Sunday, March 10, 2013

MY PETITION TO STRIKE DOWN RH LAW

MY PETITION 

TO STRIKE 

DOWN RH LAW



           If you are so minded, you can read this final copy of the Petition for Prohibition seeking to strike down the artificial contraceptives component of the "Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012", otherwise known as the "RH Law" or Republic Act 10354.

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Republic of the Philippines
Supreme Court
Padre Faura St., Manila



MILLENNIUM SAINT FOUNDATION, INC.,
ATTY. RAMON PEDROSA, ATTY. CITA
BORROMEO-GARCIA, STELLA ACEDERA,
                                                            Petitioners,


            - versus -                                           G.R. No. _______________


OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT (OP),
OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY (OES),
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (DOH),
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (DEPED),
                                                  Respondents.
x-------------------------------------------------x


Petition for Prohibition


The Prologue


            It is revolting to give money to buy condoms and pills to see others enjoy sex out of the money I gave.

            It violates the Constitution for the Congress to make a law to authorize free distribution of artificial contraceptives that kill fertilized ovum because fertilization is the beginning of conception that is protected by the Constitution.

            The law fails to pass the substantive due process test because the means employed does not substantially advance the ends.

The provisions of the same law are unconstitutional because they destroy religion and violate the Constitution’s provision on free speech, on religious freedom and free exercise thereof, on marriage, family and the right to found a family.


            With these opening brief statements, this Petition for Prohibition is being filed.


The Parties


1.     The petitioners are as follows:

a.     Millennium Saints Foundation, Inc. – an entity organized under the Philippines laws whose objective includes promotion and dissemination of Spiritual Childhood as taught and lived by St. Therese of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face, Doctor of the Universal Church and Saint of the Third Millennium; work  toward the development of traditional Filipino values rooted in the Catholic faith through education and formation as inspired by St. Therese; promotion, encouragement and prosecution of activities such as seminars, convocations and workshops directed toward propagating the said spirituality.

For the purpose of this case, the board of Millennium Saint Foundation, Inc. authorized Atty. Ramon Pedrosa, Mrs. Stella Acedera or Atty. Cita Borromeo-Garcia to file this petition on behalf of petitioner Millennium Saints Foundation, Inc., whose place of business and address is located at St.Therese Compound Manlunas St., Villamor Airbase, Pasay City.  But for purposes of this petition, it is requested that all notices be sent to its counsel that is the undersigned law firm on its address written below.

For this purpose, a copy of the Board Resolution is attached hereto as ANNEX “A.”


b.     Atty. Ramon Pedrosa, Filipino, a lawyer, taxpayer whose Tax Identification No. Is ____________, a firm Catholic being an Opus Dei, whose residence is ________________________________, is joining this petition as a petitioner in his own right;

c.      Atty. Cita Borromeo-Garcia, Filipino, a lawyer, taxpayer whose Tax Identification No. is _____________,  and a firm follower of the Catholic faith, is joining this petitions as a petitioner in her own right, is a resident of Doña Romana BF Homes Subd., Capitol District, Quezon City.

d.     Stella Acedera, Filipino, Filipino, a resident of 8 Lirio St., Tahanan Village, Quezon City, loweyr

For the purposes of this petition, it is requested that all notices intended for all the petitioners be sent to their counsel that is the undersigned law firm at its address written below;


2.     The respondents are as follows:


a.     OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, for being the Chief Executive Office that is the chief enforcer of the law that is being challenged in this petition;

b.     OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, for being the Chief Cabinet Secretary that is the chief alter ego of the President of the Philippines;  Both the Office of the President and the Office of the Executive Secretary can be served with notices at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Malacañang Palace, Manila;

c.      THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (DOH), for being the main department that is to enforce the challenged law, which can be served notices through the Office of the Secretary, DOH, on Jose Rizal Avenue, Sta. Cruz, Manila; and

d.     THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (DepEd), for being the main enforcer of the instructions and information dissemination among all elementary and secondary schools in the country, private or public, on all the reproductive health that is one of the chief contents of the law being challenged.



