Ex-Solgen Mendoza urges SC to junk pleas vs terror law
MANILA, Philippines — Former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza on Friday asked the Supreme Court to be allowed to become an amicus curiae (friend of the court) so he could give the justices advice on the 29 pending petitions seeking to annul the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
In a 27-page petition, Mendoza said the time might not yet be right for the high court to rule on the petitions since no actual controversies have yet arisen from the law’s enforcement.
“The petitions do not sufficiently allege, much less show, that the petitioners have committed any act in violation of the [Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020], thereby creating an actual controversy involving a legally demandable and enforceable right to the exercise of judicial power,” Mendoza said.
He said that while the court, under its own rules, might opt to exercise its judicial power to rule on the petitions by considering public interest that have been articulated by the petitioners, the justices “would be ill-advised to do so.”
He explained that under Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution, the courts’ duty to exercise judicial power is two-fold: to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government.
“The second clause of the provision, ‘to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government,’ compliments only the basic scope of judicial power but does not create a new subject matter,” Mendoza argued.
To demonstrate, he cited the petition filed by former Justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio Morales which enumerated provisions of the antiterrorism law that should be declared null and void for being “repugnant” to the Constitution.
“[T]he petition does not allege the commission on any act described therein by any person represented by the petitioners,” Mendoza said.
The high court has scheduled oral arguments on the petitions in the third week of September.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.