Group rejects bid to revive Anti-Subversion Law

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The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) on Tuesday described moves to revive the Anti-Subversion Law as an “excavation of a jurassic idea” and “worn out mailed fist approach to (curtail) dissent and divergence of beliefs.”

“It is an excavation of a jurassic idea which has the effect of curtailing freedom of association and political beliefs which are in fact crucial ingredients for democracy to flourish.”

“This draconian measure, together with a menu of other repressive laws and policies, and on top of vicious red-tagging of individuals and groups, is essentially antidemocratic even if packaged for purportedly salutary ends. Such legislation, long abandoned as being anachronistic, ineffective, and oft-abused as a tool of political persecution and harassment, can be challenged at the appropriate time based on many constitutional grounds,” the group said in a statement.

Earlier, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said there was no need restoring the law making subversion a criminal offense in a bid to stop the alleged indoctrination of hundreds of youths annually by communist rebels.

Guevarra instead suggested that the government strengthen Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007.

The DOJ chief issued the statement in response to the proposal of Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)making subversion a crime again.

“With all due respect to Sec. Año, mere membership in the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) is not a crime unless overt criminal acts are committed. Amending and giving more teeth to the Human Security Act will suffice, in my opinion,” Guevarra said.

Just the other day, Año said the government should consider restoring the law making subversion a criminal offense following reports that 500 to 1,000 youths are indocrinated annually by communist rebels.

Año issued the statement amid concerns raised by parents about their children who have gone missing reportedly after being recruited by left-leaning organizations. He said youth group Anakbayan is also reportedly recruiting students to join a rebellion against the government.

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