                                           The Locus Standi     


3.     The petitioners here have locus standi because:


a.     The degree of transcendental importance of the matters involved in this petition is enormous that its effects even transcends several generations from now;

b.     There is that paramount public interest in the issue as demonstrated by the debates in and out of halls of the House of Representatives and the Senate, where it was seen the voting in the plenary of the two houses of the Congress was attended by the pro- and anti-RH Bill, including the believers in the teachings of the Roman Catholic who fought for the rejection of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Bill, as well as movements and alliances that were formed and the extraordinary activism that were done;

c.      The passion against the RH Law has never waned and will never die as demonstrated by the boldness of the posting of “Team Patay” and “Team Buhay” tarpaulin on San Sebastian Church in Bacolod City, which is now the subject of intense controversy because it has been defiant of the order of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) take it down;

d.     The law styled “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012,” otherwise known as Republic Act No. 10354, without doubt has overreaching significance to the society that this will define the rule of moral conduct in the next generation and beyond;

e.     The degree of offense that the law will cause on the Catholics that include the petitioners who are entitled to have their doctrine or religious beliefs protected against acts of intrusion by the State into the zone of Catholic dogmas and doctrines, that the Constitution even commands that the separation of the Church and the State shall be inviolable;

f.       A direct injury that would be caused on the petitioners in the form of the “de-establishment” or blatant assault on the faith of the petitioners as Catholics;

g.     While the petitioners are conscientiously guarding their beliefs and exercising their freedom of religion in the form of shunning against anti-life contraceptives and spread this part of the teachings of their religion, the State will openly and blatantly espouse the very same devices that the Catholics religiously object;

h.     That assault by the State that is committed by way of providing what are a taboo as a matter of the exercise of religious belief, openly insults the petitioners and put them in a situation as if they are outcasts;

i.        The RH law also brings direct personal injury to the petitioners in the form of the sleepless nights, anxieties and revolting hearts caused on them;

j.       This is because the petitioners cannot stomach the sight of them having their share of taxes they paid to be given for free in the forms of condoms, pills, injections and other contraceptives so that others will enjoy sex;

k.     These also constitute unjust enrichment on the part of the free beneficiaries of these particulars at the expense of those who pay taxes;

l.        Also, a direct personal injury that will be caused on the petitioners come in the form of the appropriation of money from the taxes and the petitioners are taxpayers, too;

m.  It does not only assault the petitioners as a matter of tax issue, but also as a matter of torturing the petitioners’ minds to think that a part of the taxes they pay are used to buy contraceptives to be given to others so that these lucky beneficiaries enjoy sex at the expense of taxpayers;

n.     Such appropriation is proven by Section 25 if the same law;



The Antecedents


4.     On 28 December 2012 the President of the Philippines signed into law Republic Act 10354, otherwise known as “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.”

5.     Among the provisions that are objectionable because it assaults the Catholic religion of the petitioners is Section 2 (d) of this law, to wit:

(d) The right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs

The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, non-abortifacient, effective, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies which do not prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and relevant information and education thereon according to the priority needs of women, children and other underprivileged sectors, giving preferential access to those identified through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and other government measures of identifying marginalization, who shall be voluntary beneficiaries of reproductive health care, services and supplies for free.

6.     Other provisions of the law that offends the religious beliefs of the petitioners as among the Catholic faithful provide that these artificial contraceptives shall be provided free, one of these provisions is as follows:

SEC. 7. Access to Family Planning. – All accredited public health facilities shall provide a full range of modern family planning methods, which shall also include medical consultations, supplies and necessary and reasonable procedures for poor and marginalized couples having infertility issues who desire to have children: Provided, That family planning services shall likewise be extended by private health facilities to paying patients with the option to grant free care and services to indigents, except in the case of non-maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group, but they have the option to provide such full range of modern family planning methods: Provided, further, That these hospitals shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health facility which is conveniently accessible: Provided, finally, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344.

