited: (a) Any health care service provider, whether public or private, who shall: (1) Knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe, non-abortifacient and effective family planning methods; x x x” (underlines ours) Will information that departs from what the law prescribes but grounded on a provider’s religious convictions be deemed incorrect information? Will statements and other communication made in the exercise of conscientious objection be thereby punishable as an example of “any violation of this Act” under Section 24?

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7.

“Any violation of this Act” (Section 24)

Due process also requires that people be given fair warning regarding conduct that is deemed illegal. It is not enough that Section 23 enumerates specific prohibited acts. Outside of its described acts, Section 24 penalizes other unspecified acts with no qualification or description as to their nature and means of commission. Thus: “Sec. 24. Penalties. – Any violation of this Act or commission of the foregoing prohibited acts shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) to One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the competent court: Provided, That, if the offender is a public officer, elected or appointed, he/she shall also suffer the penalty of suspension not exceeding one (1) year or removal and forfeiture of retirement benefits depending on the gravity of the offense after due notice and hearing by the appropriate body or agency.” (underlines ours) With Section 24 in place, what on earth could be “any violation of this Act”? Depriving a person or not providing her an environment, facility, service, or device for “safe, consensual and satisfying sex” (Section 4p)? Inhibiting the enjoyment of “pleasurable and safe sexual experiences” (Section 4w)? Parents’ acts that hinder the “sexual health” (Ibid.) and the “reproductive health right” (Section 4s) of their children to “the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health” (Section 4s)? 8. “Discriminatory practices” (Section 2)

The law declares: “The State shall eradicate discriminatory practices, laws and policies that infringe on a person’s exercise of reproductive health rights.” (Section 2, sixth paragraph) x x x

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“(g) Gender equality refers to the principle of equality between women and men and equal rights to enjoy conditions in realizing their full human potentials to contribute to, and benefit from, the results of development, with the State recognizing that all human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights. It entails equality in opportunities, in the allocation of resources or benefits, or in access to services in furtherance of the rights to health and sustainable human development among others, without discrimination.” (Section 4) (underlines ours) With these provisions in place, it should be asked: Will refusing trans-genders access to reproductive technology be a discriminatory act, hence, subject to prosecution? Will refusing contraceptive information to a promiscuous adolescent-minor be discriminatory and in violation of her “reproductive health rights”? Will the refusal of a professed Catholic teacher to impart immoral information to his students constitute discrimination? Will a Catholic Barangay Health Worker like petitioner, Lota Lat-Guerrero, who refuses on religious grounds to provide certain reproductive health services be liable for “discrimination”? The possibilities are endless—and the possible consequences to human rights, alarming. 9. “Other interest groups” (Section 14)

On the subject of reproductive health education, the law states: “Sec.14. Age and Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. – The State shall provide ageand-development-appropriate reproductive health education to adolescents which shall be taught by adequately trained teachers in formal and nonformal educational system and integrated in relevant subjects such as, but not limited to, values formation; knowledge and skills in self-protection against discrimination; sexual abuse and violence against women and children and other forms of gender based violence and teen pregnancy; physical, social and emotional changes in adolescents; women’s rights and children’s rights; responsible teenage behavior; gender and development; and responsible parenthood: Provided, That flexibility in the formulation and adoption of appropriate course content, scope and methodology in each educational level or group shall be allowed only after

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consultations with parents-teachers-community associations, school officials and other interest groups. x x x” (underlines ours) Will just any interest group do? Are interest groups representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LGBT) agenda included in the term? After all, the law prohibits “discrimination” (Section 2, sixth paragraph) and the State guarantees “universal access” (Section 2, Fifth paragraph). The same is true of Section 4(g): “(g) Gender equality refers to the principle of equality between women and men and equal rights to enjoy conditions in realizing their full human potentials to contribute to, and benefit from, the results of development, with the State recognizing that all human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights. It entails equality in opportunities, in the allocation of resources or benefits, or in access to services in furtherance of the rights to health and sustainable human development among others, without discrimination.” (underlines ours) Will not the country’s curriculum on child and adolescent education play hostage to other interests that are grounded on emerging ideologies contrary to the Filipino culture and values on family, male-female marriage, among others? 10. “Obligations under various human rights instruments” (Section 3h) The laws says: “Sec. 3. Guiding Principles for Implementation. – This Act declares the following as guiding principles: x x x (h) The State shall respect individuals’ preferences and choice of family planning methods that are in accordance with their religious convictions and cultural beliefs, taking into consideration the State’s obligations under various human rights instruments;” (underlines ours)

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There are human rights instruments that are not obligatory on the Philippines. Other international practices could also not qualify as soft law if these are contrary to the Constitution. Thus: “Section 7. The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states, the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination. (Article II, State Policies) (underlines ours)

B.

THE LAW CREATES MEASURES THAT DEFY AND VIOLATE ITS GUIDING PRINCIPLES.

