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Manahimik kayo! SC issues gag order over writ of kalikasan petition

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The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a gag order which directed the government and private lawyers from publicly discussing the petition seeking a writ of kalikasan over areas in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The high court decided on Tuesday (July 16) to issue the gag order after Solicitor General Jose Calida and the lawyers of the petition have been exchanging barbs concerning the petition.

The petition sought before the SC the issuance of a writ of kalikasan which would compel the government to protect Ayungin Shoal, Panganiban Reef, and Panatag Shoal from environmental degradation cause by Chinese intruders.

The petitioners included losing senatorial candidate Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, lawyers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and a group of fishermen from Palawan and Zambales.

However, Calida told the SC that 19 of thefishermen have signed affidavits saying they have nothing to do with the petition and are withdrawing from it.

Because of this, Calida said the petition should be dismissed and even threatened the lawyers of the petition of disbarment for misrepresenting the fishermen.

Despite this, the IBP said it is not giving up with the petition and has asked the SC to confer with the fishermen.

Diokno also said he is not afraid of threats made by Calida and vowed to continue his fight before the SC.

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