Petition to protect WPS dismissed? SC ‘cannot confirm’
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday said it “cannot confirm” the claims of Solicitor General Jose Calida that both petitioners and respondents have agreed to dismiss the petition to protect the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“The Supreme Court cannot confirm what was agreed upon by the parties and their counsels,” SC Spokesperson lawyer Brian Keith Hosaka said in a text message.
“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 on Tuesday, Calida submitted the affidavits of several fishermen petitioners who claimed that they were not aware of the petition or they do not support it.
Meanwhile, lawyer Chel Diokno, who serves as one of the lawyers of the petitioners, objected to the submission of affidavits, but the SC allowed Calida to present them.
The SC later suspended the oral argument as the counsels were invited for a “conference” in the en banc conference room.
Following the High Court’s decision to suspend the oral arguments for the case, Calida, who represents the government in the petition, said lawyers of the petitioners and the respondents have agreed that the petition be dismissed by the SC.
“Petitioners and respondents agreed that the petition be dismissed by the Supreme Court,” Calida told reporters.
But 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.” (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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