37 petitions vs Anti-Terrorism Act now pending before Supreme Court
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court did not expect that the number of petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act could pile up, making it now the most highly contested law.
Last September, the Supreme Court was supposed to conduct an oral argument but the tentative schedule did not push through.
“We thought all the while aabot lang ng five petitions eh kaya hinintay namin ma-file agad lahat so that we can set for oral arguments [that is why we waited until all the petitions are in so we can set for oral arguments],” Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said during an online press conference Friday.
To date, there are currently 37 petitions pending before the Supreme Court with still two more from Mindanao that the Court has yet to receive. With 37 petitions pending before the Supreme Court, the Anti-Terrorism Act is now the most highly contested since the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
Peralta said the oral argument will still push through but only after the Court has determined the issues that need to be part of the debate.
The Chief Justice added that to ensure the oral arguments will be in order, the Court has asked the justice-in-charge of the case to come up with a list of common issues discussed by the petitioners and the issues that are unique to every petitioner.
“I hope she (justice-in-charge of the case) will be ready to submit the issues to us when we come back on Nov. 3 and set the case for a preliminary conference. I think, by the middle of November, we can already agree on the date of the oral argument,” he said.
The Chief Justice also raised the possibility of inviting one or two amicus curiae to help the Court.
“But we will resolve that problem in due time,” Peralta said.
The Anti-Terrorism Act was signed into law by the President last July 3. The government has recently published the implementing rules and regulations for the law.
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