RH law headed for defeat in SC?

We resume our Inside Track section, our intelligencer on people, places and everything of public interest

MANILA, Philippines – The Reproductive Health law seems headed for a defeat in the Supreme Court. According to reliable sources close to the High Tribunal, it looks like the anti-RH justices have hardened their positions on the issue. 

Recall that this historic bill took 13 years and 4 months to pass. Despite massive pressure from the Catholic Church and various groups, Congress finally approved it in 2012, with President Benigno Aquino III signing it into law in December that year. In no time, however, the justices were deluged with 15 petitions questioning it and calling on them to declare the law unconstitutional. 

The anti-RH law bloc didn’t stop there. They bomdarded Padre Faura with letters, research studies, and all sorts of printed and video materials to persuade the justices that the law is against human life.

The 15 justices have heard both sides in last year’s oral arguments. We expect them to issue their verdict soon. Some of the justices who are inclined to vote against the law, our sources say, include the following: Jose Perez, Teresita De Castro, Jose Mendoza (who is also the assigned ponente, writer, of the verdict being drafted), and Roberto Abad. 

Will the SC overstep its judicial review mandate and put 14 years of advocacy and lawmaking to waste? – Rappler.com

The President and a press secretary

Does the President need a press secretary?

Three years ago, he felt he didn’t. Thus the birth of what critics derisively called a 3-headed messaging monster in Malacañang: the Office of the Presidential Spokesman, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCCO). Many saw it as the President’s attempt to accommodate the factions in his campaign team: the Samar (of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr) and Balay groups (of Liberal Party stalwarts such as Interior Secretary Mar Roxas).

But last year’s series of problematic events appear to have prompted him to give the idea of a press secretary a second thought. Ochoa seemed to have jumped the gun on the boss when he, in a Dec 12, 2013 press release, named PCCO Secretary Sonny Coloma – his ally – as the new press secretary. But Coloma remains to this day as just one of the 3 who speak for the President at the Palace – aside from Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Undersecretary Abigail Valte.

We’re told that the quiet search for a press secretary began in December, after PCDSPO Secretary Ricky Carandang quit. But the head hunters have not been lucky so far. – Rappler.com

Inside Track is Rappler’s intelligencer on people, events, places and everything of public interest. Contributions are most welcome. Just send bits of information to desk@rappler.com

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