The House leadership as well as the principal author of the Reproductive Health law branded today as a "temporary delay" as the result of the Supreme Court's issuance of status quo ante order on the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health law.
"This is well within the court’s power and just a temporary setback. I am hopeful the
main issues will be deliberated on so that these can be resolved as soon as possible,” Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. said in a statement.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the main proponent of the law, also agreed with Belmonte, describing the SC's decision as "only a temporary delay" in the implementation of the RH law "to enable the High Court to fully assess the merits and demerits of the pending petitions challenging the constitutionality
of the RH law."
At least 10 SC justices nodded to the issuance of the SQA on the RH law or Republic Act (RA) 10354, which is set to be implemented on Easter Sunday, March 31.
"I firmly believe that eventually the constitutionality of the RH law will be sustained. The RH advocates had prevailed in the legislative and executive departments, and they will likewise triumph in the High Court," he added.
Aurora Rep. Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, who was included in the Diocese of Bacolod's "Team Patay" said the SC has yet to decide on the matter.
“I think that’s customary and normal to give the court enough time to decide on the issue,” he said.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr., meanwhile, questioned the June 18 schedule of the oral argument.
“At the onset, I’m disappointed. It’s bad enough majority of the SC voted to suspend the implementation but why wait until June for oral argument to be heard when this has been one of the most debated laws in history of Congress?," he asked.
He said it seems that there is intention "to hit the pro-RH legislators."
Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, secretary general of Liberal Party is counting on the SC to hand down its final word on the legality of RH law.
"We do respect their decision for suspending pending the resolution of the same. It has been deliberated for a long period of time in Congress and I do hope the SC can decide on it at the soonest possible time so we can all move forward in facing the other challenges that the country is currently facing to achieve our economic and development goals," he said.