Sereno to Duterte: SC never issued a TRO against RH Law

  • Chief justice responded to president’s tirade vs SC for supposedly blocking RH Law
  • She explained the Supreme Court issued a TRO against two contraceptives, not the law itself
  • She also said TRO to be lifted if FDA certifies the two contraceptives as not abortifacients

MANILA, Philippines – No Temporary Restraining Order against the RH Law.

This is what Supreme Court Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno had to say to President Rodrigo Duterte after the latter scored the high tribunal for supposedly hindering the implementation of the country’s reproductive health law.

In her statement shared SC spokesperson Theodore Te, Sereno explained that the Supreme Court never issued a TRO against the entire law in light of its partial constitutionality.

“After its Decision on the partial constitutionality of the RH Law, the Supreme Court never issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law,” she said.

According to Sereno, the TRO they issued was actually against two contraceptives —Implanon and Impanon NXT— over concerns they might be abortifacients.

“What has been issued was a TRO agains two specific contraceptives regulated under the Reproductive Health (RH) Law,” she said.

The chief justice added it is up to the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to determine if the two contraceptives are abortifacients. If they are safe, then the TRO will be lifted automatically.

“The TRO also has a sunset provision —as soon as the FDA certifies as provided by law that they are not abortifacient, the TRO is lifted. The reason why the TRO has not been lifted yet is not with the Court but with the FDA,” Sereno said.

“By the express terms of the Court’s Decisions, there is no TRO against the implementation of the Reproductive Health or RH Law or all contraceptive products,” she added.

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