More groups question anti-terrorism law in SC
DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — The controversial anti-terrorism law will go down in history as the most questioned law ever passed in the country as more lawyers’ groups and petitioners are coming into the open to question its provisions, Mindanao lawyers said.
“I’m not exactly sure if this is the 24th petition filed before the Supreme Court, or whether this is the 26th or 27th, I only know that more than 20 groups have already filed and today we are filing this,” said lawyer Manuel Quibod, director of the Ateneo de Davao University Legal Services Office (ALSO), one of the four lawyers’ groups backing the petition.
Petitioners from the Moro and “lumad” people, the media and human rights defenders filed their petition through registered mail and through email asking the Supreme Court to nullify the law which they said violated basic rights guaranteed by the constitution.
Among the petitioners, Haroun Alrashid Alonto Lucman, former vice governor of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), told an online forum he represented the Bangsamoro constituents objecting to the new law which they believed to be unconstitutional.
“In the history of Mindanao conflict, human rights violation in Muslim areas committed by the state through its security forces have always been the root cause [of the conflict], these violations became the motivation of youth to join the insurgency movement,” he said.
Other petitioners included Tyrone Velez, a columnist of Sunstar Davao, Leonardo Vicente Corrales, associate editor of the Mindanao Goldstar Daily, Jayvee Apiag, secretary-general of the human rights group Karapatan in Southern Mindanao and the Salugpungan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center whose Lumad schools in different parts of Mindanao had been ordered closed by the military and the Department of Education.
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