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SC to hold online oral arguments on ATL

FOLLOWING the physical closure of courts, the Supreme Court opted to resume oral arguments through videoconferencing on several petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

This was contained in an advisory issued by the SC Office of the Clerk of Court yesterday.

According to the advisory, the online oral arguments on the controversial anti-terror law shall be held two weeks after the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region Plus.

The technical details and the rules for the videoconferenced oral arguments pro hac vice (for or on this occasion only) shall be promulgated as soon as the Court en banc is able to convene,” the advisory read.

The SC cancelled the oral arguments following the rise in coronavirus cases in the country in the past few weeks.

A total of 37 petitions have been filed before the high court challenging the constitutionality, in whole or in part, of Republic Act No 11479.

President Rodrigo Duterte 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.