Anti-terror bill will make Pinoys’ lives ‘more fearful, uncertain - UP Law

Anti-terror bill will make Pinoys’ lives ‘more fearful, uncertain - UP Law

Faculty members of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law has made a statement that the Anti-Terrorism bill will worsen the lives of everybody which are already suffering from this global pandemic brought about by the novel coronavirus 2019 disease or COVID-19.
“In the midst of a pandemic that has made our people’s lives even more difficult, more fearful, and more uncertain, the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 provides even more reason to be fearful and uncertain,” UP Law said in a statement.

The UP law faculty is appealing to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s advisers on constitutional and legal matters to “advise the President of the grave constitutional objections and serious implications of the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020, and for him to veto the law.”
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“The Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 poses a clear and present danger to constitutionalism and the rule of law,” UP Law statement said.
UP law is od the opinion that there are provisions in the bill which are unconstitutional.
It noted, among which, includes provision that “authorize executive orders for arrest and prolonged detention beyond what the law and the Rules of Court provide” which “pose a chilling effect on free expression and the right to organize and assemble.”

Also, some provisions they opined are “experiments of lawful dissent and principal advocacy”, citing as an example provisions that protects legitimate exercise of civil and political rights but includes a new offense of inciting to terrorism.
As regards the creation of the Anti-Terrorism Council which, though “a purely executive body,” has “exclusively judicial power to order an arrest as well to make a conclusion that a person is a terrorist (even on a prima facie basis) for purpose of arrest and detention,” they find violative of the time honored doctrine of separation of powers.
“Some of the more important provisions protecting the citizenry against unwarranted arrests and charges have been removed, resulting in less, not more, checks and balances against a law that seeks to confer tremendous power on the executive branch,” it stated.

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