The law expresses one thing, but does the opposite. We shall elaborate. The law professes “openness to life”. It provides, to wit: “The State shall also promote openness to life; Provided, That parents bring forth to the world only those children whom they can raise in a truly humane way.” (Section 2, final paragraph) (underlines ours) xxx “(f) The State shall promote programs that: x x x (1) enable individuals and couples to have the number of children they desire with due consideration to the health, particularly of women, and the resources available and affordable to them and in accordance with existing laws, public morals and their religious convictions: Provided, That no one shall be deprived, for economic reasons, of the rights to have children; x x x” (Section 3) (underlines ours) The law also recognizes population as an asset: “(c) Since human resource is among the principal assets of the country, effective and quality reproductive health care services must be given primacy to ensure maternal and child health, the health of the unborn, safe delivery and birth of healthy children, and sound replacement rate, in line with the State’s duty to promote the right to health, responsible

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parenthood, social justice and full human development;” (Section 3) (underlines ours) xxx “(l) There shall be no demographic or population targets and the mitigation, promotion and/or stabilization of the population growth rate is incidental to the advancement of reproductive health;” (Ibid.) (underlines ours) and claims to protect “life opportunities of future generations”: “(aa) Sustainable human development refers to bringing people, particularly the poor and vulnerable, to the center of development process, the central purpose of which is the creation of an enabling environment in which all can enjoy long, healthy and productive lives, done in the manner that promotes their rights and protects the life opportunities of future generations and the natural ecosystem on which all life depends.” (Section 4) However, the measures installed by the law contradict its expressed platitudes as shown in the following provisions: 1. Targeting of women of reproductive age for barrenness

According to the law: “x x x The elements of reproductive health care include the following: (1) Family planning information and services which shall include as a first priority making women of reproductive age fully aware of their respective cycles to make them aware of when fertilization is highly probable, as well as highly improbable;” (Section 4) (underlines ours) xxx “SEC. 10. Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies. – The DOH shall procure, distribute to LGUs and monitor the usage of family planning supplies for the

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whole country. The DOH shall coordinate with all appropriate local government bodies to plan and implement this procurement and distribution program. The supply and budget allotments shall be based on, among others, the current levels and projections of the following: (a) Number of women of reproductive age and couples who want to space or limit their children; (b) Contraceptive prevalence rate, by type of method used; x x x” (underlines ours) 2. Impairing and ensuring male infertility

The law says: “(i) Male responsibility refers to the involvement, commitment, accountability and responsibility of males in all areas of sexual health and reproductive health, as well as the care of reproductive health concerns specific to men. (Section 4) (underlines ours) x x x “(q) x x x The elements of reproductive health care include the following: x x x (9) Male responsibility and involvement and men’s reproductive health;” (Ibid.) (underlines ours) 3. Providing irreversible methods of bringing about infertility

Sterilization—ligation, vasectomy—so-called “modern methods” in the law are truly “effective” for they irreversibly impair and destroy reproductive capacity. Thus— “(e) The State shall promote and provide information and access, without bias, to all methods of family planning, including effective natural and modern methods which have been proven medically safe, legal, non-abortifacient, and effective in accordance with scientific and evidence-based medical research standards such as those registered and

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approved by the FDA for the poor and marginalized as identified through the NHTS-PR and other government measures of identifying marginalization: x x x” (Section 3) (underlines ours) Depriving a person of some essential organ of reproduction could be a serious offense. According to the Revised Penal Code: “Art. 262. Mutilation. — The penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon any person who shall intentionally mutilate another by depriving him, either totally or partially, or some essential organ of reproduction.” (underlines ours) 4. Obstructing and hindering reproductive system natural processes of the

While the law declares a policy of respect for “the rhythm and harmony of nature”— “The State shall likewise protect and advance the right of families in particular and the people in general to a balanced and healthful environment in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.” (Section 2, Declaration of Policy, 2nd paragraph, 4th sentence) in succeeding provisions (infra), the law creates programs that interfere with the natural functioning of the human body by disturbing, manipulating, and destroying the normal and natural processes of the human reproductive system, resulting in barrenness. 5. Impeding or preventing the occurrence of conception

Protection of the unborn is incompatible with contraception (impeding conception). One cannot claim to protect the unborn from the moment conception if one hinders the operative moment of conception. If conception does not occur or is impeded, there will be no unborn to protect. As a consequence, Article II Section 12 that says:

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“The State x x x shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. x x x” (underlines ours) becomes bereft of meaning.

6.

Enshrining childlessness as a “reproductive health right” as a way of attaining “the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health”

Section 4 of the law states: “(s) Reproductive health rights refers to the rights of individuals and couples, to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children; the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make other decisions concerning reproduction, free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and means to do so; and to attain the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health; x x x” (underlines ours) 7. Denigrating motherhood and maternity

Section 4 of the law defines “maternal health” as follows: “(k) Maternal health refers to the health of a woman of reproductive age including, but not limited to, during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.” (underlines ours) If the law’s definition of “maternal health is “not limited to” times “during pregnancy”, then the term also refers to the times in women’s cycles before pregnancy, or outside pregnancy. In these two instances, what will be offered to women could only be contraception and fertility control. So the question should be asked: is the law truly for maternal health? How can it be when it works to prevent women “of reproductive age” from becoming mothers?

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Going further, a reading of the definition of “maternal health” in Section 4(k) above together with other provisions of the law opens the possibility that “maternal health” could include for the single woman “safe and satisfying consensual sex” (Section 4p) “outside pregnancy”, or “enhancement of life and personal relations” (Section 4q), or provisions for “the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health” (Section 4s), or “pleasurable and safe sexual experiences”(4w) for the woman “of reproductive age”. Such possibilities do not augur well for women’s maternal function. And yet, the constitution says: “Section 14. The State shall protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation. (Article XII, Constitution) (underlines ours) “Section 14. The State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.” (Article II, Declaration of Principles and State Policies, Ibid.) (underlines ours) The law’s measures are also discordant with its own title. According to the Constitution: “(1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.” (Article VI, Sec. 26) xxx “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instil health consciousness among them.” (Article II, Section 15, State Policies) (underlines ours) Section 1 of the law states: “SECTION 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012″. (underline ours.)

