Oral arguments on the petitions asking the Supreme Court to declare Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 as unconstitutional will continue virtually after the government lifts the enhanced community quarantine being implemented in the National Capital Region.
In an advisory, the Supreme Courts said the succeeding oral arguments will be conducted via videoconferencing, which also allows the public to hear it live via audio streaming.
“In view of the physical closure of the Court and the need for the gradual reopening of activities thereafter, you are hereby informed, per instruction of the honorable Supreme Court, that the next schedule for oral arguments shall be two weeks after the lifting of the ECQ in the National Capital Judicial Region, which may be April 27, May 4 and May 11,” the high court through Clerk of Court Marife Lomibao-Cuevas said.
“The technical details and the rules for the videoconferenced oral arguments pro hac vice [applicable only to this case] shall be promulgated as soon as the Court En Banc is able to convene,” it added.
The high court earlier announced that the next hearing would take place two weeks after the lifting of the ECQ in Metro Manila, or as early as April 27.
The SC previously allowed a limited number of lawyers from both parties to physically attend the session in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.
The SC has so far conducted four days of oral arguments, with Solicitor General Jose Calida expected to begin his defense of the controversial anti-terrorism law in the next session that will be presided over by newly appointed Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.