No person shall be denied information and access to family planning services, whether natural or artificial: Provided, That minors will not be allowed access to modern methods of family planning without written consent from their parents or guardian/s except when the minor is already a parent or has had a miscarriage.

7.     The petitioners as Catholics feel insulted that while their religious belief prohibits artificial contraceptives because these kill life, the State on the other hand insults the Catholics by blatantly insisting on artificial contraceptives that the Catholic has declared to be doctrinally evil.

8.     While the law says the use of artificial contraceptives is optional and the Catholics can opt out of it, still it violates the Catholic faith of the petitioners because it unwittingly insults them.

9.     Additionally, the petitioners see the law as an act of destroying the Catholic religion and the petitioners have the right to defend the existence of their faith.

10.                        As such, the petitioners see this as a destruction of their religion, standing pat that the prohibition of the Constitution for the State to establish religion also prohibits the de-establishment or destruction of religion.

11.                         The petitioners also see the law violating the cherished freedom of expression, particularly in the following provision:

SEC. 23. Prohibited Acts. – The following acts are prohibited:

(a) Any health care service provider, whether public or private, who shall:

(1) Knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe, non-abortifacient and effective family planning methods;

xxx         xxx         xxx

(3) Refuse to extend quality health care services and information on account of the person’s marital status, gender, age, religious convictions, personal circumstances, or nature of work:  Provided, That the conscientious objection of a health care service provider based on his/her ethical or religious beliefs shall be respected; however, the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health care service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible: Provided, further, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344, which penalizes the refusal of hospitals and medical clinics to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency and serious cases;

(d) Any person who shall falsify a Certificate of Compliance as required in Section 15 of this Act; and


12.                          The provision of Section 23 (a) (1) violates the freedom of speech of health providers, including Catholic doctors, in expressing what they believe is incorrect in the programs or in the ideas being regarded as correct by the State.

13.                          The petitioners also see the provision of Section 23(a)(3) as a violation of the religion of the petitioners.

14.                          The petitioners see this as a violation because while Section 23 (a)(3) allows religious objectors not to administer artificial contraceptives or not make advices on artificial contraceptives the law requires these objectors to refer the patient or client to another service provider.

15.                          To the petitioners, the act of referring is the same as an act of compelling religious objectors to perform what is prohibited in their religious beliefs.

16.                          A copy of the law can be downloaded or found at this Official Gazette site, to wit: http://www.gov.ph/2012/12/21/republic-act-no-10354/.

17.                          There has been no Implementing Rules and Regulations yet that has been published until this writing, preventing the petitioners from asking for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) because there is no impending danger yet.

18.                           The petitioners see that the new law encompasses almost all what is the future of the Filipino race, as a State and as a race.

19.                          The petitioners cannot sleep to think that the law appears to be not just another ordinary law that simply affects acts or conducts because it appears to be more of making or unmaking what is the cherished Filipino culture, traditions and dreams as taught to the 80% of the population who are Catholics.

20.                          The petitioners fear that the habit-forming-and-extraordinary law will define lower moral standards a generation later: that drastically high number of Filipinos of tomorrow will look at sexual immorality as ordinary or less and less sacred for the married couples only.

21.                           The petitioners have expressed fears that this habit will be formed by force of evolution due to the lack of fear of getting pregnant among teenagers


Acts of Grave Abuse of Discretion


Contrary to life


22.                          The Houses of Congress and the Office of the President of the Philippines blended their powers to commit grave abuse of discretion on the first count in the making and signing into law of Republic Act 10354, otherwise known as the “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.”

23.                          It was grave abuse of discretion because their act of exercising the blending of their powers violated the command of the Constitution that the State shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from the time of conception.

