Oct 16, 2020 @ 13:55

People’s right to protest protected in new anti-terror law, DoJ exec claims

A ranking official of the Department of Justice has assured the public that the hugely-controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 will not abridge the people’s right to protest.

“Protests, along with those engaged in advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, creative, artistic and cultural expression, other similar exercises of civil and political rights are not included (as punishable acts),” Justice Undersecretary Adrian Sugay said.

Sugay made the comment after the Department of Justice completed the implementing rules and guidelines of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

“As long as it is within our constitution and our constitutional rights, we have no problems with it,” he added.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra recently said that the newly-created Anti-Terror Council has approved the law’s IRR.

“The ATC has approved the IRR of the ATL (anti-terror law) crafted by a technical group led by the DOJ (Department of Justice). We will disseminate copies to Congress and to law enforcement agencies as required under the law, and will publish the IRR online and in a newspaper of general circulation in the next few days, ” Guevarra said.

He said that the IRR will immediately take effect after publication and registration with the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR) of the UP Law Center.

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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