The Supreme Court has been asked to stop the implementation of all government issuances and policies imposing mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19 for being unconstitutional.
In a 173-page petition, the petitioners — who include a COVID-19 vaccine-injured employee, doctors, scientists, religious leaders, government and private sector employees as well as public school teachers — asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction as an immediate relief.
The petitioners include an alliance from various civic groups including COVID Call to Humanity (CCH), Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDCPh), Legal Lightworkers for Life and Liberty (L4), and Juan Dakila Movement.
Former University of the Philippines College Law Dean Pacifico Agabin, one of the country’s leading experts on constitutional law, will lead the 11-person legal team that the petitioners tasked to defend the petition.
Named respondents by the petitioners were the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Interior and Local Secretary Arthur Tugade, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, and Makati City represented by Mayor Mar-Len Abigail Binay.
In particular, the petitioners cited IATF Resolution 148-B as among the government’s issuances that should be declared null and void.
Based on IATF-EID Resolution 148-B issued on Nov. 11, 2021 on-site workers are required to be fully vaccinated.
Under the resolution, on-site workers who remain unvaccinated should not be terminated but must take RT-PCR tests regularly at their own expense.
The said IATF resolution also bars unvaccinated individuals from boarding and riding public transportation subject to certain exceptions.
The petitioners also asked the high court to issue a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to ensure that persons who submit for vaccination do so “freely, voluntarily, and intelligently” after a written acknowledgment that they have been advised of all the possible side effects of the vaccines on their health.
They also stressed that the respondents should be ordered to make public all the officially recognized side effects of the vaccines and all adverse events reported after vaccination, and to ensure that such information is widely disseminated through various forms of media.
The assailed regulations, according to the petitioners, violate the provisions of the Constitution that guarantees due process, right to equal protection of the law, right to security and privacy, right to religious freedom, and right to freedom of movement and travel.
“These freedoms are not suspended just because there is an existing public health emergency. All citizens are still entitled to attend religious gatherings, political rallies, and organizational activities, to the extent allowed by the prevailing Alert Level classification and subject to the observance of reasonable health protocols,” the petitioners said.
“By allowing the unvaccinated only to procure essential goods and services outside their residences, the assailed regulations and ordinances fail to account for these other freedoms, which are essential to the enjoyment of a life lived with dignity,” they added.