24.                          The particular provision of the Constitution that this law violates is Section 12 of Article II thereof, which states:

Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

25.                          The Constitution is clear that the injunction against any danger to the life of the unborn BEGINS FROM CONCEPTION.

26.                          CONCEPTION OCCURS AT THE TIME OF FERTILIZATION OF AN EGG BY A SPERM but the law expressly violated this by instructing the FDA to determine and allow only those contraceptives that prevents implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus.

27.                          That particular provision of the law, Section 2(d), states:

(d) The right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs.

The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, non-abortifacient, effective, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies which do not prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and relevant information and education thereon according to the priority needs of women, children and other underprivileged sectors, giving preferential access to those identified through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and other government measures of identifying marginalization, who shall be voluntary beneficiaries of reproductive health care, services and supplies for free.

28.                           Conception occurs in the fertilization stage because it is only at the moment a sperm cell fertilizes an egg or ovum that life can only possibly begin.

29.                           It is very clear that without fertilization, there can be no human life.

30.                          And because it is only at the time of fertilization that there is a possibility of human life coming full circle, it necessarily follows that fertilization is the very essence of conception.

31.                            Moreover, the word “conception” comes from the word “concept.”

32.                            If it is to talk about conceptualization of human beings, it is to talk about the concept of human being.

33.                            Further, if it is to talk about concept, there is no assurance yet of coming to fruition or realization.

34.                            So is in the concept of making a human being, it is no assurance that with the occurrence of concept human being is assured.

35.                           Now, concept involves the occurrence of an initial act with the purpose of making the concept a reality.

36.                           So that when a married couple, a man and a woman, copulate and the sperm cell fertilizes the egg of the woman, the concept of creating a human being begins from that fertilization.

37.                           This is the position of the petitioners.

38.                           Now, during the interpellations at the plenary of the halls of Congress, the question of “where does life begin” was the central issue raised by the lawmakers opposing the RH bill proposal to make a law giving free artificial contraceptives.

39.                          The determination of when does conception begin, at the time of fertilization or at the time of implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus, was indispensable during the interpellation among the lawmakers.

40.                           This was because there was that apprehension among anti-RH bill lawmakers, led by Senator Tito Sotto, that the artificial contraceptives that are available today and those methods that may be made available in the future will operate to kill the fertilized egg and it was in this concern that the anti-RH solons vigorously opposed the proposal of RH authors Senator Pia Cayetano and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

41.                          Sotto stressed that the Constitution protects the life of the unborn from conception.

42.                          Senators Cayetano and Santiago, for their part, rejected the idea that conception occurs at fertilization, insisting that conception begins at the time of implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus.

43.                          Senator Tito Sotto, upon the other hand, insisted that conception occurs at the moment of fertilization.

44.                          While all lawmakers, both the pro and anti, were in agreement that they should not violate the Constitution’s proscription against conception in making a law to provide for free artificial contraceptives, they were not agreeing with each other as to when does conception occur: during fertilization or during implantation.

45.                          In the course of the exchange of debates, Santiago admitted that even experts on reproductive health cannot even agree as to this issue.

46.                          There was no clear scrutiny done as to how each of the available contraceptives operate: whether each operates to prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg, or whether each operates to kill the fertilized egg, or whether each operates to kill the implanted fertilized egg.

47.                          In other words, the interpellations left hanging the following questions:

a.     Does fertilization constitute conception?;

b.     Does implantation constitute conception?;

c.      Does each of the contraceptives available at the time of the deliberation merely prevent fertilization?;

d.     Does each of the contraceptives available today merely prevent implantation to occur?;

e.     Does each of the contraceptives available now actually prevent pregnancy that should take place after implantation in the uterus?


48.                           Now, despite these un-answered questions, the Senate and the House of Representatives voted for the separate bills and ratified the reconciled versions directing the government to provide free artificial contraceptives.

49.                           In other words, what the Houses of Congress and the President did was that they passed a law that has the high risk of killing the unborn after conception.

