Sep 13, 2020 @ 9:06

IBP files petition vs Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines has formally questioned before the Supreme Court (SC) the constitutionality of the hugely-controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

In its 66-page petition, the IBP asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order while decision on the merits is pending, and set the petition for oral arguments.

“The Anti-Terrorism Act offends the people’s rights against arrests, searches and seizures without judicial determination, against deprivation of life, liberty and property without due process of law, against abridgment of the freedom free speech and expression, against ex post facto laws and the rights not to be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law and to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise,” the petition reads in part.

Furthermore, the IBP urged the SC to declare the law void ab initio for being vague and overbroad in defining terrorism; encroaching on the rights to privacy and curtails right to counsel; the deprivation of due process of law of individuals and groups tagged as terrorists; and the power granted to the ATC to order the arrests of persons and have them detained for a maximum of 24 days without charges being filed.

“Petitioners submit that the entire Anti-Terrorism Act must be struck down in its entirety because its very essence contained in Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 25 and 29 are unconstitutional,” the IBP said.

“These unconstitutional provisions are interconnected to form the Anti-Terrorism Act’s integral provisions, hence, the law’s fundamental for which the entire law must, with all due respect, be declared unconstitutional,” it added.

President Duterte signed a stricter anti-terrorism bill, 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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