Calida: Both parties agree to junk writ of kalikasan on WPS
MANILA, Philippines — The lawyers of both petitioners and respondents have agreed to dismiss the writ of kalikasan petition aimed to protect the West Philippine Sea (WPS), Solicitor General Jose Calida claimed on Tuesday.
“Petitioners and respondents agreed that the petition be dismissed by the Supreme Court,” Calida told reporters following the continuation of the oral argument of the petition.
Calida said the decision was made during a “conference” following the suspension of the oral argument.
In a text message, Chel Diokno, who serves as one of the lawyers for the petitioners, said: “After being called to chambers, both parties agreed to explore the filing of a joint motion in the premises and were given until Friday to do so.”
Supreme Court Spokesperson Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka, however, said he “cannot confirm what was agreed upon by the parties and their counsels.”
“The Supreme Court decided to suspend the oral arguments in view of the submissions of the Solicitor General and the manifestations of counsels during today’s oral arguments,” Hosaka said in a text message.
During the continuation of the oral argument on the petition, Calida submitted a “Pinagsamang Sinumpaang Salaysay” from 19 fishermen petitioners — wherein some of the fishermen said that they are “not in support of the instant petition.”
“At the outset, the Office of the Solicitor General hereby submits several Affidavits where Petitioners from Palawan and Zambales in effect withdrew their signatures from the instant Petition,” Calida said.
Calida said a portion of the affidavit of the President of Palawan fisherfolk read: “Wala kaming alam dito at di namin suportado ang inihaing petisyon.”
Further, Calida noted that an affidavit from another fishermen read: “Isang malaking panlilinlang ito at paggamit lamang sa aming asosasyon.”
Another affidavit of a Zambales fisherfolk read: “Pinapatunayan namin na wala kaming kinalaman sa naturang Petisyon laban sa anumang ahensya ng gobyerno.”
Following the submissions of the affidavits, the SC decided to suspend the oral arguments and invited the counsels for a “conference” in the En Banc conference room. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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