Republic of the Philippines, Petitioner
Jennifer Cagandahan, Respondent
Jennifer Cagandahan was registered as a female in her Certificate of Live Birth. During her childhood years, she suffered from clitoral hypertrophy and was later on diagnosed that her ovarian structures had minimized. She likewise has no breast nor menstruation. Subsequently, she was diagnosed of having Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), a condition where those afflicted possess secondary male characteristics because of too much secretion of male hormones, androgen. According to her, for all interests and appearances as well as in mind and emotion, she has become a male person. She filed a petition at Regional Trial Court Branch 33 in Siniloan, Laguna for Correction of Entries in her Birth Certificate such that her gender or sex be changed to male and her first name be changed to Jeff.
ISSUE: Whether or not correction of entries in her birth certificate should be granted.
The Court considered the compassionate calls for recognition of the various degrees of intersex as variations which should not be subject to outright denial. Supreme Court is of the view that where the person is biologically or naturally intersex the determining factor in his gender classification would be what the individual, having reached the age of majority, with good reason thinks of his/her sex. As in this case, respondent, thinks of himself as a male and considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones, there is preponderant biological support for considering him as being a male. Sexual development in cases of intersex persons makes the gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like respondent, is fixed.
Supreme Court: " In so ruling we do no more than give respect to (1) the diversity of nature; and (2) how an individual deals with what nature has handed out. In other words, we respect respondent’s congenital condition and his mature decision to be a male. Life is already difficult for the ordinary person. We cannot but respect how respondent deals with his unordinary state and thus help make his life easier, considering the unique circumstances in this case."
Case Digest: G.R. No. 148560 , November 19, 2001 Joeseph Ejercito Estrada, Petitioner vs.SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and People of the Republic of the Philippines, Respondents
G.R. No. 148560 , November 19, 2001
Joeseph Ejercito Estrada, Petitioner
SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and People of the Republic of the Philippines, Respondents
Petitioner, Former President Joseph Estrada, the highest-ranking official to be prosecuted under RA 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder), assailed the constitutionality of the said law based on the following grounds: (1) the law suffers from vagueness; (2) it dispenses with the reasonable doubt standard in criminal prosecutions; and (3) it abolishes the element of mens rea or criminal intent in the crimes already punishable under the Revised Penal Code. The foregoing, according to Estrada, violated his fundamental rights to due process and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
Is the Plunder Law unconstitutional for being vague?
No. The plunder law contains ascertainable standards and well-defined parameters which would enable the accused to determine the nature of his violation. Republic Act 7080 also known as Plunder Law, as amended by RA 7569, provides for comprehensive guide or rule that would inform those who are subject to it what conduct would render them liable to its penalties. A statute or act may be said to be vague when it lacks comprehensive standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess as its meaning and differ in application. However, the questioned law is not rendered uncertain and void merely because general terms are used therein or because of the employment of terms without defining them. The petitioner’s reliance on “void-for-vagueness” doctrine is clearly misplaced. It can only be invoked against the specie of legislation that is utterly vague on its face, that which cannot be clarified either by a saving clause or by construction. Being one of the senators who voted for its passage, petitioner must be aware that the law was extensively deliberated upon by the senate and its appropriate committees by reason of which he even registered his affirmative vote with full knowledge of its legal implications and due observance to the constitution