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Retired Supreme Court (SC) Justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio Morales led a group of petitioners in filing before the high tribunal on Wednesday (July 22) the 11th petition seeking to declare as unconstitutional and stop the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020.

“In its fight against terrorism, the government must not be the source of terror and impunity itself. We must never let reason continue to escape us,” the two retired magistrates said in a statement.

Carpio cited that the Constitution states that “the right of the people ‘to be secure in their persons xxx against unreasonable xxx seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose’ shall be ‘nviolable’.”

“To guarantee this, the Constitution erected two fortresses: the first fortress is that only a judge can issue warrants of arrests; the second fortress is that warrants of arrest must be issued only upon probable cause,” he explained.

“What has the ATA done? The ATA has demolished both and reinstated the ASSOs of the Martial Law era. Section 29 of the ATA begins with the tell-tale heading ‘Detention Without Judicial Warrant of Arrest’,” he lamented.

Aside from the two retired magistrates, the other petitioners in the 11th petition are University of the Philippines (UP) law professors, namely, College of Law Associate Dean and Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea Director Jay Batongbacal; Institute for the Administration of Justice Director Dante Gatmaytan; former Supreme Court Public Information Office chief Theodore Te; and Senior Professorial Lecturers Victoria Loanzon and Anthony Charlemagne Yu.

The other petitioners are former Magdalo party-list representative and security analyst Francisco Ashley Acedillo and incumbent UP University Student Council councilor Tierone James M. Santos.

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