NUPL holds off SC filing of petition vs anti-terror law for now
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) on Saturday said it will defer for now its plan to challenge the legality of the anti-terror law before the Supreme Court.
This developed as NUPL noted the decision was in consideration of, among others, “more petitioners” who want to join its cause.
In a statement, NUPL president Edre Olalia said that the decision was made “upon further consultations and deliberation with the clients we represent.”
“It was our consensus to defer, out of abundance of caution, the actual filing of our petition,” he added.
According to Olalia, the following reasons were considered by NUPL when it opted to hold for now the filing of the petition before the high court to challenge the recently enacted Anti-Terrorism Act:
1. to include more petitioners who expressed intense intention to join,
2. to retweak it in view of supervening facts,
3. to complete and reinforce remaining procedural requisites, and
4. to add equally cogent substantive issues so as to ensure that we have covered all bases.
“As soon as we have accomplished these, we will be filing it forthwith and will let you know in good time,” he said.
“In general, the retweaked Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition against constitutionality (with a prayer for TRO or Preliminary Injunction) will at the minimum essentially raise the following issues: the propriety of remedies & judicial review; violations of due process, right to property, freedom of association, warrantless arrests and detentions without charges, right to bail and travel; and usurpation of judicial prerogatives,” he then explained.
On Friday, the Palace confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the Anti-Terrorism Act despite broad opposition, especially since among the controversial provisions of the law include detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days without charges.
The law, which repeals the Human Security Act of 2007, also criminalizes incitement of terrorism “by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners, or other representations.”
Critics of the law see it as open to abuse due to alleged vague definition of terms and may be used to curtail freedoms and legitimate dissent. Proponents of the measure, however, insisted it contained enough safeguards to ensure the protection of rights.
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