A group of Muslim lawyers have also asked the Supeme Court (SC) to declare as unconstitutional the Anti-Terrorism Law.
“We, as Bangsamoro, Muslims and natives of Mindanao, have been at the heart of the struggle against terrorism,” read the statement of the petitioners composed of lawyers Bantuas Lucman, Musa Malayang, Dalomilang Parahiman and Algamar Latiph, who filed filed a petition before the SC on Thursday (July 23).
“In the end, our people and communities are the chief victims of terrorism committed by the violent extremist groups in the Bangsamoro,” the pointed out.
As Muslims most affected by terrorism, the group admit that “most government actions are inspired by noble intentions, geared towards the betterment of the nation and its people.
“But no matter how noble a purpose, if the means to be employed in accomplishing it are irreconcilable with constitutional parameters, it cannot still be allowed,” they stressed.
The petitioners pointed out the law has “vague provisions susceptible to multiple interpretations which would victimize innocent people.”
“Thus law would make them at the mercy of preconceived notion of the law enforcers in interpreting the assailed that would result to abuse,” they stated.
“As the law is vague, the people would not have sufficient understanding of what specific act are prohibited,” they added.
Also, the petitioners said the law “authorizes arrest and detention, without a warrant, on a mere bare suspicion.”
They said delegating this power to the military and police “undermins the right to liberty and personal security of the people especially the Bangsamoro people as there were reports of repeated victims of mistaken identity committed.”