50.                           These acts of the Congress are therefore a very clear case of grave abuse of discretion.

51.                           Then artificial contraceptives must not be allowed because of all those that are known to be available as contraceptives, only condom was almost sure to be non-violative as suggested by Senator Ralph Recto during the deliberation.

52.                           Condom stocks the sperm cells inside it so that it prevents sperm cells from being ejaculated inside the woman during copulation, so that there is no possibility that fertilization will occur.

53.                           As to the rest of the artificial contraceptives, there is no assurance as when they begin to operate, before or after the fertilization stage.

54.                          And because the Congress insisted on contraceptives that do not prevent implantation only, it allows the killing of life right at fertilization, grave abuse of discretion is very clear.


Violation of Freedom of Speech


55.                           Now, the law also violated the constitutionally-protected freedom of speech spelled out under Section 4 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution.

56.                           For clarity, let this provision be quoted, to wit:

SEC. 23. Prohibited Acts. – The following acts are prohibited:

(a) Any health care service provider, whether public or private, who shall:

(1) Knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe, non-abortifacient and effective family planning methods;

57.                           No one has the monopoly of what is correct and what is incorrect.

58.                           The essence of the freedom of speech is the freedom to express one’s opinion, no matter the opinion is incorrect.

59.                           If this law is allowed to exist, it will imprison health service providers, including Catholic hospitals, Catholic doctors and nurses, who would express opinions contrary to the programs under the RH law.

60.                           Section 4, Article III of the Constitution states: “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of expression, of speech, and of the press.


Violation of religious freedom


61.                           Now, under Section 23(a)(3) of the law, it compels health service providers, including Catholic hospitals, Catholic doctors and nurses, who would refuse to render services if artificial contraceptives are involved.

62.                          This is so because while the provision allows health service providers that are religious objectors to refuse to render reproductive health services if the services to be rendered constitutes a violation of their religious tenets the same law compels them to refer the patient or client to a health service provider that renders the same.

63.                          The act of referring is the same as the Catholic hospitals and doctors and nurses committing sin against the doctrine of the Catholic on life.

64.                          For clarity, the same provision, Section 23(a)(3), is hereby quoted as follows:

(3) Refuse to extend quality health care services and information on account of the person’s marital status, gender, age, religious convictions, personal circumstances, or nature of work:  Provided, That the conscientious objection of a health care service provider based on his/her ethical or religious beliefs shall be respected; however, the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health care service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible: Provided, further, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344, which penalizes the refusal of hospitals and medical clinics to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency and serious cases;


Violation of marriage rights of Catholics


65.                          The compulsion by the law to require marrying couples to undergo seminar on reproductive health and other related matters violates the freedom of religion of couples.

66.                          This is because there is nothing in the objectionable provision that exempts the religious objectors from receiving instructions on artificial contraceptives.

67.                          To be clear, Section 15 of this law states:

SEC. 15. Certificate of Compliance. – No marriage license shall be issued by the Local Civil Registrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by the local Family Planning Office certifying that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on responsible parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant nutrition.

68.                          This law prohibits marrying couples from marrying because the State will not issue a marriage license of the couple refuses to receive instructions that the couple would object on the ground of religion.

69.                          That provision of the law therefore constitutes also an act of assaulting the Catholic religion.


Destruction or de-establishment of Catholic religion


70.                           In the entirety, because of the fact that the law commands the procurement of artificial contraceptives to be given for free is more than an insult to the Catholic religion that has been repeatedly complaining that doing the same amounts to an assault against the religion.

71.                          The Constitutional prohibition against establishment of religion also goes with the prohibition against de-establishment or destruction of religion.

72.                          The State destroys the Catholic by officially promoting the doing of acts that are blatantly against the doctrine of life of the Catholics and the people who embrace this religion. 

73.                           Actually, it does not offend only the Catholic, it also does the same on the Islam religion exercised by Filipino Muslims.

