Jan 21, 2021 @ 13:24

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in Makati City remained under lockdown after eight (8) more employees tested positive for COVID-19 during reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction or swab testing.

In a statement, the OSG said that it will be physically closed until January 25, 2021, and during the period of lockdown, only sanitation and disinfection team will be permitted inside the premises.

“As of January 20, 2021, eight (8) employees of the Office of the Solicior General tested positive for Covid-19 through RT-PCR testing. To prevent further transmission and to conduct a more in-depth contact tracing, the OSG resolved to extend its physical closure until January 25, 2021. Only personnel from the sanitation and disinfection team will be allowed in the premises.”

“All other employees will continue to perform their work/functions under alternative work arrangements. During said period, no documents will be personally received by the office. Instead, parties may email efile@osg.gov.ph for documents they intend the OSG to receive during the lockdown. All other documents may be emailed to docket@osg.gov.ph.,” the statement read.

Recently, the OSG asked the Supreme Court to postpone the scheduled oral arguments on several petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

The SC granted the request for postponement after an assistant solicitor general and some staff who will attend the oral arguments have tested positive for COVID-19.

The oral arguments was rescheduled to February 2, 2021.

At least 37 petitions have been filed before the high tribunal questioning the legality, in whole or in part, of the hugely-controversial legislation.

President Duterte signed a stricter anti-terrorism law, condemned by critics and rights groups as a weapon to target opponents and stifle free speech.

Duterte has defended the law, saying law-abiding citizens should not fear as it targets terrorists including communist insurgents.

The highly contested provisions of the law are the following:

• section 4 – definition of Terrorism;
• section 5 – the threat to commit terrorism;
• section 6 – planning, training, preparing and facilitating the commission of terrorism;
• section 9 – inciting to commit terrorism;
• section 10 – recruitment to and membership in a terrorist organization;
• section 11 – foreign terrorist;
• section 12 – providing material support to terrorists.
• section 25 – designation of terrorist individual, groups of persons, organizations or associations;
• section 26 – proscription of terrorist organizations, associations or group of persons;
• section 27 – preliminary order of proscription
• section 29 – detention without judicial warrant of arrest. #

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