Supreme Court closes its doors on fishermen’s petition for the protection of West Philippine Sea

The Supreme Court (SC) has decided to dismiss the West Philippine Sea case after fishermen withdrew their petition on enforcing environmental laws to protect it.

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Credit: BusinessWorld

Initially, forty Palawan and Zambales fishermen and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has yearned for a writ of kalikasan over Scarborough Shoal, Panganiban Reef, and Ayungin Shoal by seeking for the implementation of the Philippine environmental laws as there have been reports of endangered species being harvested by Chinese fishermen.

On Tuesday, September 3, the Court’s Public Information Office (PIO) stated: “The petition was dismissed based on the request of the petitioners to withdraw their signatures from the Petition and based on the motion filed by respondents.”

The SC justices and lawyers in the case were prompted to have a closed-door meeting after the fishermen, the petitioners of the case, renounced the petition as disclosed by Solicitor General Jose Calida.

As the IBP has already filed a motion that signifies their clients’ withdrawal from the case, the Court’s resolution regarding this case also came with  a statement for the lawyers: “The counsels were cautioned that they should be ready with the necessary evidence before they seek the issuance of extraordinary writs.”

“Mere difficulty in contacting clients should not be used by their counsels as an excuse to renege on their duties and to disengage from their commitments,” it added.

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