Manila, Philippines – Senator Pia Cayetano believes that the advocates of Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act in the Senate have a “strong case” when they face the Supreme Court for an oral argument on Tuesday.
“I am confident that our group – the respondents and the intervenors – have a strong case. As the sponsor of the RH Law in the Senate, I worked meticulously on each and every provision to ensure its constitutionality,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano also stated that she looks forward to the oral arguments on Reproductive Health (RH) Law and welcomed the opportunity to present the constitutionality and legality of the contested measure before the high court.
She further said that denying the reproductive health services from Filipinos will be a rejection of human rights and a grave social injustice.
“To deny RH services from our people would be a denial of human rights and a grave social injustice, especially against women and the poor,” Cayetano said.
The senator then called for the early resolution of the case.
“Lastly, I call for the early resolution of this case. The implementation of the law has been restrained for 120 days and in the meantime, 15 women die each day,” she added.
Sponsors and critics of the RH Bill will face off in a debate at the Supreme Court on the legality of the controversial law.
Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Francisco Tatad, former senators, will lead the petitioners in challenging the constitutionality of Republic Act 10354.
Fifteen consolidated petitions were filed by the critics of the RH Law at the high court. SC then issued on March 19 a 120-day status quo ante order commanding the government from implementing the contested law.
Petitioners of the said law argued that RH “negates and frustrates the foundational ideals and aspirations of the sovereign Filipino people as enshrined in the Constitution.”
The respondents in the petitions were Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr., Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
On the other hand, six intervenors in the case will present their arguments supporting the controversial RH law.
These will include former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, former health secretary Esperanza Cabral, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, and Pia Cayetano.
Each council will be interpellated by the magistrates led by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.