The Supreme Court (SC) has denied the plea which sought the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the government’s implementation of the SIM Card Registration Law.
In a press conference last April 25, SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said the justices made the ruling during an en banc deliberations in Baguio City.
The high court, instead, ordered the respondents including the National Telecommunication Commission, the National Privacy Commission, and telecommunication companies to comment on the petition within 10 days.
It was not immediately clear how the magistrates voted and why the TRO plea was junked.
The decision came on the same day President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. approved a 90-day extension of the SIM card registration. The original deadline was set on April 26.
To recall, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, activists, human rights defenders, and civil society leaders filed on April 17 a petition praying for a TRO against the SIM card registration law and declaring it unconstitutional.
The petitioners alleged SIM card registration constitutes prior restraint or government actions that prevent speech before it is made rather than punishing it after the fact.
Aside from allegedly violating the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech, the petitioners also claimed the SIM card registration law violates the right to privacy.
The SIM Card Registration Law is said to be legislated to fight the perpetration of crimes such as text scams and spam.
As of April 24, government data showed 87.44 million or 52.04 percent of the 168 million active SIM cards had already been registered.
Thumbnail photo made via Canva