SC pushes anti-terrorism law oral arguments to Feb. as Calida’s staff gets COVID-19

The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday announced that oral arguments on petitions against the Anti-Terror Law that were to be held next week have been reset for February as some members of the Solicitor General’s staff have tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a social media post on Friday, the High Court said, “Oral Arguments on the consolidated cases in G.R. No. 252578, et al. questioning The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (R.A. 11479) is reset to February 2, 2021 at 2:30 p.m.”

The SC granted the “meritorious” request of Solicitor General Jose Calida to cancel the hearing, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 19, after he informed the high court that the Assistant Solicitor General and some of his staff had tested positive for COVID-19.

No further postponement will be permitted, the SC added.

Earlier this week, the SC issued the rules for the conduct of the Oral Argument.

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and stands as one of the most challenged laws locally due to critics pointing at some provisions that they consider unconstitutional.

Thirty-seven petitions have been filed before the High Court since the law was passed last year. — Gillian M. Cortez


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