24 November 2010

[LEGAL NOTES] HB 13, or the so-called Right to Life of the Unborn Child Bill, is not pro-life

Contrary to the claims of anti-RH lobbyists, nothing in the RH bill changes the law against abortion. The only bill that by implication would change the anti-abortion provision of the Revised Penal Code is HB 13, the so-called Right to Life of the Unborn Child championed by Rep. Golez and Pampanga Rep. GMA. By lowering the penalty for the crime of abortion, HB 13 is actually encouraging abortion. 

Delineating between abortifacients and contraceptives       

One of the arguments of anti-RH groups is that contraceptives are abortifacients. However, the two terms, often-used in discourses regarding the RH bill, should not be used interchangeably because there exists a huge and glaring difference between words “abortifacients” and “contraceptives”.

23 November 2010

[LEGAL NOTES] Reproductive Health Bill: A pro-life bill

One of the constant tirades hurled against the Reproductive Health Bill by Anti-RH groups is that the bill is not a pro-life legislation.

This criticism is absolutely baseless as a close scrutiny of the provisions of the RH bill will show that it is actually a pro-life legislation.

Despite the clear import of the RH bill, its critics are determined to obstruct its passage in the House of Representatives. Their arguments range from the allegation that the bill is an anti-life bill and referred to themselves as a pro-life group, as opposed to the proponents of the bill which they labeled as anti-life.

14 October 2010

[LEGAL NOTES] HLI must subscribe to the tenets of social justice and distribute the land to the farmers

The Stock Distribution Program being implemented by Hacienda Luisita is contrary to the purpose of the agrarian reform law and violates the constitution. 

To meet the ends of social justice, the distribution of the land to the farmers who have tilled it all their lives is in order.

The provision in the law which allows such option should also be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court for being contrary to the noble purpose of agrarian reform.

28 September 2010

[LEGAL NOTES] Legal implications of continuing with the impeachment proceedings for the House of Representatives

Today (September 28, 2010), the House Committee on Justice is expected to continue to perform its constitutional mandate and to tackle the status quo ante order issued by the Supreme Court.

Will the committee be cited for contempt? I think citing the House Committee on Justice in contempt of court is adding insult to a Constitutional injury.

The matter of impeachment is purely a political question which is not subject to judicial inquiry.  The Supreme Court does not have the power even to cite the House Committee on Justice in contempt of court should it choose to proceed with the impeachment proceedings.

22 September 2010

[LEGAL NOTES] Impeaching Merceditas: Status unknown

Assuming that the House Committee on Justice will simply tackle the first complaint and leave the second complaint to the rulings of the Supreme Court, or assuming that the House Committee on Justice, proceeds with the hearings on the basis of an ad cautelam proceeding, will the Supreme Court cite the HCJ in contempt of court?

When the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court over the Committee on Justice of the House of Representative is being questioned; when the Supreme Court does not have the right to pass upon the sufficiency of the form and substance of the complaints; when the Supreme Court does not have the right to pass upon the propriety of having two impeachment complaints: the Supreme Court does not have the power even to cite the Committee on Justice in contempt of court. 

04 August 2010

[LEGAL NOTES] Can and should the government teach sex education?

Last Wednesday, DepEd Sec. Armin Luistro hastily cut short the pilot-testing of the controversial sex education program.This legal briefer tackles the issue head-on: Why should there be sex education? Can sex education be conducted in schools? Does the Government have the legal mandate to develop policies and programs that promote sex education? 

Sex Education. The mere utterance of such a phrase drives people into an orgasmic frenzy of discussions for and against teaching this subject in school. Both opposing camps will argue that each is after the welfare of the child by teaching or not teaching sex education in school. Everyone seems to be looking out for the general welfare of the children. And yet, both sides cannot seem to agree on how. 

[LEGAL NOTES] Impeaching Ombudsman Gutierrez in the 15th Congress

This document seeks to answer the following questions: 1. Whether there is legal basis for the filing of an impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez; 2. Whether the same allegations that were filed during 14th Congress can be used as the basis of a new complaint, and; 3. Whether double jeopardy is applicable.

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