The SC will resume tackling the petition on June 26. Solicitor General Jose Calida will open the hearing in defense of the government. 
AP/Aaron Favila, file
Justices ask: Where is 'actual case' in Falcis' same-sex marriage petition?
Kristine Joy Patag ( - June 19, 2018 - 10:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court cannot “help” a petitioner’s rights were not violated, Supreme Court justices stressed on the historic oral arguments on same-sex marriage.

Jesus Falcis III, in May 2015, filed a petition seeking the nullification of Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code of the Philippines. The provisions, according to Falcis, deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry as well as a "bundle" of other rights.

But the justices, in oral arguments on Tuesday, stressed that Falcis cannot claim “injury” since he was never denied that right. He has, justices pointed out, not applied for a marriage license.

"What we need is an actual case and controversy and that requires an adverse party, and yet you say nothing has been denied to you by the respondent, so where would this adverseness come from?" Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin said.

"You are asking us to rule on a hypothetical situation, and that cannot be allowed," the justice stressed.

'No direct act or injury'

Earlier, Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe asked Falcis: “What direct act or injury have you sustained because of the Family Code?”

The petitioner answered: “The passage of a law which violates rights such as equal protection of laws, right to dignity, right to have a family.”

Falcis, however, admitted that he has not applied for a marriage license himself as he has no partner.

Bersamin pointed out that there is “danger” in Falcis going to the Supreme Court directly. He said that might result in a loss of a “very interesting case for the rest of the LGBT community” due to lack of “careful preparation.”

“You may have a very strong argument, but you have no case,” the justice added.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, for his part, stressed: “Fundamental constitutional order requires that the Supreme Court hear actual controversies.”

The justice however pointed out that the petitioner-intervenors Cresencio Agbayani and Marlon Felipe, a gay couple whose application for a marriage license was denied, may have an actual case presented to the Court.

The SC will resume tackling the petition for same-sex marriage on June 26. Solicitor General Jose Calida will open the hearing in defense of the government. 

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