The Supreme Court has again reset the holding of the oral arguments on the 37 petitions seeking to declare as unconstitutional Republic Act 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, on the request of Solicitor-General Jose Calida.
The oral arguments have been rescheduled on Feb. 2 at 2:30 p.m.
The high court said the Solicitor General had requested the resetting of the oral arguments because his assistant solicitor-general and some staff who would be attending the debate had tested positive for COVID-19.
The high court had announced last year that the oral arguments would be set on the third week of September “at the earliest,” but Calida sought the cancellation of the oral arguments and moved that all the parties be allowed to instead submit memorandums.
And in November last year the high court set the oral arguments on Jan. 19.
The tribunal had already issued an advisory requiring all non-employees, including members of the media who will personally be at the high court on Jan. 19, to present a negative swab test result taken within 72 hours before the oral arguments.
The anti-terrorism law is considered one of the most contested laws to reach the Supreme Court, with 37 petitions filed not only by advocacy groups, human rights lawyers and legal experts but also by retired Supreme Court justices and constitutionalists.