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As expected: Guevarra ain’t shocked by petition vs. Anti-Terrorism Law

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he is not surprised that a petition has been filed before the Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday (July 4) that challenges the Anti-Terrorism Law.

“But the filing of this and similar petitions has been expected,” he said on Saturday.

“This is a positive development, as it provides all parties concerned the appropriate forum for the resolution of all the legal and constitutional issues involved, with finality,” he added.

The petition was filed by a group of lawyers led by Ateneo and La Salle law professor Howard Calleja a day after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Act into law.

“It is a law not against terrorists, but a law of error and terror,” Calleja warned.

The petition was filed before the SC via e-mail and included Atty. Joseph Peter J. Calleja, UP Law Professor Christopher John P. Lao, Dr. Reynaldo J. Echavez, Napoleon L. Siongco, Raeyan M. Reposar, civic groups Frontliners: Tunay na Bayani and Bagong Siklab Pilipinas, as well as Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, of the De La Salle Brothers, Inc.

“The separation of powers of government and the checks and balances are slowly being dismantled in the guise of public welfare and security,” Calleja said.

“Through the Anti-Terrorism Law, the President, with Congress, has paved the way for a legal framework that would allow the government to go against its own people,” he added.

He pointed out the Anti-Terrorism Law “effectively strengthened the powers of the Executive by granting powers sinherent in the Judiciary, making the Executive the judge, jury, and executioner.”

The petition sought for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or any injunction against the enforcement of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

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