Oral arguments on petitions vs anti-terror law set for January 2021
Robie de Guzman • November 20, 2020 • 192
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court has set a date for the oral arguments on the petitions filed against the Anti-Terrorism Law.
Based on a high court advisory sent to petitioners on Friday, the SC will begin oral arguments on January 19, 2021. It also listed the main issues to be discussed during the oral arguments.
The Supreme Court also directed the counsels of both petitioners and respondents to submit their manifestations on January 13, 2021.
As of this month, there are 37 petitions filed against the law, with several groups reiterating their pleas for the high court to issue a temporary restraining order on the enforcement of the measure following the issuance of its implementing rules and regulations last month.
Petitioners argued that the vague and broad provisions of the law can be used to silence government critics for fear of being tagged as terrorists.
They also urged the high court to declare the entire law unconstitutional.
Lawmakers who authored and sponsored the measure, however, maintained that the law has enough safeguards against abuse. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Committee on Public Order chair Senator Ronald dela Rosa maintains that the public has nothing to fear about Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Law as it has safeguards against abusive authorities.
In fact, the senator said, the law provides 10 year imprisonment to any member of the police or the military who will violate its provisions including violation of the suspected terrorists’ human rights.
In an interview with the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon, he assured that he is one with the senators who will closely monitor the law’s implementation.
“Maraming violations dito ng law enforcement agencies na pwedeng mananagot sila kapag ginawa nila, covered din dito sa batas na ito, mga safety nets,” Senator dela Rosa said.
The senator also stressed that it is not government policy to baselessly accuse an individual or an organization of being members of the communist group.
Dela Rosa however, advised the Makabayan Bloc not to resent the military or police when they get “red-tagged” because it was Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines himself, who tagged them first.
“Huwag silang magalit sa pulis at military kung sila ay nare-red tag. Eh si Joma Sison naman ng red tag sa kanila eh. Sana magpakatotoo tayo kung anong kulay natin,” he stressed.
There was no representative of the Makabayan congressmen at the Senate hearing on the red-tagging issue last week.
Six of the bloc’s members, however, wrote to the Senate maintaining their position that no allegations can malign their credibility as lawmakers.
The group also noted that the Senate should not be instrumental in posing larger threats to the leaders and members of the opposition. MNP (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
The Anti-Terrorism Council has approved the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
Guevarra said they will provide Congress and law enforcement agencies copies of the IRR. They will also release a copy online and in other publications.
“We will disseminate copies to Congress and to law enforcement agencies as required under the law, and will publish the IRR online and in a newspaper of general circulation in the next few days,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law last July 3 which repeals the Human Security Act of 2007.
The DOJ started drafting the IRR of the law last August.
Meanwhile, there are currently 30 petitions filed before the Supreme Court requesting to halt the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Law questioning its constitutionality.
The Office of the Solicitor General, however, has already asked the high tribunal to dismiss the petitions. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)
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