THE Supreme Court yesterday greenlighted the conduct of oral arguments on multi-sectoral petitions questioning the legality of the hugely-controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
According to tribunal spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka, the oral arguments will be held on the 3rd week of September at the earliest.
"The proper notices will be issued once the date is finalized," Hosaka said.
Hosaka also bared that the high court consolidated the last six petitions with the 19 others previously filed since President Duterte signed the law last July 3.
" I would like to announce that the Supreme Court in today’s En Banc meeting has ordered the consolidation of the 6 latest petitions on the Anti Terrorism Act (RA 11479) with that of the 19 petitions earlier filed before the Supreme Court, and has likewise ordered the respondents to file their comments to the 6 new petitions within a period of 10 days, " Hosaka said.
A total of 25 petitions have been filed so far questioning the constitutionality of the controversial legislation before the SC.
President Rodrigo Duterte last month signed a stricter anti-terrorism bill, condemned by critics and rights groups as a weapon to target opponents and stifle free speech.
Duterte has defended the law, saying law-abiding citizens should not fear as it targets terrorists including communist insurgents.