Feb 17, 2021 @ 11:52

SC asked to issue TRO vs Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

The Supreme Court has been asked for the nth time to issue a temporary restraining order halting the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 pending hearings into the controversial legislation which President Duterte signed last July 3.

During the 3rd round of oral arguments, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, one of the counsels of petitioners, underscored the need for the issuance of the TRO following the recent arrests of Lumad people.

“Your honors, for the first time in history, petitioners and their counsels before this honorable court are seriously threatened with prosecution under the challenged statute by no less than a military who is part of the State enforcing the ATA,” Lagman told the court.

Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta directed Lagman to put in writing the manifestation and furnish the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for comment.

The OSG was given 10 days to file its comment.

The SC will resume its oral arguments on February 23.

A total of 37 petitions have been filed before the high court challenging the constitutionality, in whole or in part, of Republic Act No 11479.

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.

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