Friday, January 4, 2013

Reaction on Philippine Reproductive Health Bill

By Jelly Musico

Senators who voted for the passage of Reproductive Health Bill say they respect the rights of anybody to question the legality of the newly-passed law, hoping the Supreme Court would act swiftly on the petition to stop its implementation.

"I hope the SC will act swiftly on this case to remove any shadow of doubt with respect to the law," Sen. Francis Escudero said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the petition for certiorari and prohibition against Republic Act No. 10354 filed by lawyers James Imbong and his wife Lovely-Ann at the SC Wednesday shows that democracy in the country is alive and healthy.

"Once in a while, it is good to test the constitutionality of laws passed by congress. Providing the check and balance in whatever means is healthy for the country's democracy," Lacson said.

"I hope the SC as the final arbiter will see what is in the best interest of the country and people when they render a ruling on the filed petition," Lacson added.

The Imbongs, who filed the petition on behalf of their two children, asked the SC to stop the implementation of the law which they claimed "mocks the nation's Filipino culture."

Escudero said the petition "is the correct and legal course of action instead of other means that may have a destabilizing effect on our economy."

Escudero said the petition would hamper the implementation of the RH law "unless of course the SC issues a temporary restraining order."

Escudero and Lacson were among the 13 senators who voted for the passage of the RH bill in the Senate last December 17 after months of heated debates on the floor.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, one of the eight senators who opposed the bill, welcomed the petition, hoping "the SC will scrutinize it to decide the constitutionality."

"I still believe that RH is a foreign imposition as I have been saying all along and therefore cuts through our sovereignty," Sotto said.

"That's why even if my amendments were accepted, I still voted against it. I wonder what has happened to some of our so-called nationalists," Sotto added.

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