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As shown above, however, the law’s measures have an underlying singularity of encouraging, providing (and funding) all methods, facilities, services and supplies (Section 4q) to induce infertility. But infertility is an affliction; it is not health. Rather, pregnancy is not a disease, as fertility is health. C. THE LAW TRAMPLES ON FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS. 1. The right to marry

The law states: “Sec. 15. Certificate of Compliance. – No marriage license shall be issued by the Local Civil Registrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by the local Family Planning Office certifying that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on responsible parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant nutrition.” (underlines ours) x x x “Sec. 23. Prohibited Acts- The following acts are prohibited: x x x (d) Any person who shall falsify a Certificate of Compliance as required in Section 15 of this Act;” (underlines ours) On the other hand, the Constitution states: “Section 3. The State shall defend: (1) The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood; (Article XV, Constitution) (underlines ours) In Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374 (1978) Justice Marshall observed:

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“The right to marry is also among the personal decisions protected by the right to privacy, placed on the same level of importance as relating to procreation, childbirth, child rearing, and family relationships”. Thus, commenting on the Zablocki decision, it has been said: “It is not surprising that the decision to marry has been placed on the same level of importance as decisions relating to procreation, childbirth, child rearing, and family relationships for it would make little sense to recognize a right of privacy with respect to other matters of family life and not with respect to the decision to enter the relationship that is the foundation of the family in our society. If appellee’s right to procreate means anything at all, it must imply some right to enter the only relationship in which the state allows sexual relations legally to take place.” (Jesse H. Cooper, Rrichard H. Fallon, Jr., Yale Kamisar, & Steven H. Shiffrin, Constitutional law: Cases— Comments—Questions, West Group, St. Paul, Minn., 2001, Ninth Edition, p. 456.) The right to marry is a natural, universal human right as provided in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights: “Article 16. 1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) xxx “Article 23. 1. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

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2. The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.” (International Convention on Civil and Political Rights) The Philippine Constitution contains no pre-condition to the right of spouses to found a family, and to enter into the married state. These are basic and inherent human rights, anterior to the State or to any positive law, hence, impervious to unreasonable requisites by the State such as Stateformulated “information” on “family planning” which orient couples on small family size and methods of attaining infertility. 2. The right to reproductive integrity, spousal privacy and autonomy are inherent in the right to found a family

Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution states: “Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” x x x (underlines ours) Why are spousal and family decisions autonomous? Simply because the family does not owe its existence to the State. It is a natural human institution that does not owe its existence to state or government. That is why, as worded in Section 12 above, the State merely recognizes the sanctity of family life. By that language, the State acknowledges the reality of something that pre-exists. Not being the source or progenitor of family, the State may not influence the decision of spouses on their family size nor interfere with parenting. Autonomy necessarily implies respect and freedom from influence, regulation, or other form of entry. It would be the height of unlawful intrusion for the State to even influence spousal decisions on raising a family. As aptly expressed by Justice Douglas in Griswold v. Connecticut (381, U.S. 479): “Would be allow the police to search the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives? The very idea is repulsive to the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship.”

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3.

A defiant violation of spousal autonomy by targeting each family and each parent

The law targets spouses regardless of each couple’s personal conviction, religious belief or persuasion for information on what it calls “responsible parenthood”, as if the State knows better than the spouses about “responsible parenthood”: “(k) Each family shall have the right to determine its ideal family size: Provided, however, That the State shall equip each parent with the necessary information on all aspects of family life, including reproductive health and responsible parenthood, in order to make that determination.” (Section 3k) (underlines ours) Does the State know better than the spouses about founding a family? Does the State know the unique and special circumstances of each of the spouses and their personal capacities which will ground their personal decisions? May the State exert influence directly or indirectly on spousal decisions on their family size or number of offspring? Put another way, may the State interfere with spousal decisions on their family life? Can the State plan families for families? Can the State plan parenthood for parents? 4. Violating the natural and fundamental right of parents to nurture their own children in the ways of morality

The law allows the State to take over parents’ basic right to nurture their children in the ways of goodness and moral uprightness through mandatory “Age- and-Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education.” The law installs programs in the educational system that will infuse children and adolescents with radical liberties which mock parental authority, unravel the natural bond between parent and child, and imperil the moral development of their own children. “Age-and-DevelopmentAppropriate Reproductive Health Education” in all schools will teach children and adolescent, among others— “The right to make free and informed decisions x x x (Sec. 3) on their sexual and reproductive health, where—

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“(s) Reproductive health rights refers to the rights of individuals and couples, to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children; the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make other decisions concerning reproduction, free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and means to do so; and to attain the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health; x x x (Section 4) (underlines ours) and— “(w) Sexual health refers to a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free from coercion, discrimination and violence. (Ibid.) (underlines ours) To be sure, the law guarantees to children— “(b) Respect for protection and fulfillment of reproductive health and rights which seek to promote the rights and welfare of every person particularly couples, adult individuals, women and adolescents; x x x (Section 3) (underlines ours) Such “adolescent reproductive rights” are repeatedly guaranteed by the State: “(a) The right to make free and informed decisions, which is central to the exercise of any right, shall not be subjected to any form of coercion and must be fully guaranteed by the State, like the right itself; (Section 3) x x x “(e) The State shall promote and provide information and access, without bias, to all methods of family planning x x x (Ibid.) (underlines ours) Should parents, elders, or religion become obstacles to “adolescent reproductive rights”, these will be swept out of the way because—

