LIVE: Oral arguments on petitions vs the anti-terrorism law — Day 2

PhilstarLIVE (Philstar.com) - February 9, 2021 - 1:26pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court resumes the oral arguments on the 37 petitions challenging the contentious Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 on Tuesday, February 9.

The seven lawyers chosen by the 37 groups of petitioners presented their opening statements in last week’s hearing, and have been interpellated by three justices.

Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang was first to grill the petitioners, followed by Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

Leonen’s questioning, directed at University of the Philippines Constitutional Law professor John Molo, drew interest as the magistrate asked Molo on the ripeness of the petitions they filed against the law.

“There is this case about the Aetas… Isn’t that the actual case?” Leonen asked Molo. He further: “Should we not wait until there is a clear case perhaps there can be a petition filed on those that are red-tagged?”

The justice was referring to the case of Aeta farmers Japer Gurung and Junior Ramos who are currently detained for violation of the anti-terrorism law, and have filed a petition-in-intervention to join the fight to strike down the measure at the SC. It is still unclear however if their plea has been granted.

The case of Gurung and Ramos, or the media coverage of their filing, drew the ire of Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., who, railed against, and hinted at, suing Inquirer.net journalist Tetch Torres-Tupas on his Facebook.

The military general’s rant and a hint of prosecution under the reviled anti-terrorism law had already been raised to the SC’s attention.

Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta and the newly-appointed magistrates, Associate Justices Ricardo Rosatio and Jhosep Lopez have yet to interpellate neither parties. Solicitor General Jose Calida has also yet to present the government’s defense of the widely opposed law.

Read our recap of the first day of the oral arguments here.

Tune in to the live audio streaming of the oral arguments scheduled at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9.

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