Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SC stops RH Law implementation, calls for debate

The Supreme Court has stopped the implementation of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Law for 120 days (4 months), opposing the new measure's rollout and asking for debates.

The higher court magistrates voted 10-5 in issuing a status quo ante (Latin for "the way things were before") order against the law, which was signed as Republic Act 10354 last December, GMA News reported. Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno are among those who dissented.

The status quo ante order directs the parties to observe the status or situation before the implementation of the RH law, the report added.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the government will observe the halt order, and confident they will be able to "defend the merits of the Responsible Parenthood Law."

The law's principal author, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, downplayed SC's decision and also expressed confidence that it will still uphold the constitutionality of the legislation after the oral arguments. He maintained the RH law did not "defile" the right to life enshrined in the Constitution.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Tito Sotto meanwhile welcomed the higher court's decision, and said in a statement that the Supreme Court "knows what is best for our country and that he has full trust and confidence in their collective wisdom."

Sotto staunchly opposed the bill during its deliberation in Congress last year.

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