Feb 15, 2021 @ 11:38

Third round of oral arguments on anti-terror law suits to resume Tuesday

The Supreme Court will resume hearing oral arguments tomorrow, February 16, on petitions questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Solicitor General Jose Calida is expected to see action Tuesday defending the hugely-controversial legislation before the tribunal.

But before that, justices will have to finish interpellating counsels for the petitioners.

Also, former chief justice Reynato Puno will make his debut as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist the SC resolve the cases.

This brought to two ‘friends of court’ the SC has tapped for the oral argument proceeding. The first was former magistrate Francis Jardeleza.

Also, the high court will implement stringent COVID-19 protocols during the 3rd of oral arguments.

The SC Public Information Office said persons physically attending the oral arguments must submit either a negative COVID Rapid Antigen test result or COVID RT-PCR test result within 72 hours prior to the oral argument proceeding.

Non-compliance would result to refused entry, no exceptions.

Results may be emailed at scphlpio@gmail.com on or before 11am on February 16. This is to give SC Medical Services and Security to validate the results submitted.

The same procedure was required for members of the media who will cover the oral arguments.

Aside from practicing social distancing, the wearing of appropriate facemasks (surgical facemask, N95, KN95) and face shields (clear and non-tinted) was also be strictly implemented.

President Duterte signed a stricter anti-terrorism bill, 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. #

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