MANILA - The Supreme Court on Thursday announced that it would resume hearing the oral arguments on the controversial Anti-Terrorism Law through videoconferencing, 2 weeks after the strictest lockdown in the NCR Plus bubble is lifted.
In an advisory, the Office of the Clerk of Court said should the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the capital region and nearby provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal be lifted on April 12, the next schedule for the oral arguments would be on April 27.
The schedules on May 4 and May 11 have also been prepared should the ECQ be extended.
"The continuation of the oral arguments shall be through videoconferencing with live audio streaming made available to the public," the advisory read.
Technical details and rules for the videoconference oral arguments pro hac vice, the High Court said, would be promulgated when the Court En Banc convenes.
The SC earlier announced that courts and court offices in NCR Plus will remain physically closed until April 11 due to the ECQ extension.
Oral arguments for the Anti-Terror Law were earlier postponed due to coronavirus fears and after a magistrate reportedly contracted the disease.
The high court on Feb. 2 began hearing oral arguments on petitions challenging the validity of the Anti-Terrorism Act. A total of 37 petitions were filed against the law by various groups, saying that some provisions may lead to human rights violations.
Eight of the 15 SC magistrates have so far been able to interpellate petitioners. The OSG, defending the government’s position, has yet to be asked questions.
- Reports from Johnson Manabat and Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News