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“The State shall eradicate discriminatory practices, and policies that infringe on a person’s exercise of reproductive health rights.” (Sec. 2, sixth paragraph) (underlines ours) In light of the law’s declared policy of “universal access” (Section 2, fifth paragraph), the law is an invitation to children in pre-pubescent years and adolescents to state-guaranteed opportunities for unbridled sexual behaviour. Meanwhile, parental guidance, much less, parental presence and consent are not mentioned at all. Section 14 contains no opt-out proviso for parents who are after their child’s upbringing according to the family’s spiritual convictions. There is unspeakable moral harm and peril to children and adolescents because sexual and reproductive health will be taught not as a distinct subject or course, but is integrated in the different grade level subjects: “Sec. 14. Age- and Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. – The State shall provide ageand development-appropriate reproductive health education to adolescents which shall be taught by adequately trained teachers in formal and nonformal educational system and integrated in relevant subjects x x x” It might be significant for the Honorable Court to note that in providing sexuality education, the law continues in its bias for children of destitute families. Section 2 declares: “The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, non-abortifacient, effective, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, 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, children and other underprivileged sectors, giving preferential access to those identified through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and other government measures of identifying marginalization, who shall be voluntary beneficiaries of reproductive health care, services and supplies for free.” (Section 2, Declaration of Policy, fifth paragraph) (underlines ours)

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This is unfortunate, for: “(5) Every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitude for the enrichment and the strengthening of his character. (Article 3, Pres. Decree No. 603) x x x (8) Every child has the right to protection against exploitation, improper influence, hazards, and other conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his physical, mental, emotional, social and moral development. (Ibid.) (underlines ours) This concern for children’s best interest is assured by the Constitution: “The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. (Section 13, Article II, Constitution) “x x x The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” (Section 12, Article II, Ibid.) (underlines ours) Is the State a better parent than fathers and mothers? Does the State know the hearts of the couple’s children more than their parents do? Does the State know the unique psychological attributes of every child, and every child’s readiness (or unreadiness) for sexuality information? Most importantly, are the spouses’ children, children of the State? Verily: “The child is not a mere creature of the State.” (Article 1, Pres. Decree 603, Child and Youth Welfare Code) (underlines ours) Parents have the right to tell the State, “My children and not your children.” 5. Violating freedom of speech and expression

Section 7 of the law provides:

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“No person shall be denied information and access to family planning services, whether natural or artificial : x x x” (Section 7, second paragraph) (underlines ours) As frontliners in the implementation of the law, all health care service providers—public or privately employed—could be liable for certain criminal acts, to wit: “Sec. 23. Prohibited Acts. – The following acts are prohibited: (a) Any health care service provider, whether public or private, who shall: (1) Knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe, non-abortifacient and effective family planning methods; x x x (3) Refuse to extend quality health care services and information on account of the person’s marital status, gender, age, religious convictions, personal circumstances, or nature of work: x x x Sections 23 (a) (1) and 23 (a) (3) are unconstitutional. The Constitution states: “Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” (Article III, Bill of Rights) Freedom of speech also includes the freedom not to speak. Silence— prompted by a refusal to speak in violation of one’s religious or personal convictions—is a fundamental human right. Petitioner LOTA LATGUERRERO, who is a Catholic Barangay Health Worker and others who are similarly situated may not be forced to impart reproductive health “information” when such information is against their Faith and right conscience.

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6.

Violating the free exercise clause

The Constitution says: “No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.” (Section 5, Article III) (underlines ours) In defiance of this basic right— a) The law penalizes Catholic Barangay health service providers who will refuse to impart information that is contrary to their Faith: Section 23 of the law states: “Sec . 23. Prohibited Acts. – The following acts are prohibited: (a) Any health care service provider, whether public or private, who shall: (1) Knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe, non-abortifacient and effective family planning methods;” (underlines ours) b) The law compels private healthcare service providers to render pro-bono reproductive health services, failing which, they are denied PhilHealth accreditation: “Sec. 17. Pro Bono Services for Indigent Women. – Private and nongovernment reproductive healthcare service providers including, but not limited to, gynecologists and obstetricians, are encouraged to provide at least forty-eight (48) hours annually of

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reproductive health services, ranging from providing information and education to rendering medical services, free of charge to indigent and low-income patients as identified through the NHTS-PR and other government measures of identifying marginalization, especially to pregnant adolescents. The forty-eight (48) hours annual pro bono services shall be included as a prerequisite in the accreditation under the PhilHealth.” (underlines ours) While Section 17 “encourages” the rendering of pro bono services to poor women, the rendering of pro bono services is in reality coercive because of an imposed disadvantage, hence, violative of the free exercise clause. c) The law provides no exemption to Catholic employers (not of a religious group or religious community) who refuse to provide contraceptives in their private establishments for reasons grounded on religious belief: “Sec. 7. Access to Family Planning. – All accredited public health facilities shall provide a full range of modern family planning methods, which shall also include medical consultations, supplies and necessary and reasonable procedures for poor and marginalized couples having infertility issues who desire to have children: Provided, That family planning services shall likewise be extended by private health facilities to paying patients with the option to grant free care and services to indigents, except in the case of non-maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group, but they have the option to provide such full range of modern family planning methods:” x x x d) Owners of private hospitals are forced into complicity with immoral acts by the law’s requirement to refer patients to another health facility that can provide the reproductive health services they object to: A proviso of Section 17 states:

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“Sec. 17. x x x Provided, further, That these hospitals shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health facility which is conveniently accessible: Provided, finally, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344.” Section 23 (a)(1), Section 7, and Section 17 above constitute “coercion of conscience”, for after all, what is prohibited directly may not be done indirectly. e) By enforcing on Catholics a concept of responsible parenthood that is contrary to Catholic teachings, the law violates the principle of Separation of Church and State: Section 4 of R.A. 10354 defines “responsible parenthood” as— “(v) x x x the will and ability of a parent to respond to the needs and aspirations of the family and children. It is likewise a shared responsibility between parents to determine and achieve the desired number of children, spacing and timing of their children according to their own family life aspirations, taking into account psychological preparedness, health status, sociocultural and economic concerns consistent with their religious convictions.” On the other hand, the Constitution states: “Section 3. The State shall defend: (1) The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood;” (Article XV) (underlines ours) As worded above, responsible parenthood is bound to one’s Faith. The two concepts are conjunctive, not alternative, hence, are lived together. As for petitioners who are Catholics, responsible parenthood is lived in accordance with what their religion teaches. The question now emerges:

