The Supreme Court (SC) has appointed one of its retired members to share his knowledge and expertise during the oral arguments starting Tuesday next week on petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020.
Appointed amicus curiae (friend of the court) is retired Associate Justice Francis H. Jardeleza, also a former deputy Ombudsman and solicitor general.
Jardeleza was appointed deputy Ombudsman for Luzon in 2010, solicitor general in 2012, and SC associate justice in 2014. He retired as a magistrate in 2019.
He was a third placer in the 1974 bar examinations. In 1977, he obtained a Masters of Law degree from Harvard Law School in the United States.
There are 37 petitions filed against the alleged unconstitutionality of ATA under Republic Act No. 11479 that was enacted into law last July 3 and implemented 15 days later on July 18.
On top of seeking to declare the law unconstitutional, almost all the petitions also pleaded for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop its implementation.
But the SC has not acted on the pleas for TRO and opted to rule on the issue once the oral arguments are terminated.
The SC had originally set the oral arguments late last year but decided to postpone it to January 19, 2021 because of the filing of other petitions.
The January 19 schedule was moved anew to February 2 on the request of Solicitor General Jose C. Calida who told the SC that some members of his staff were infected with the coronavirus disease.