SC urged to stop anti-terrorism law | Inquirer News

SC urged to stop anti-terrorism law

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 05:46 AM August 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — An opposition lawmaker prodded the Supreme Court on Sunday to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in the face of the record number of 27 petitions challenging the new law.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said the high tribunal would certainly need time to resolve all 27 pending petitions, including his own, which sought the nullification of the antiterror law for constitutional infirmities and its possible trampling on civil and political rights.

“[It] is understandable that the High Court would need more time to resolve the record 27 pending petitions,” he said in a statement.


“In order to foreclose a premature and errant enforcement of [the antiterrorism law] which could be prejudicial to the people’s constitutional rights, it is respectfully reiterated that the Supreme Court issue a TRO holding in abeyance the enforcement” of the new law, Lagman said.


A TRO will prevent “controversial proposals” like the one suggested by Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay to use the law to “regulate social media.”

Such application of the antiterror law “will further infringe on the freedom of speech and expression even if such regulation is not in the law,” Lagman said.

The lawmaker earlier described some features of the bill as “draconian,” among them a provision that would allow the arrest and detention of suspects for at most 24 days without a warrant, a six-month ransacking of bank accounts, and a 90-day surveillance and wire-tapping.

Among other provisions, the new law increases the period of time authorities may detain people on suspicion of being a terrorist from three days to 14 days, extendable by another 10 days.

The new law also removes the safeguard in the repealed Human Security Act that penalized erring officers with a P500,000 per day fine for each day a person spends in wrongful detention.

Under the new law, any person who shall “threaten” to commit terrorism shall suffer the penalty of 12 years in prison. The same prison term shall be meted out to those who will “propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism.”


Any person who shall “voluntarily and knowingly join any organization, association or group of persons knowing that such is a terrorist organization” shall also be imprisoned for 12 years.

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TAGS: Edcel Lagman, Supreme Court

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