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Can Congress define "responsible parenthood" without directly or indirectly impinging on the right of spouses to found their family "in accordance with their religious convictions" or beliefs? The answer is, No. As worded in Article XV, Section 1(3), responsible parenthood is linked with the religious teachings of one’s Faith. By enforcing the concept of ”responsible parenthood” as defined in Section 4(v), the law violates Catholic religious belief, thereby rendering nugatory Article XV, Section 3 (1) Constitution. For, how can a Catholic family raise a family in accordance with their Catholic Faith if the law enforces “responsible parenthood” in a way that is inconsistent with the teachings of their Faith? For Catholics such as the herein petitioners, responsible parenthood is practiced in the way their Faith teaches. Petitioners freely and deeply believe in the dogma on Conjugal Love as taught in Humanae Vitae (HV), the July 25, 1968 Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI on the Regulation of Birth. There, it is taught that the essence of responsible parenthood is Christian generosity and openness to new birth and new life. Thus, Humanea Vitae teaches that: o Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. (§ 9 HV) For, Christian love is fecund love. (Ibid.) o Responsible parenthood is exercised, either by the deliberate and generous decision to raise a numerous family, or by the decision, made for grave motives and with due respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, a new birth. (§ 10 HV) o In the task of transmitting life, Catholic spouses are not free to proceed completely at will, as if they could determine in a wholly autonomous way the honest path to follow; but they must conform their activity to the creative intention of God, expressed in the very nature of marriage and of its acts, and manifested by the constant teaching of the Church. (Ibid.) o To use this divine gift destroying, even if only partially, its meaning and its purpose is to contradict also the plan of God and His will. (§ 13 Ibid.)

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o To justify conjugal acts made intentionally infecund, one cannot invoke as valid reasons the lesser evil x x x even when the intention is to safeguard or promote individual, family or social well-being. (§ 14 Ibid.) Hence, for petitioners, as with all Catholics, the decision to found a family and the idea of family size are grounded on Catholic dogma. Marriage and family being part of Catholic doctrine, the State may not distort or override the religious meaning of “responsible parenthood” by applying its own definition of the phrase (c.f., Section 3v) to Catholics, in complete isolation from the term’s religious groundings. Otherwise, it would amount to the State unlawfully arrogating upon itself the dubious authority to supplant Catholic teaching on matters of human existence. Religion and religious doctrine is a matter between the believer and his God. The State can only be a respectful outsider. After all— “The separation of Church State shall be inviolable. "(Article II, Section 6, Declaration of Principles and State Policies, Constitution)

II.

IN PRIORITIZING THE POOR, THE NEEDY, AND THE MARGINALIZED, THE LAW MOCKS SOCIAL JUSTICE AND ABETS AN ABUSIVE EXERCISE OF POLICE POWER. The Constitution provides: “Section 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all. (Article II, State Polices) “Section 10. The State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development. (Ibid.) “Section 11. The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights. (Ibid.) “Section 1. The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by

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equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good. (Article XIII, Social Justice and Human Rights) Despite these mandates, the law wages a war on large and poor families by prioritizing them as “voluntary beneficiaries’ (Section 2, fifth paragraph, last sentence) of various programs for infertility instead of ministering to their real social and economic needs. Under the guise of ‘uplifting’ families mired in poverty, the following measures do otherwise: 1. Integrating family planning in the government’s poverty alleviation programs (Section 11):

“Sec. 11. Integration of Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning Component in Anti-Poverty Programs. – A multidimensional approach shall be adopted in the implementation of policies and programs to fight poverty. Towards this end, the DOH shall 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, services, products and programs. The DOH shall provide such programs, technical support, including capacity building and monitoring.” (underlines ours) 2. Specifying poor women for access to services and supplies (Section 3d):

“(d) The provision of ethical and medically safe, legal, accessible, affordable, non-abortifacient, effective and quality reproductive health care services and supplies is essential in the promotion of people’s right to health, especially those of women, the poor, and the marginalized, and shall be incorporated as a component of basic health care;” 3. State guarantee of universal access to reproductive health services for destitute women and children (Section 2, Fifth paragraph):

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“The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, non-abortifacient, effective, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, 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, children and other underprivileged sectors, giving preferential access to those identified through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and other government measures of identifying marginalization, who shall be voluntary beneficiaries of reproductive health care, services and supplies for free.” 4. Giving priority to “poor beneficiaries” (Section 3g):

“(g) The provision of reproductive health care, information and supplies giving priority to priority to poor beneficiaries as identified through the NHTS-PR and other government measures of identifying marginalization must be the primary responsibility of the national government consistent with its obligation to respect, protect and promote the right to health and the right to life;” 5. Prioritizing poor women for “integrated care” (Section 4r):

“(r) Reproductive health care program refers to the systematic and integrated provision of reproductive health care to all citizens prioritizing women, the poor, marginalized and those invulnerable or crisis situations.” 6. Prioritizing destitute women (again) (Section 3i):

“(i) Active participation by nongovernment organizations (NGOs), women’s and people’s organizations, civil society, faith-based organizations, the religious sector and communities is crucial to ensure that reproductive health and population and development policies, plans, and programs will address the priority needs of women, the poor, and the marginalized.”

