A Makati regional trial court judge was convicted for a crime he committed 12 years ago when he was mayor of Dapitan City
MANILA, Philippines - She is the legal counsel of the Catholic Church, but lawyer Jo Imbong wants to separate the church from her family’s move against the reproductive health law (RH law).
She is the mother and lawyer of James Imbong, who, along with his wife, led a taxpayer’s suit before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 2, to ask the High Court to strike down the RH law for being unconstitutional. (Copy of petition here.)
“It is unfair to attribute this to the Catholic hierarchy. I'm lawyering for two private citizens,” Imbong told Rappler CEO Maria Ressa on #TalkThursday.
Imbong said they are fighting for the rights of the unborn. “We’re fighting for the basic inalienable human rights and the dignity of every person especially of the helpless, the vulnerable. And these are the unborn,” she said.
President Benigno Aquino III signed the RH bill into law on December 21. (INSIDE STORY: The long and rough road to the RH law. The inside story.)
Destorying the family?
But Imbong echoes the Catholic Church's position against the RH law. Unless it is stopped, the RH law will “bring havoc” to the Philippines because it will destroy the Filipino family, she said.
“[Our culture] is something which is unique, that stands alone now among other nations in the world. We still have our values for life, family, bonding of children and parents," she said. “The culture is something we should protect. That is our soul. We are going to lose our soul, our Filipino identify,” she added.
Gov’t overstepping its powers?
The second reason behind the SC petition is that the RH law supposedly allows government to overstep its powers under the Constitution.
“The Philippine Constitution describes marriage as sacred. It uses the word sanctity. That gives it a supernatural character, beyond the reach of human authority - much less the state authority,” she said. “In prescribing contraception and enabling the entire mechanism of government - from top to bottom, government is intruding into the bedroom. It is not its domain,” she added.
‘PH not overpopulated’
The Philippines has a population of about 100 million. Given its small land area, it is among the most populated countries in the world.
But Imbong insisted that the Philippines is not overpopulated. She said the problem is overcrowding in urban areas.
Big population is also the country’s asset, she said.
“We have the human capital. We have a robust growth rate of people who are educated, hardwokring, and English speaking. That is valued in the world. Wherever we go, we shine,” Imbong said.
Imbong vowed to continue the fight against the RH law. – Rappler.com
'Politicians do not necessarily understand that money is not the primary motivation,' she says