74.                           It is a doctrine of Islam that its men can marry up to four wives, divorce any or all of the wives and marry anew.

75.                          How then would this religious freedom be consistent with the unstated but clear objective of RH Law in reducing the country’s population, considering that with four wives alone and with only two children per wife would produce a number of children that is obviously more than the law imagines?

76.                           It really offends the senses of the Catholics like the petitioners to see the State officially endorsing acts that are prohibited by the Catholic.

77.                           The fact that the law never compels the Catholics to avail of the artificial contraceptives never removes the assault on the Catholic religion.


The means employed does not advance the end and is oppressive



78.                           The means employed by the law in achieving its end, reduction in population or the achievement of responsible parenthood and of desired reproductive health is oppressive and does not substantially advance the end.

79.                           Giving free artificial contraceptives is oppressive because it offends the Catholic religion, no matter the fact that it is on a voluntary basis.

80.                           It will also make many Catholic faithful who may have been duped or convinced to avail of artificial contraceptives that are loath at by the Catholic religion.

81.                           It will therefore diminish the respect and belief of many Catholics to the religion.

82.                           It is not an offense for private persons or other religions to recruit the Catholics into other religions.

83.                           But it is an offense against the Constitution injunction on the separation of the Church from the State for the State to officially do those acts that are contrary to the doctrine of life by the Catholic.

84.                           Hence, it is clear that the same means of giving free artificial contraceptives will oppress the Catholics and assault the Catholic religion.

85.                           But more importantly, the means employed will actually not advance the purposes of the law.

86.                          This is because the government cannot be assured that when the couples go to bed the couples will use the condoms and other contraceptive drugs or devices or instruments they availed from the government.

87.                           When carried away by passions for love and sex, the couples cannot be expected to say, “Teka, isusuot mo muna ang condom (Wait, wear your condom first).  Teka, nakainom ka ba ng pills? (Wait, have you already taken your pills?)”

88.                            According to Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, the better ways to achieve responsible parenthood and reproductive health are to build more hospitals instead of buying artificial contraceptives, provide health facilities to the citizens even to remote areas, equip schools with educational curriculum on health, particularly on what foods are healthy and on how to grow more vegetables for family consumption, educate the children on reproductive systems focusing on how they work and that the curriculum should be age appropriate as well as the value of abstinence in marriage and the sacredness of sex among married couples, and the like.

89.                           Another better way that is not compulsive is the massive education program on natural contraception, including inculcating the Billings Ovulation Method.

90.                          The unconstitutionality is similar to what was expressed by the State through the Supreme Court in a “carabao” case officially named “Ynot vs Intermediate Appellate Court”[1].

91.                           In that Ynot case, a law was struck down because the means employed cannot substantially advance to achieve the purpose of the law. 

92.                           The High Court said in this Ynot case that to prohibit the transport of carabaos from one province to another cannot achieve the purpose of preserving carabaos because slaughtering carabaos first before transporting them can be done.

93.                           This is revolting in the face of the fact that there are better means available and that the State can rely on the other modes to achieve better results without offending the Catholic religion.

94.                           One better means is conducting massive educational or information campaign about the importance of responsible parenthood and that being responsible can be achieved by natural family planning methods, including the proven-effective Billings Ovulation Method.

95.                            The massive information dissemination shall be made mandatory in order to ensure 100% absorption by the citizens.

96.                            The massive information dissemination can promote the culture of practicing abstinence so that fewer and more quality children can be born out of them to a level that can be managed by their income.

97.                           The massive and frequent flow of information will be implanted into the subliminal minds of the people, including the poor, and that will be more effective than all medically-concocted contraceptives.

98.                            This campaign can be done by incorporating reproductive health care and responsible parenthood through natural methods as subjects in all levels in schools.

99.                            The funds that will be used by the law for buying artificial contraceptives can be used instead in daily five-time-or-more radio and television commercials and advertisements through online and other media, and the like.