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7.

Identifying and targeting “highly populated and depressed areas” for sustained funding (Section 5):

“Sec. 5. Hiring of Skilled Health Professionals for Maternal Health Care and Skilled Birth Attendance. – The LGUs shall endeavor to hire an adequate number of nurses, midwives and other skilled health professionals for maternal health care and skilled birth attendance to achieve an ideal skilled health professional-to-patient ratio taking into consideration DOH targets: Provided, That people in geographically isolated or highly populated and depressed areas shall be provided the same level of access to health care: Provided, further, That the national government shall provide additional and necessary funding and other necessary assistance for the effective implementation of this provision.” 8. Home visits to “highly populated and depressed areas” (Section 6):

“Sec. 5. Hiring of Skilled Health Professionals for Maternal Health Care and Skilled Birth Attendance. – The LGUs shall endeavor to hire an adequate number of nurses, midwives and other skilled health professionals for maternal health care and skilled birth attendance to achieve an ideal skilled health professional-to-patient ratio taking into consideration DOH targets: Provided, That people in geographically isolated or highly populated and depressed areas shall be provided the same level of access to health care: Provided, further, That the national government shall provide additional and necessary funding and other necessary assistance for the effective implementation of this provision.” “Sec. 6. Health Care Facilities. – Each LGU, upon its determination of the necessity based on well-supported data provided by its local health office shall endeavor to establish or upgrade hospitals and facilities with adequate and qualified personnel, equipment and supplies to be able to provide emergency obstetric and newborn care: Provided, That people in geographically isolated or highly populated and depressed areas shall have the same level of access and shall not be neglected by providing other means such as home visits or mobile health care clinics as needed: Provided, further, That the national government shall provide additional and necessary funding and other necessary assistance for the effective implementation of this provision.”

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There is more to the law’s abusive use of police power: The law installs a widespread mechanism for massive behavior change in all parts of the country for entire populations to accept infertility or contraception under the guise of “family planning” and “reproductive health” as expressed in the following provisions: 9. Roving reproductive health services:

“Sec. 13. Mobile Health Care Service. – The national or the local government may provide each provincial, city, municipal and district hospital with a Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to its terrain, taking into consideration the health care needs of each LGU. The MHCS shall deliver health care goods and services to its constituents, more particularly to the poor and needy, as well as disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health. The MHCS shall be operated by skilled health providers and adequately equipped with a wide range of health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including, but not limited to, a television set for audio-visual presentations. All MHCS shall be operated by LGUs of provinces and highly urbanized cities.” 10. Mandating pro bono services of all private gynecologists and obstetricians: “Sec. 17. Pro Bono Services for Indigent Women. – Private and nongovernment reproductive healthcare service providers including, but not limited to, gynecologists and obstetricians, are encouraged to provide at least forty-eight (48) hours annually of reproductive health services, ranging from providing information and education to rendering medical services, free of charge to indigent and low-income patients as identified through the NHTS-PR and other government measures of identifying marginalization, especially to pregnant adolescents. The forty-eight (48) hours annual pro bono services shall be included as a prerequisite in the accreditation under the PhilHealth.”

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11. Massive hiring of reproductive health service providers: “Sec. 5. Hiring of Skilled Health Professionals for Maternal Health Care and Skilled Birth Attendance. – The LGUs shall endeavor to hire an adequate number of nurses, midwives and other skilled health professionals for maternal health care and skilled birth attendance to achieve an ideal skilled health professional-to-patient ratio taking into consideration DOH targets: x x x” 12. Widespread and heightened multi-media campaigns for behavior change that will comb the grassroots: “Sec. 20. Public Awareness. – The DOH and the LGUs shall initiate and sustain a heightened nationwide multimediacampaign to raise the level of public awareness on the protection and promotion of reproductive health and rights including, but not limited to, maternal health and nutrition, family planning and responsible parenthood information and services, adolescent and youth reproductive health, guidance and counseling and other elements of reproductive health care under Section 4(q).” 13. Close monitoring nationwide: of reproductive health programs

“Sec. 21. Reporting Requirements. – Before the end of April each year, the DOH shall submit to the President of the Philippines and Congress an annual consolidated report, which shall provide a definitive and comprehensive assessment of the implementation of its programs and those of other government agencies and instrumentalities and recommend priorities for executive and legislative actions. The report shall be printed and distributed to all national agencies, the LGUs, NGOs and private sector organizations involved in said programs. The annual report shall evaluate the content, implementation, and impact of all policies related to reproductive health and family planning to ensure that such policies promote, protect and fulfill women’s reproductive health and rights.

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Sec. 22. Congressional Oversight Committee on Reproductive Health Act. There is hereby created a Congressional Oversight Committee (COC) composed of five (5) members each from the Senate and the House of Representatives. x x x The COC shall monitor and ensure the effective implementation of this Act, recommend the necessary remedial legislation or administrative measures, and shall conduct a review of this Act every five (5) years from its effectivity. The COC shall perform such other duties and functions as may be necessary to attain the objectives of this s Act.” In sum, these provisions have an underlying thread: a marked hostility to male and female fertility, conception of new life, and progeny. Measures and public programs exude an unabashed abhorrence of the normal functioning of the reproductive system especially that of the female. These hostile orientations are carried out in the law through pervasive, multi-dimensional, bureaucracy-backed, massive and large-scale neutering programs on women (as well as men); married or unmarried, the law does not distinguish. Our Constitution values and fosters present, past, and future human life: “We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution. (Preamble, Constitution) (underlines ours) Necessarily: 1) A truly humane society fosters an environment conducive to full human fulfillment. Human fulfillment means human existence at its fullest. A humane society provides the conditions that are favorable to and conducive of the inclinations demanded by human nature and human existence. These

