Parens patriae

The law takes great interest in the welfare of the weak and the handicapped. Thus, we have "parens patriae." Literally, "parens patria" means "father or parent of his country." In the U.S. (as in the Philippines), the phrase refers to the sovereign power of the state in safeguarding the rights of person under disability, such as the insane and the incompetent. (In re: Turner, 94 Kan. 115). Thus, were the law always to be applied strictly, there would be danger that injustice might arise (summun jus, summa injuria). (Reyes and Puno, Outline of Phil. Civil Law, p. 43, citing, Cicero, De Officiis). The State as parens patriae is under the obligation to minimize the risk to those who because of their minority, are as yet unable to take care of themselves fully. (People v. Baylon, L-35785, May 29, 1974)

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