SC issues gag order vs SolGen, IBP


The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday prohibited The Office of the Solicitor General and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on releasing any statements regarding the writ of kalikasan petition in parts of the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, the SC warned the lawyers involved in the writ of kalikasan case — which wants the government ordered to enforce Philippine environmental laws in Panatag Shoal, Ayungin Shoal and Panganiban Reef — against litigating their case through media or social media.

SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka also said that the justices have granted the IBP’s motion for extension of time to confer with the Palawan and Zambales fishermen who supposedly filed the case.

The IBP was given until 19 July 19 — not 22 July as requested — to file a motion in the premises, which would inform the Court of developments pertinent to the case and which may help in its resolution, Hosaka said.

Recent developments in the environmental case stemmed from Solicitor General Jose Calida claiming last week that many of the fishermen who supposedly brought the suit had withdrawn from the case, saying they neither knew nor supported its filing.

The “move in the premises” order was issued by the SC after a closed-door conference with the parties last Tuesday which was called after Calida manifested that the fishermen from Palawan and Zambales, who are the main petitioners in the case, have decided to withdraw from the petition.

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