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inclinations include human perpetuation and lineage, as posterity is the continuation and survival of humanity itself. Because of this, a humane society speaks of posterity not as disturbing numbers or more “mouths to feed”, or—in the language of the Reproductive Health agenda—“unplanned, unwanted, mistimed pregnancies.” Rather, a humane society prepares and empowers that society to welcome and provide for posterity. 2) Full human fulfillment demands reverence for human life and progeny. The deliberate inclusion of love in the Preamble is not without profound legal implications: A society guided by love cannot be hostile to the birthing of posterity. Hence, it may not impede conception, the starting point of progeny. Since the Constitution values progeny, necessarily, it protects the human faculties necessary for progeny and human generation. Fertility is one such human faculty. In fact, it is an important faculty because it is determinative of the survival of humanity, hence, is entitled to the highest protection in law. Notably, among constitutions of the 196 widely recognized sovereign states in the world, only the Philippine Constitution speaks of love. 3) A Constitution motherhood. that exudes love values women and

If the Constitution values new life and welcomes progeny, necessarily, it also values motherhood. Thus: “Section 14. The State shall protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation.” (Article XIII, Social Justice and Human Rights) (underlines ours) The reason is obvious:

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“Section 14. The State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.” (Article II, State Policies) (underlines ours) 4) “Family” in Philippine Law embraces future descendants as much as ascendants and present offspring. In the Family Code of the Philippines, family relations include those: • • • • Between husband and wife; Between parents and children; Among other ascendants and descendants; and Among brothers and sisters, whether of the full or halfblood. (Article 150, E.O. 209)

The term “descendants” includes future generations. These future generations will be the beneficiaries of the largesse of the nation’s past and present cultural and material riches. They are also the long-term reasons for national and global initiatives for a balanced and healthful ecology. For who will enjoy the blessings of a secured environment if not the generations to come? Who will inherit the good earth if not the future denizens dreamed about and nurtured today in the hearts of those living? That is why the Constitution protects the right of spouses to found a family: “Section 3. The State shall defend: (1) The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood;” (Article XIII, The Family) (underlines ours) That is also why the State has a duty to strengthen the family and assure its longevity by assuring a family living wage for present children, and for those yet to be born: “Section 3. The State shall defend:

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x x x 3. The right of the family to a family living wage and income;” (Art. XIII, The Family) (underlines ours) x x x “Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.” (Art. II, State Policies) (underlines ours) 5) Valuing youth means valuing the birth of new lives. The Constitution acknowledges the value of youth as the succeeding generation. “Section 13. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.” (Article II, Declaration of Principles) (underlines ours) With “youth” defined as any person from a newborn to below 21 years of age. “Title and Scope of Code. - The Code shall be known as the "Child and Youth Welfare Code". It shall apply to persons below twenty-one years of age except those emancipated in accordance with law. "Child" or "minor" or "youth" as used in this Code, shall refer to such persons. (Article 2, The Child and Youth Welfare Code, Pres. Decree No. 603) (underlines ours) The Civil Code provisions on Succession perpetuate the name, kinship, wealth and heritage put together by past generations for those who are not yet born. Provisions on Support in The Family Code are for the benefit of progeny: “TITLE VIII - SUPPORT “Art. 194. Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

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The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work. “Art. 195. Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles, the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article: (1) The spouses; (2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants; (3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; (4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; and (5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or halfblood.” The law on the use of surnames assures perpetuity of lineage. According to the New Civil Code: “Art. 364. Legitimate and legitimated children shall principally use the surname of the father. Art. 365. An adopted child shall bear the surname of the adopter. Art. 366. A natural child acknowledged by both parents shall principally use the surname of the father. If recognized by only one of the parents, a natural child shall employ the surname of the recognizing parent. Art. 367. Natural children by legal fiction shall principally employ the surname of the father. Art. 368. Illegitimate children referred to in article 287 shall bear the surname of the mother. Art. 369. Children conceived before the decree annulling a voidable marriage shall principally use the surname of the father.”

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6) The Constitution acknowledges that a nation’s people are the nation’s wealth. The Constitution states: “Section 18. The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare.” (Article II, State Polices) (underlines ours) Future generations will prime the engines that will generate the nation’s wealth, not just for themselves but also for more generations to be born. Welcoming new life and safeguarding the natural channels of life will make this happen. Concluding Statement Laws dealing with fundamental rights call for strict scrutiny. This is more so when a law tramples on “basic values implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.” (J. Harlan, in Griswold v. Connecticut, Ibid.) To hold otherwise is to let a runaway locomotive continue on its wayward course. When that happens, there will be nothing else that the State cannot touch. Prayer WHEREFORE, premises considered, petitioners respectfully pray that the Honorable Court issue a decision:
1. Declaring null and void, for being unconstitutional, Republic Act No 10354, entitled “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH”;

2. Ordering the respondents and all persons acting on the basis of the Act to cease from implementing the said law; The petitioners pray for other just and equitable remedies. Quezon City for Manila, 28 May 2013.

