SC suspends anti-terror petitions’ oral argument anew due to COVID
MANILA, Philippines–The Supreme Court has again suspended the oral argument on the petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
On Monday, the country logged in a new all-time high of 8,019 records of infection.
The high court’s announcement of oral argument suspension was made a few hours after the last hybrid flag ceremony for retiring Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.
The flag ceremony was held at the Supreme Court grounds on Padre Faura, Manila, and was attended by a select few staff of the Chief Justice, his immediate family members, and two associate justices–Rosmari Carandang and Henri Jean Paul Inting.
This is the third time this month that the oral argument for the petition against the Anti-Terrorism Act has been suspended. The oral argument last March 9 was rescheduled to March 16 due to the need for some justices to go on self-quarantine.
Then, on March 16, it was again rescheduled on March 23, to give way for disinfection of the buildings due to the rising number of COVID cases in court.
The March 23 oral argument, in a notice from the Clerk of Court, has been rescheduled for April 6.
The petitions questioning the legality of the Anti-Terror Law have been dragging on for almost nine months since the first petition was filed in July 2020.
The parties have filed several urgent manifestations, all asking to temporarily stop the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act citing various incidents of red-tagging, harassment, arrest, and killings of petitioners, lawyers, and even members of the media writing about the case.
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