Jul 5, 2020 @ 9:19

NUPL to file own petition vs Anti-Terror Law

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) on Sunday vowed to likewise challenge the constitutionality of the newly-signed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 before the Supreme Court.

“At minimum [we will] essentially raise the following issues: propriety of remedies and judicial review; violations of due process, right to property, freedom of association, warrantless arrests and detentions without charges, right to bail and travel; and usurpation of judicial prerogatives,” group president Edre Olalia said.

Last Saturday, the first petition against the controversial law was filed via electronic mail before SC by a group of lawyers led by Ateneo and La Salle law professor and lecturer Atty. Howard “Howie” M. Calleja.

The group said that they would physically file the petition for certiorari and prohibition tomorrow, Monday.

Signed by President Duterte on July 3, the new law will take effect on July 19.

In the interim, the group asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order while the petition was being heard by the SC.

The group sought to stop “all respondents or any person, entity, member, officer, employee, representative or agent acting singly or collectively with them, from enforcing the above-mentioned sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act. ”

Apart from Calleja, UP Law Professor Christopher John P. Lao, Dr. Reynaldo J. Echavez, Napoleon L. Siongco, Raeyan M. Reposar, civic groups Frontliners: Tunay na Bayani and Bagong Siklab Pilipinas, as well as Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, of the De La Salle Brothers, Inc. signed the petition.

On the other hand, named respondents were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, the secretaries of defense, the interior, finance, justice, and information and communications technology, and the executive director of the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

“The group advocates a just and humane law that is for the benefit of all Filipinos. While threats to our national security need to be addressed, the law, as crafted, is oppressive and inconsistent with our constitution, hence, the petition. This fight against Terrorism should not and should never be a threat to the fundamental freedoms of all peaceful Filipinos,” the group said in a statement.

The group expressed concern that the new legislation maybe “used by the government to weaponize itself for state-sponsored repression that makes a mockery of the rule of law.”

“Through the Anti-Terrorism Law, the President, with Congress, has paved the way for a legal framework that would allow the government to go against its own people,” the group said.

“The Anti-Terrorism Law effectively strengthened the powers of the Executive by granting powers inherent in the Judiciary, making the Executive the judge, jury, and executioner,” it added.

In particular, the group wants SC to nullify Sections 3,4,5,9,10,16,17,25,26,29, and 54 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, for being repugnant to the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

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