Pia wants to intervene in RH Law case

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2013 03:39 PM | Updated as of May 23 2013 11:40 PM

MANILA - Sen. Pia Cayetano formally urged the Supreme Court (SC) to allow her to intervene in the pending case involving ten petitions against the controversial Republic Act (RA) No. 10354, also known as "An Act Providing for a National Policy on Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RH)," and commonly known as the Reproductive Health Law.

Cayetano, the main sponsor of the law at the Senate, asked the high court to junk the petitions on the following grounds:

1.) There is no actual case or controversy that exists because the petitions are based on hypothetical dispute and abstract propositions;

2.) The question is not ripe for adjudication because there is no actual injury sustained by the petitioners allegedly caused by the passing of the law being questioned. The issue is brought too early as in  fact the status quo ante order was issued even before the law was implemented;

3.) The petitions are pleas for declaratory relief outside of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court; and

4.) The petitioners do not have the standing to challenge the law; 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 the law.

Cayetano defended the constitutionality of the RH Law, stressing that it "is consistent with the constitutional right to privacy, is in furtherance with the state obligations of the Philippines under international law, does not violate the freedom of religion, and does not violate the right to life."

"Movant (Cayetano) has a legal interest in the matter of litigation as petitioners are asking the Court in effect to review the wisdom of the law in question and accordingly usurp powers that belong to the political branches of government including inter alia the Philippine Senate, to which she has been elected by the Filipino people," the motion read.

Petitioners, meantime, argued, among others, that the law violates the right to life, endangers the life of the mother and her unborn child, directs involuntary servitude, and prohibits the free exercise of religion.