FORMER Supreme Court (SC) justice Antonio Carpio, former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, and several University of the Philippines (UP) law professors on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, filed electronically the 11th petition against the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act 2020.
The petitioners challenged the constitutionality of the new law and asked the court to stop and nullify it.
Their petition sought a temporary restraining order against the law.
They said the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), which is composed of executive officials who can designate who is a suspected “terrorist", have powers greater than what the Constitution grants to the President during times of invasion and rebellion.
“The key provisions that animate the ATA -- primarily the definitions of terrorism and its variants -- are so hopelessly burdened by unconstitutionality. As they deserve to be expunged, the ATA will be left with nothing to sustain its existence," they said.
The group said they would like to amend paragraphs of Section 3 as well as Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 26, 27, 29, 30, 34, 35, 36, 45, 46, and 49 of the law, also known as Republic Act 11479.
"In its fight against terrorism, the government must not be the source of terror and impunity itself. We must never let reason continue to escape us,” Morales said in a statement.
Ten other petitions were filed by the former head of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel Rudolph Philip B. Jurado, Christian S. Monsod, Felicitas A. Aquino, and the Ateneo Human Rights Center, two labor groups represented by the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, Pro-Labor Legal Assistance Center, Sanlakas party-list, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Movement Against Tyranny, Karapatan, and other progressive groups.
Also among the petitioners were the group of lawyers Howard Calleja and former Education secretary Armin Luistro, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the group of law dean Mel Sta. Maria and several professors of the Far Eastern University, and the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives headed by Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate. (SunStar Philippines)