Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said on July 27 that the Supreme Court never issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the implementation of the Reproductive Health Law Law.
Her clarification came after President Rodrigo Duterte said during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24 that the TRO is stopping the Department of Health from using subdermal implants, which are about to expire, wasting P350 million.
“The TRO has become the bane of [government] projects,” Duterte said during his SONA.
“I also note that since its issuance two years ago, this TRO has impaired the government’s ability to fully implement responsible planning — family planning methods of the RH Law,” he added.
Looking at Sereno, he said, “Maybe I am at fault so I am sorry if I misquote or I did not have the complete facts. But itong Congress na ito passed the Reproduction Law. It was already a law na dapat i-implement because we are really going into family planning. I am not for abortion. I am not for birth control. But certainly, I am for the giving freedom to the Filipino family to determine the size of their pamilya.”
“How many children would they be able to support and send to school? Ang nangyari nitong TRO , sir, ma’am, may nag-file doon sa inyo – Supreme Court – tapos nag-issue kayo ng TRO two years ago. In the meantime, ‘yung – ang gobyerno, nagbili ng medisina – ito subdermal pati itong mga pills worth P360 million. It was not really a reckless purchase. It was in preparation for the implementation of the law,” he added.
“Hindi naman akalain na kayo mag-TRO and it has been two years. The medicines will expire next month. I told the health secretary (Dr. Paulyn Rosel-Ubial) to find out if there is a nation which would allow it and i-donate na lang rather than let it go to waste.”
But Sereno said the TRO was only against two specific implants regulated under the law, the Implanon and Impanon NXT.
“The TRO also has a sunset provision – as soon as the FDA certifies as provided by the law that they are not abortifacient, the TRO is lifted,” the statement read. “The reason why the TRO has not been lifted yet is not with the Court but with the FDA.”
“There is no TRO against the implementation of the RH Law or all contraceptive products,” it added.
CJ Sereno responds to SONA mention re: RH TRO.
Clarifies: TRO only applies to 2 implants, lifted as soon as FDA certifies nonabortaficient pic.twitter.com/OdNLJ8hmNA
— Paige Occeñola (@ohnopaige) July 27, 2017
Sources: ( inquirer.net )