‘Relentless, unfounded’ red-tagging of celebrities, solons shows need for TRO vs anti-terror law — Lagman
MANILA, Philippines — The “relentless yet unfounded” red-tagging of some celebrities and legislators serves as another “major reason” for the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the implementation of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Law, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Wednesday.
Lagman pointed out that almost all of the 37 petitions currently lodged before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Republic Act no. 11479 are praying for the immediate issuance of a TRO.
“The enactment and effectivity of the ATA have emboldened military officials like Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, spokesman of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), to label activist lawmakers of the Makabayan Bloc as “terrorists” for allegedly being card-bearing members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP),” Lagman said in a statement.
Lagman was referring to the six lawmakers in the House of Representatives’ Makabayan bloc which include Bayan Muna representatives Carlos Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite, and Eufemia Cullamat; ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro; Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas; and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago.
The Albay lawmaker said that granted that the members of the Makabayan bloc are indeed affiliated with the CPP, “Parlade forgets that membership in the CPP is legal after the Anti-Subversion Law was repealed in 1992 or 28 years ago.”
“Parlade has even justified the surveillance of targeted legislators under the new anti-terrorism law,” Lagman said.
Parlade earlier admitted that the Makabayan bloc lawmakers were under surveillance for their alleged ties with the CPP and the New People’s Army (NPA).
Lagman 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.
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