LIVE: Oral arguments on petitions vs the anti-terrorism law — Day 9

PhilstarLIVE (Philstar.com) - May 17, 2021 - 1:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — Oral arguments at the Supreme Court on the 37 consolidated petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 resume on Monday — its ninth setting and potentially the last.

In last Wednesday’s session, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo and Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe interpellated lawyers from the Office of the Solicitor General in their defense of the law.

They also called on National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to face the SC bench. Justices, in previous settings, said they prepared questions for Esperon on military officials’ red-tagging and on matters involving national security.

So far, only Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang was able to pose her questions to Esperon. Questions on the red-tagging of community pantry organizers or how the anti-terrorism law can affect charities and humanitarian organizations that were previously raised were not brought up.

Esperon, instead, asked the SC to be allowed to play two videos of Communist Party of the Philippines founder Joma Sison, where the latter supposedly names organizations allied with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and groups that are supposedly fronts of the communist rebellion.

The national security adviser is set to return to the debates on Monday, although petitioners have opposed this in a motion filed last Friday.

After justices wrap up their interpellation of Esperon, the two appointed experts, amici curiae (friends of court), are expected to present their statements to the court. They are retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno and former Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza.

Tune in to the LIVE audio streaming of the oral arguments scheduled at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, May 17.

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