SOLICITOR General Jose Calida yesterday asked the Supreme Court to cancel the oral arguments on several petitions questioning the legality of the new Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
In a 51-page urgent motion, Calida stressed oral arguments are not mandatory and indispensable in deciding the merits of cases.
“Although oral arguments may provide clarity to certain matters, it does not follow that the same end may not be achieved through means other than the conduct of oral arguments,” he said.
Calida suggested that in lieu of oral arguments, the SC just consider the following: (A). Submission of Memorandum; (B). Clarificatory Questions; and (C). WRITTEN oral statements.
“Clearly, the conduct of oral arguments before this Honorable Court is not a mandatory, much less an indispensable, requisite for the determination of a case.Moreover, it is not unprecedented that this Honorable Court has cancelled oral arguments for practical and fitting reasons, “ the motion read in part.
Furthermore, Calida pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic made the oral arguments unsafe and impractical.