Pia Cayetano to SC: Uphold RH law
MANILA, Philippines - Sen Pia Cayetano said the Supreme Court should junk petitions assailing the constitutionality of the Republic Act 10354, or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.
Cayetano, the main sponsor of the Reproductive Health (RH) law in the Senate, sought to intervene in the case along with former health secretaries Esperanza Cabral, Jaime Galvez Tan and Alberto Romualdez.
In her motion for intervention filed on Thursday, May 23, Cayetano said that the 10 petitions filed against the reproductive health law should be dismissed because one, the petitioners have no legal standing to file a case.
"They do not have personal and substantial interest in the case such that they have sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the passing of RA 10354," she said in her motion.
She added that there is no actual controversy because the petitions are based on "hypothetical dispute and abstract propositions."
Cayetano stressed that the RH law, contrary to what the anti-RH law petitioners are saying, respects the right of individuals to privacy as it allows them to exercise their freedom of choice in relation to their health, relationships and family life.
Cayetano specified that Sec.2 of the RH law "recognizes and guarantees the human rights of all persons including their right to equality and nondiscrimination of these rights, the right to sustainable human development, the right to health which includes reproductive health, the right to education and information, and the right to choose and make decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions, ethics, cultural beliefs, and the demands of responsible parenthood."
The RH law, which mandates the state to promote the use of artificial contraception, also does not violate the right to life as it does not legalize abortion, she said.
She said that it does not also violate freedom of religion as "respect" for such right is stipulated in the law.
Cayetano's motion came after lawyer Joan de Venecia - niece of anti-RH lawmaker Pangasinan Rep. Gina de Venecia - asked the SC to dismiss petitions against the RH law.
The SC temporarily stopped the implementation of the law in March. The Court will tackle the petitions against it in June. - Rappler.com