MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) will implement strict health protocols for the media coverage of the oral arguments on the petitions questioning the legality of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020 next week.
In an advisory on Thursday, SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said the standard set up for coverage of oral arguments in the high court has been tweaked in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“We will basically be following previous practices. However, due to the pandemic, we will not be able to accommodate you inside the session hall even prior to the start of the proceedings,” Hosaka told reporters.
Media personnel would be allowed to stay at the ground floor lobby where a TV monitor will be set up.
They may record the proceedings through the monitor for purposes only of a later broadcast and the proceedings may not be aired live, Hosaka said.
He added that reporters covering the event are also required to submit a negative swab test result taken at least 72 hours before the oral arguments set on Jan. 19.
The ATA repeals Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007. It seeks the detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days with no warrant of arrest.
It also allows the police or the military to conduct 60-day surveillance with an allowable 30-day extension on suspected terrorists.
The law also imposes a 12-year jail term on a person who voluntarily or knowingly joins a terrorist organization. (PNA)