On the first business day of the year, a couple filed in the Supreme Court a suit against the newly signed Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, which mandates the State to provide the poor with reproductive health (RH) services, including access to contraceptives, and sex education to schoolchildren.
Lawyers James Imbong and wife Lovely-Ann, who filed the suit on behalf of their two children and the Magnificat Child Development Center Inc., asked the high tribunal to stop the implementation of Republic Act No. 10354, saying it was unconstitutional.
The Imbongs claimed the law also “mocks the nation’s Filipino culture—noble and lofty in its values and holdings on life, motherhood and family.”
It was the first petition filed against the RH law barely two weeks after President Aquino quietly signed it into law following heated debates in Congress and protests by the Catholic Church.
Grounds for appeal
In a petition for certiorari and prohibition, the petitioners cited two grounds for their appeal: The RH law “introduces policies that negate and frustrate the foundational ideals and aspirations of the sovereign Filipino,” and it “cannot be implemented without exceeding the boundaries of government action, as established in the Constitution.”
Imbong was accompanied and assisted by his mother, lawyer Jo Aurea Imbong, in filing the petition in the high court. His mother, a lawyer of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), is the “collaborating counsel” in the case.
Speaking to reporters, Imbong said he did not consult any CBCP or Church officials when he drew up the petition, adding he wrote it on his own. But he said he informed the CBCP media office about the filing of the petition.
Imbong, secretary general of Pro-Life party-list group and a member of the Ang Kapatiran Party, said he...