Jan 17, 2021 @ 14:13

Calleja respects SC decision to reset oral arguments on anti-terror law

Lawyer Howard Calleja, one of the petitioners who challenged the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, said over the weekend that he respects the decision of the Supreme Court postponing the oral arguments to February 2.

In a message, Calleja, however, expressed hope that the oral arguments would finally push through on February 2.

“We hope that the oral arguments and the case as a whole should proceed accordingly therefore the resetting to February 2 should be honored and we look forward to finally present our case to the court come February 2 and pray for a positive and speedy disposition on this case and uphold the Constitution and our rule of law,” he said.

Last Friday, the high court’s Office of the Clerk of Court came up with a notice informing parties that the scheduled oral arguments was reset from its original date of January 19 to February 2, 2021.

This was after the SC granted the ‘meritorious’ request for postponement by the Office of the Solicitor General after an assistant solicitor general and some staff who will attend the oral arguments have tested positive for COVID-19.

At least 37 petitions have been filed before the high tribunal questioning the legality, in whole or in part, of the hugely-controversial legislation.

President Duterte signed a stricter anti-terrorism law, condemned by critics and rights groups as a weapon to target opponents and stifle free speech.

Duterte has defended the law, saying law-abiding citizens should not fear as it targets terrorists including communist insurgents.

The highly contested provisions of the law are the following:

• section 4 – definition of Terrorism;
• section 5 – the threat to commit terrorism;
• section 6 – planning, training, preparing and facilitating the commission of terrorism;
• section 9 – inciting to commit terrorism;
• section 10 – recruitment to and membership in a terrorist organization;
• section 11 – foreign terrorist;
• section 12 – providing material support to terrorists.
• section 25 – designation of terrorist individual, groups of persons, organizations or associations;
• section 26 – proscription of terrorist organizations, associations or group of persons;
• section 27 – preliminary order of proscription
• section 29 – detention without judicial warrant of arrest. #

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