Tuesday, February 28, 2006

SC Sets Oral Arguments on Proclamation 1017

The Supreme Court has set oral arguments on the legality of Proclamation 1017 on Tuesday, March 7. It has ordered the respondent Malacanang to submit its comment on four petitions questioning the legality of the proclamation until 12nn of March 6.

Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban faced reporters today and said that the Court acknowledged the urgency of resolving the issue.

"Freedom of expression, of the press, and of speech occupy the highest importance in our Bill of Rights and any alleged violation of these merits the immediate attention of the Court," Panganiban said.

Before the Court are four petitions against Proclamation 1017. The first three were filed yesterday by University of the Philippines Prof. Randy David, Alternative Law Groups, Daily Tribune Publisher Niñez Cacho-Oliveros.

Broadcaster and former Senator Loren Legarda filed her petition today at the Supreme Court, the fourth against the presidential proclamation.

"We should not allow our civil liberties to be trampled upon," Legarda said.

She added that the proclamation was so vague and broad it should be declared unconstitutional.

"The police or the state has no right interfering in the press' power," Legarda said.

For her part, Olivares sought the Court's help in preventing the take-over of the newspaper. She also urged the COurt to ask the Philippine National Police (PNP) to pull out its men guarding the offices of the newspaper.

Malacañang however said that it does not seek to curtail freedom.

"There is a crackdown on anarchy and disorder, not on freedoms. Proclamation 1017 is not a tool for oppression but a shield of the state and the people against mob rule and the seditious use of the tools for public information to foment civil unrest," Presidential Spokersperson Ignacio Bunye said.

No comments: