SC: TRO on implants final and executory

Lian Buan
SC: TRO on implants final and executory

LeAnne Jazul

'There's nothing left to be done but to comply,' says Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has made final and executory its temporary restraining order (TRO) on contraceptive implants, with the condition that it would be lifted once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules they are not abortifacient.

The Supreme Court’s 2nd Division issued the entry of judgment on June 15. It was released to the media on Thursday, August 31, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte again hit Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for “sitting on” rulings on the Reproductive Health (RH) Law.

The Presidedent was referring to the SC TRO issued in 2015.

“As of June 15, it became final and there’s nothing left to be done other than to comply,” SC Spokesman Theodore Te said in a statement.

Sereno is not a member of the High Court’s 2nd Division.

What became final was the modified TRO the SC issued on April 26 this year. Under the revised ruling, the “TRO would be deemed lifted if the questioned drugs and devices are found not abortifacients.”

The FDA was tasked to hear oppositions and rule whether they are abortifacients or not. Should parties dispute the FDA ruling, the SC said appeals should be filed before the Office of the President.

In an earlier statement, Sereno said there is no TRO on the RH Law, only on implant brands Implanon and Implanon NXT.

“The reason why the TRO has not been lifted yet is not with the Court but with the FDA,” Sereno said in late July.

Also included in the modified TRO was a directive to the FDA to amend the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the RH Law.

The directive has affected other contraceptives apart from the implants, said the FDA. According to the agency, applications for all contraceptives should be decided in compliance to a revised IRR.

“The overall circumstances of the case have had the net effect of burdening and restraining the FDA from performing its mandate and regulatory functions in a timely and efficient manner,” the FDA said in a report on the Philippine Star. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.