Barely two weeks after the RH Law was passed, James Imbong, son of CBCP legal counsel Jo Imbong, and his wife Lovely-Ann Imbong, filed a petition to stop the implementation of the newly-minted law. The said petition is an orgy of fallacies, to say the least. And orgies, for those who were not yet informed, are what will result from the passage of the RH Law, or so the petitioners seem to imply.
On a more serious note, the Supreme Court’s reaction to the petition should be closely studied because at its heart is the battle for the “ideals and aspirations” of Filipinos. According to the petitioners, the RH Law “negates and frustrates” the said ideals and aspirations. The petitioners even go as far as saying that the RH Law mocks “the nation’s Filipino culture – noble and lofty in its holdings on life, motherhood and family.”
What is curious about this aspect of the petition is that reproductive health supporters can use exactly the same words to uphold the constitutionality of the law. Majority of Filipinos support the RH Law precisely because it upholds our ideals and aspirations. Using the words of the same Preamble the petitioners used, it can be pointed out that our nation needs the RH Law to “build a just and human society” and “promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace.”
Both supporters and opponents of the RH Law agree that our country should be built upon values and the appreciation of the sanctity of life. Hence, it all boils down to what one means when one uses the words “values” and “sanctity of life”. What the Imbongs seem to forget is that the secular nature of Philippine government demands that our foundational values be secular values, and if these secular values conflicts with the values of a particular religion, then so much the worse for the religious values. While it is true that the petitioners tried their best to present secular arguments against the RH Law, the density of fallacies presented in the petition strongly suggests puritanical and religious motivations behind its filing.
How the High Court responds to the petition should be studied closely because the battle for the law on divorce and marriage equality will surely be fought in the same front. In other words, the issue of divorce and marriage equality will once again see us wrestling with the “ideals and aspirations” of Filipinos.
I want to live in a just and humane society where the common good is promoted, where national patrimony is conserved and developed, and where the next generation is raised in “noble and lofty” values that hold life sacred. This is why the RH Law has my support. And this is why I will advocate the passage of a law on divorce and marriage equality. I am confident that my ideals and aspirations are the ideals and aspirations of many Filipinos as well.