The Supreme Court has appointed former Chief Justice Reynato Puno as amicus curiae during the oral arguments on the 37 petitions challenging the constitutionality of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
In a resolution dated February 9 and released on Thursday, the high court appointed Puno among the friends of the court during the oral arguments. He will be joined by retired Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza.
An amicus curiae is someone who is not a party to a litigation, but who is invited by the court to assist and to give advice on a pending matter before it.
Puno served as the 22nd chief justice from December 2006 until his mandatory retirement in May 2010.
He will share with the Court his views and expertise on the controversial measure.
The high court merely took note of an earlier pleading by former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza that he be allowed to share his knowledge and expertise in law as a friend of court.
Several petitioners, including retired Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, opposed Mendoza’s petition, saying he is not impartial to become amicus curiae of the Court on the anti-terrorism law.
Meanwhile, the high court explained why it denied a petition-in-intervention filed by two redtagged Aetas because of their pending case before a regional trial court in Olongapo City.
In their petition-in-intervention, Japer Gurung and Junior Ramos claimed they were tortured and falsely accused of terrorism, among other charges, and filed a petition-in-intervention alleging direct injury in the hands of law enforcers.
However, on Wednesday they held a media briefing, saying they were dropping the National Union of People’s Lawyers as their legal counsel, claiming the lawyers’ group was exacerbating the charges against them.
But the NUPL rejected that they were coerced, and that the presser led by the NTF-ELCAC “was engineered to discredit the NUPL which is based on false conclusions and innuendos.”