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IMBONG CASTRO IMBONG & IMBONG Unit 304 Señor Ivan de Palacio Building 139 Malakas St., Diliman, Quezon City Tel. No. 929-4699 By: JO AUREA M. IMBONG Counsel for Petitioners Roll of Attorneys No. 23185 PTR No. 457798/ 28 Feb. 2013 / Marikina City IBP No. 914757 / 15 Feb. 2013 / Quezon City M.C.L.E. Compliance No. IV-0014074 / 27 Mar. 2013 Email: attyjoimbong@gmail.com Mobile No. 0932-8517878

JAMES M. IMBONG Collaborating Counsel Roll of Attorneys No. 51157 PTR No. 26307017 / 04 Jan. 2012 / Angeles City IBP No. 899666 / 17 July 2012 / Angeles City M.C.L.E. Compliance No. III-0018381 / 11 Aug. 2010 jamesimbong@gmail.com Mobile No. 0932-4836601 MANIFESTATION Pursuant to Rule 13, section 11 of the Rules of Court, petitioners respectfully manifest that respondents were served their respective copies of this petition thru registered mail for lack of time and due to the considerable distance between the parties’ offices, thereby making personal service impracticable under the circumstances.

JO AUREA M. IMBONG

Petition Juat, et al. vs. Executive Secretary, et al. G.R. No. --------------------------------------------

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COPY FURNISHED: Hon. Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., Executive Secretary Office of the President of the Philippines Malacañang Palace, City of Manila Hon. Florencio B. Abad, Secretary Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Malcañang, City of Manila Hon. Enrique T. Ona, M.D., Secretary Department of Health (DOH) San Lazaro Compound, City of Manila Hon. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, Secretary Department of Education (DepEd) DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City Hon. Manuel A. Roxas II, Secretary Department of Internal and Local Government (DILG) EDSA cor. Mapagmahal St., Diliman, Quezon City Hon. Francis H. Jardeleza Solicitor General 139 Amorsolo Street Legaspi Village, Makati City

Petition Juat, et al. vs. Executive Secretary, et al. G.R. No. --------------------------------------------

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VERIFICATION/CERTIFICATE OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING WE, JOHN WALTER B. JUAT, MARY M. IMBONG, ANTHONY VICTORIO B. LUMICAO, and ANTONIA EMMA R. ROXAS, under oath state: 1. That we are the petitioners in the above entitled case; 2. That we have read the allegations of the petition and that the allegations stated thereon are true and correct of our own personal knowledge or based on authentic records; 3. That we have not commenced any other proceedings involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, of different Divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency, and that to the best of our knowledge, except those now pending in the Supreme Court docketed as G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, 204957, 204988, 205003, 205043, 205138, 205478, 205491, and 205720, no such action or proceeding is pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or different Divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency; if we should thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or different Divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency, we undertake to promptly inform the aforesaid courts and other tribunal or agency thereof within five (5) days therefrom.

JOHN WALTER B. JUAT Affiant ANTHONY VICTORIO B. LUMICAO Affiant

MARY M. IMBONG Affiant JOSEPH MARTIN Q. VERDEJO Affiant

ANTONIA EMMA R. ROXAS Affiant SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this __ day of May 2013,in Quezon City, Philippines, affiants exhibiting the following competent evidence of their identities: Name Government-issued ID Place/Date Manila, Feb. 9, 2010 Manila, July 23, 2012 Cag. De Oro, 5-15-2007 Manila, Feb. 24, 2008

John Walter B. Juat Passport No. EA0029220 Mary M. Imbong Passport No. EB6000409 Anthony Victorio B. Lumicao Passport No.VV0202213 Antonia Emma R. Roxas Passport No. XX0603912

and that they are the same persons who personally signed before me the foregoing “Verification/Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping” and acknowledged that they executed the same. NOTARY PUBLIC Doc. No._____; Page No._____ Book No.____ ;Series of 2013.

Petition Juat, et al. vs. Executive Secretary, et al. G.R. No. --------------------------------------------

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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES ) QUEZON CITY ) S.S. AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE I, MA. ELENA T. SANCHEZ, of legal age, Filipino and with postal address at Unit 304, 3rd Floor, Senor Ivan de Palacio Building, No. 139 Malakas corner Matalino Streets, Central, Diliman, Quezon City, after having been duly sworn in accordance with law, do hereby depose and say, THAT: On May 28, 2013, I served copy of the PETITION filed in the Supreme Court in G.R. No. ___________ entitled John Walter B. Juat, Mary M. Imbong, Anthony Victorio B. Lumicao, Joseph Martin Q. Verdejo, Lota Lat- Guerrero, And Antonia Emma R. Roxas Vs. Hon. Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. Hon. Florencio B. Abad, Hon. Enrique T. Ona, Hon. Armin A. Luistro, And Hon. Manuel A. Roxas II, by registered mail to the following Addressees Registry Receipt No. ___________ Date May __, 2013

HON. ENRIQUE T. ONA Secretary, Department of Health San Lazaro Compound City of Manila

HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR. ____________ Executive Secretary Office of the President of the Philippines Malacañang Palace, City of Manila HON. FLORENCIO B. ABAD ____________ Secretary, Department of Budget and Management Malacañang, City of Manila HON. ARMIN A. LUISTRO Secretary, Department of Education DepEd Complex, Meralco Ave. Pasig City ____________

May __, 2013

May __, 2013

May__, 2013

HON. MANUEL A. ROXAS II _____________ Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government EDSA cor. Mapagmahal St., Diliman Quezon City

May __, 2013

by depositing the said copies in the __________ City post office, in sealed envelopes, plainly addressed to said addressees, with postage fully paid as evidenced by the Registry Receipts attached to the original of the herein motion for extension with instruction to the postmaster to return the mail to the sender after ten (10) days if undelivered. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my signature this ___ day of May 2013 in Quezon City. MA. ELENA T. SANCHEZ Affiant

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SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before this ____ day of May 2013 at Quezon City, affiant exhibiting to me her SSS No. 33-2739544-0 issued at Quezon City.

NOTARY PUBLIC Doc. No. ______; Page No. _____; Book No. _____; Series of 2013.