100.                       The suggested means is not oppressive and not discriminatory to the poor and the Catholics or Muslims who are allowed to take four wives or divorce some or all and take new wives.

101.                       At the same time, the law amounts to constructive violation of the privacy of the couples.

102.                   For matters that affect privacy and personal decisions, the State as a rule is not authorized to interfere with by means of a law. 

103.                   The State is not allowed to dictate on the couples as to how they will bring up their families, including those matters of the number of children and the like.

104.                   All the State can do is to define what acts it will prohibit, define the policies on certain conducts and provide sanctions for the doing of those acts or conducts.

105.                   The State cannot invade into the privacy of couples on their beds.

106.                   It cannot dictate on how they conduct their lovemaking, how they enjoy their most intimate moments, and how they celebrate to the most they can to satisfy their desire for heavenly joy. 

107.                   Combined with love, sex becomes the bedrock of the strength needed to keep the young family staying together and this would be enough to keep them together until their senior years when all lust would be gone and all they would have to stick to each other would only be the love for their children and the strong desire not to break up for the children, for family, and for honor.

108.                   If there is something that the State may be allowed to do if it desires to have a quality family, that is truly in the essence of what responsible parenthood and reproductive health should be, it is only doing such acts that will enlighten and galvanize in the minds of the citizens in a scale massive enough to form a good culture of high moral standards, that in the process will place back the consciousness on the value of keeping the family together.

109.                   It is therefore awkward for the State to teach the mothers and the fathers how to enjoy sex by the use of condoms, pills, etc.

110.                   Stated in another way, it cannot be seen how the law would be effective in achieving its stated and unstated purposes.

111.                   If practicality dictates that many of the Catholics will not avail of the free artificial contraceptives on the ground of religion which is allowed by the law, then how can the State achieve the unstated purpose of lesser number of children each family?

112.                   The State is therefore like prescribing a solution yet allowing the people to opt out or not follow the prescribed solution.

113.                   If that is so, how can the ends be advance substantially?


Law violates the primary right of  parents on moral development



114.                   The State cannot decide or compel unto the parents on how to rear their children for moral development.

115.                   This is very clear in Sections 12 and 13 of Article II of the Constitutions, to wit:

Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

Section 13. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.

116.                   By passing RA No. 10354, the State is unwittingly creating a system whereby it diminishes the parents’ effectiveness in rearing their children in developing their moral character.

117.                   This is not to say that the moral character that would be developed among the future citizens will be dictated by the law, for what is objectionable is for the State to grab from the parents their natural and primary right and duty to rear their children for the purpose of developing their moral character.

118.                   Educating the young ones on the artificial modes of contraceptives would demean the teachings of the Catholics that sex is sacred and it is only for the married couples.

119.                   Educating the young ones on the artificial modes of contraception would give ideas to sex among unmarried couples that can become massive because of the lack of fear of unwanted pregnancy.

120.                   For sure, the State cannot also make any law that promotes moral deterioration among the people, particularly among the families that are inviolable social institutions. 

121.                   The law here in question, if allowed to run its full course, say ten (10) years, will see the moral values running low: the people then would look up to sex like goods that can be bought over the counter and not something that should be worked hard for and to keep as sacred when found.

122.                   The effect of the educational system as the device to be used to teach children of various products that prevent pregnancies through artificial means would even embolden the teenagers to try premarital sex for they would be assured that there are modes available and free to be used to prevent pregnancy. 

123.                   Gone will be the fear of pregnancy that has played a major role in keeping young people within the zone of morality. 

124.                   So that instead of strengthening the family as the Constitution commands, it weakens its foundations of love between spouses, of respect for each other between couples, of the dignity of the spouses and their family, and of high regard to the higher interest of keeping the family as higher than the pride and anger of each spouse against each other when they would quarrel or would have envies and other issues between them.

125.                   Also, the wives would cope with the extreme difficulty of how to accept that their husbands would use condoms on them as if they are prostitutes.

