Lawyers and colorful language-A A +A
Friday, January 4, 2013
TRUST lawyers to come up with the most colorful language in describing a situation.
It is not a mere suspension that his ally at the Capitol, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, has been made to suffer by the Office of the President, Mayor Mike Rama told me over the phone yesterday, but an “acceleration of the expiration of her term of office.”
It is the political equivalent of what former Senate president Jovito Salonga once described as a “socially grotesque situation,” where a Filipino husband is still considered married by Philippine law to a woman, who is no longer considered his wife under a foreign law, Mike said.
Mike, who comes from the same law school (San Beda) that produced Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and former senator Rene Saguisag, argued that what the administration did to Garcia amounted to “constructive removal” as understood in labor law. The length of the suspension as well as the timing of the service of the suspension order were designed to prevent her from serving the three-year-term to which she was elected, according to Rama.
Meanwhile, over at the capital, a couple, both lawyers, took one step farther than the critics of the Reproductive Health law, who continue to froth against the alleged surreptitious manner with which President Aquino affixed his signature on Republic Act No. 10354. (Were they expecting a drum and bugle corps to greet the signing?)
James and Lovely Ann Imbong went to the Supreme Court on the second day of the new year to ask for a declaration as unconstitutional the law, which they alleged, “implants an agenda that strikes at the heart of the people’s objective to establish a government that shall ‘embody the ideals and aspirations’ of the ‘sovereign Filipino people’ as enshrined in the Constitution.”
The Imbongs acted as their own counsel in the petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, with a Prayer for a Writ of Injunction. If the above paragraph doesn’t give you a clue of how entertaining the language of the petition is, the following (par. 2) should:
“The case will present the illegality of the Act as it mocks the nation’s Filipino culture-–noble and lofty in its values and holdings on life, motherhood and family life-–now the fragile lifeblood of a treasured culture that today stands solitary but proud in contrast to other nations.”
But what I found really interesting was the distinction that the Petitioners sought to make between “authentic” and “spurious” human rights. The distinction is the couple’s response to the inclusion in the law’s declaration of policy the guarantee of a “responsible, safe, consensual and satisfying sex life” to all people.
Sens. Pia Cayetano and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, also both lawyers, fought for the retention of the provision over the objection of male colleagues, including Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
The Imbongs said that legislating sex life for all people should “satisfy the nature and purpose of human rights and that the grant of other rights (responsible, safe, consensual and satisfying?) “must satisfy the demands of human nature,” suggesting that otherwise these rights are not authentic but spurious.
A right should be inherent and infused by nature and not granted by human authority in order to be considered authentic, they argued. It must also, among others edify the person who possesses and enjoys it. It if demeans him or her, then it is a spurious right.
Not being an expert on these things, permit me to ask the reader, does “responsible, safe, consensual and satisfying” sex edify or demean you?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 04, 2013.