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Several groups led by the Coordinating Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG), Inc. have filed a petition asking the Supreme Court (SC) to declare as unconstitutional the Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Law.

“The Republic Act (R.A) 11479 is in all aspects an arbitrary and repressive law,” declared the petition.

Because of this, the petition said Filipinos are “now voicing their dissent and objection to the act of the legislature in passing Republic Act No. 11479” since “law could not have emanated in both letter and spirit from their sovereign will other than from the selfish dictates of tyrants.

“The people are clamouring and objecting to R.A. 11479 which is so blatantly repressive in its essence that even the most cherished freedom of speech, which is the principal pillar of any free government, is in danger of being taken away,” the petition stated.

“Along with the threats to other guaranteed freedoms, this law and its implementation could lead to the dissolution of the Constitution of any free society,” it added.

At the moment, the petition pointed out the country has a “very alarming state of human rights” which was even observed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in its June report.

“The implementation of R.A. 11479 will surely worsen the present human rights situation and so petitioners have no other recourse but to put their trust on the Supreme Court as the faithful guardian of the fundamental law,” it said.

The groups in the petition describe themselves as “people continuously working in grassroots communities to engender and propagate people- advocacies, policies through participation in governance to empower the people in line with the vision of participatory democracy in a democratic and republican state like ours as enshrined in the Constitution.”

Aside from CDPG, the petitioners include Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines, Climate Change Network for Community-Based Initiatives, Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, Magsasaka at Siyentipiko Para sa Pag-Unlad ng Agrikultura, Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes, Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Ibon Foundation, Samahan at Ugnayan ng Mga Konsyumers Para sa Ikakaunlad ng Bayan, and Eufemia Doringo.

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