126.                   The law promotes crime and immorality rather than morality.

127.                   The regard by the people to sexual intercourse will be less and less sacred as it was originally intended and as taught by the Divine teachings that these are only for the legitimate and married couples.

128.                   At any urge of sexual desires the low-moral individuals easily give in to the desire for heavenly pleasures that they would not mind having sex with another not their spouse because there are condoms or pills anyway that can cover their covert acts.



Law violates equal protection clause


129.                   The law is also unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause.

130.                   It classifies the poor from the rich and then gives them all free contraceptives in queues. 

131.                   This classification renders prejudice to the indigent who, wittingly or unwittingly, will be ostracized as “palamunin” and an outcast of the society for it will appear they are being blamed for the miseries of the country. 

132.                   Giving free contraceptives is undoubtedly targeting the poor.

133.                   Also, the sight of the poor in queues asking for condoms, pills or for other contraception devices every day destroys their dignity as human beings. 

134.                   Observers will likely say: “Hey, look those maniacs in long queues.”


Oppressive to taxpayers


135.                   This law also constitutes unjust compensation to the taxpayers because a part of the taxes they paid are not giving back the equivalent value of government service.  

136.                   Imagine that the persons who would avail of contraceptives to enjoy the worldly desires are to use the contraceptives paid for by others, the taxpayers. 

137.                   Is this enjoyment by others constitutes a public purpose to justify as a compensation to the taxpayers for a part of the monies they paid to the government as taxes?

138.                   It is also revolting to think that some people would pay and be compelled to contribute in the form of taxes so that others would enjoy the worldly satisfactions for sex.



The Conclusion


139.                   Taking all the arguments into one make it clear that the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 is unconstitutional on the aspect of using artificial contraceptives.

140.                   Additionally, the grave abuse of discretion is apparent because the Congress and the President committed in the process violations against life as defined by the Constitution, the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion and protection of religion from de-establishment or assault, and the equal protection clause, as well as the oppressiveness of the means employed.

141.                   Much apparent is the grave abuse of discretion when the lawmakers officially gives sanctions to the giving of free artificial contraceptives when they were not even sure on the defination of “conception” as to whether it is at the stage of the completion of the fertilizaiton  process or during the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus and not sure whether the artificial contraceptives attacks or kills fertilized egg.

142.                   The gravest abuse of discretion was committed when the lawmakers even defined the limits of allowable contraceptives to be those that would be determined by the Food and Drug Administration as only preventing implantation to happen in the uterus.

143.                   Ergo, the instant law, Republic Act 10354, otherwise known as the “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, must be struck down.

144.                   Specifically, the provisions that must be struck down are those that provide for the official procurement and distribution for free of artificial contrceptives, and those that mandate instruction on artificial contraceptives in schools or elsewhere.

145.                   Also being sought to be struck down are the provisions that:

a.     violate press freedom -- Section 23(a)(1);

b.     violate religious freedom – Section 23(a)(3); and

c.      violate the religious freedom of marrying couples who are Catholics – Section 15;


The Prayer



            WHEREFORE, after due notice and hearing, it is respectfully prayed that the challenged law, Republic Act 10354, be declared unconstitutional as discussed above.

RENTA PE CAUSING SABARRE CASTRO & ASSOCIATES
Unit 1, 2368 JB Roxas St. corner Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila
Emails: totocausing@yahoo.com, berteni.causing@gmail.com; Telephone No.: +632-3105521


By:

BERTENI CATALUÑA CAUSING
IBP No. 876498 / Manila IV / 10-01-2013
PTR No. 1435314 / Manila / 10-01-2013
Roll No. 60944 / MCLE No. IV -0007338 / 08-10-2012

Cc:

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT (OP),
OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY (OES),
Malacañang Palace, Manila

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (DOH),
Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center
Rizal Avenue, Manila

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (DEPED),
Meralco Avenue, Pasig City



[1] G.R. No. 74457, March 20, 1987
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