The Supreme Court (SC) has postponed the scheduled oral arguments on the petitions questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Law after those who be accompanying Solicitor General Jose Calida tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
SC Clerk of Court Edgar Aricheta has issued a notice on Friday (Jan. 15) which states that the high tribunal has granted the request of Calida to reset the oral arguments which is supposed to take place this Tuesday (Jan. 19).
“Considering the meritorious request of Solicitor General Jose Calida that his Assistant Solicitor General and some staff who will attend the Oral Arguments have been tested positive for COVID-19, you are herby informed, per instruction of the Honorable Supreme Court, that the Oral Arguments is rest to February 2, 2021 at 2:30 p.m.,” read the notice.
“No further postponement will be allowed,” it stressed.
Calida has only been allowed by the SC to bring with him during the oral arguments not more than three lawyers.
There are 37 petitions which have been filed before the high tribunal questioning the constitutionality of the law.
They the SC allowed them the have eight lawyers, he petitioners have already manifested that they will have seven lawyers present during the oral arguments.
Those arguing for the petitioners are former solicitor general Jose Anselmo Cadiz, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) chairman Chel Diokno, Alfredo Molo III, Evalyn Urtsua, and Algamar Latiph.
They have six alternates, namely, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) chairman Ephraim Cortez, former SC spokesperson Theodore Te, Randall Tabayoyong, Josalee Deinla, Howard Calleja, and Bantuas Lucman.