A group led by opposition Senators Leila de Lima and Francis Panglinan have filed a petition asking the Supreme Court (SC) to declare as unconstitutional the Anti-Terrorism Law.
“Ostensibly meant to serve the narrow and specific state policy of fighting terrorism, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (hereafter, ATA) nevertheless hands to government a sledgehammer, a blunt instrument that may easily be wielded to batter down the constitutional guardrails protecting the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances, and ultimately, terrorize the sovereign people into silence and servility,” read their petition.
Aside from de Lima, the petitioners include 1986 Constitutional Commission members Dr. Florangel Rosario-Braid and Prof. Edumundo Garcia; Rep. Kit Belmonte; former Senators Sergio Osmeña III and Wigberto “Bobby” Tañada; and former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada and former Akbayan party-list Rep. Etta Rosales.
The petitioners also include journalists Ceres Doyo, Lilibeth Frondoso, Chay Hofileña, Rachel Khan, Jo-Ann Maglipon, John Nery, Beatrice Puente Maria Ressa, and Maritess Vitug; and former Senate secretary Lutgardo Barbo and law professor Chel Diokno.
The petition named as respondents Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, Anti-Money Laundering Council Executive Director Mel Georgie Racela, Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado, the Anti-Terrorism Council, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).
With this, the petition asked the SC a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a preliminary injunction or both while the case is pending to halt the implementation of the law.
The petition also asked that the case undergo oral arguments and eventually rule to have the law declared null and unconstitutional.
Aside from making permanent the injunctions against the law, the petition also sought for the temporary protection orders against the respondents.
permanent, thus annulling and setting aside the law for being void and unconstitutional and prohibiting the respondents and their agents or representatives from implementing RA 11479.