Supreme Court (SC) justices are set to wrap up on Tuesday the interpellation of petitioners seeking to nullify the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 at the resumption of the oral arguments.
Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta earlier said the court would end its interpellation of the lawyers representing the 37 petitions and then move to the presentation of positions of the amici curiae as well as the arguments of the government.
Solicitor General Jose Calida, the government’s top lawyer, will also face questioning by the justices.
Last week’s session tackled the powers of the Anti-Terrorism Council, the need to pass an anti-terror legislation, definition of terrorism and the law’s supposed chilling effect on critics of the government.
The SC also denied the request of two Aetas who claimed they were tortured by the military and falsely charged under the law to join the petitions.
Peralta announced the development after Calida told the court that Japer Gurung and Junior Ramos had issued a joint affidavit stating they were withdrawing their petition-in-intervention.
The two Aetas said they were forced by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers to sign the petition, a charge denied by the group. Gurung and Ramos are now represented by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). —Virgil Lopez/KBK, GMA News