SC denial of anti-terror law appeals disappoints FLAG, NUPL

The Supreme Court constructing is seen from its closed gateway. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines —  Two attorneys’ teams stated on Tuesday they have been dismayed that the Supreme Court determined to reject with finality the bid to reverse its 2021 ruling upholding the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, successfully dismissing the 30 petitions in opposition to the legislation.

FLAG was one of many teams that filed a movement for reconsideration, arguing that different parts of that legislation have been unconstitutional — not simply two because the SC dominated.

“We remain convinced that these provisions (among them those that fail to define with clarity the offense of ‘terrorism’ and grant broad and sweeping powers to the Anti-Terrorism Council to issue arrest orders and authorize extended detention periods on mere suspicion) are not only dangerous, as they are prone to abuse, but also in violation of the Constitution,” Jose Manuel “Chel’ Diokno, the FLAG nationwide chairman stated in a press release.

However, Diokno stated that the denial of the varied motions solely inspired FLAG to proceed to be vigilant in defending basic rights and freedoms that may be impacted by the legislation.

“As suggested by the Court itself, these provisions may be challenged, case to case, on an ‘as applied’ basis,” he added.

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), additionally expressed its dismay.

“We are quite downhearted that the High Tribunal reportedly did not budge at all on its majority view sustaining practically all the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Law even as we have to accept and respect it as officers of the court,” Edre Olalia, the NUPL president, stated in a press release.

“We still hope that in good time the subject law will be struck down or amended, if not repealed altogether,” he added.

However, Olaila additionally assured that the NUPL would proceed to protect and defend in opposition to the abuse and misuse of the stated legislation “against the very people it is supposed to protect.”

“It is even more imperative that we stand our ground for our rights,” he stated.


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