26 groups appeal Supreme Court's ruling on anti-terror law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2022 09:27 PM

MANILA - Twenty-six out of 37 groups of petitioners filed on Wednesday a joint motion for reconsideration of the Supreme Court's ruling on the anti-terror law. 

The petitioners, which include lawyer Howard Calleja, former Ateneo School of Government dean Tony La Viña, senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares, and women's rights lawyer Virginia Suarez, questioned three provisions in the controversial law:

  • Section 10, which penalizes membership of a terrorist organization;
  • Section 25, which gives the Anti-Terrorism Council the power to designate groups or people as terrorist; and, 
  • Section 29, which allows the warrantless arrest of a person upon authorization by the Anti-Terrorism Council, as well as detention for up to 24 hours.

The Free Legal Assistance Group or FLAG also filed a supplemental motion for consideration to question Section 9 of the law, on inciting to commit terrorism. 

The group asked for a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court because the Anti-Terrorism Council continued to designate terrorist groups, including 16 organizations last month. 

According to La Viña, it was dangerous for the ATC to designate groups as terrorists without basis because it could result in the deaths of people who are red-tagged. 

As an example, he cited Chad Booc, a teacher who was killed in an alleged firefight between the military and members of the New People's Army in Davao de Oro last week.

"Isa siyang martyr, isa siyang bayani, isa siya yung tinatawag naming the best and the brightest, pinakamatalino at pinakamahusay, talino at karangalan at dala-dala niya. At tinawag siyang terorista," La Viña said. 

"At ngayong tinawag siyang terorista, pinatay siya. Kaya’t napakahalaga na tingnan ulit ng Supreme Court yung deadly consequences." 

(He was a martyr, a hero, someone we called the best and the brightest who had honor and intelligence. And he was called a terrorist. Now that he was called a terrorist, he was killed. That's why it is important that the Supreme Court looks at the deadly consequences.) 

- Report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News