Women’s group questions terror law

Photo courtesy of Atty. Minerva Lopez

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
nmglthk.com

MANILA – Women’s group Gabriela is the 19th petitioner questioning the constitutionality of the controversial terror law before the Supreme Court。

In a 73-page petition, Gabriela is asking the high court to restrain concerned government officials from implementing the Republic Act No. 11479 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, stop the Anti-Terrorism Council from convening and in promulgating the law’s implementing rules and regulations.

The terror council, according to the petition, has a very broad but undefined power against suspected individuals and groups of persons or organizations.

“Hence, one’s acts may constitute terrorism when the law’s implementors adjudge them to be so. One does not know what acts constitute disobedience of the law. One does not know when and why she or he had become a terrorist,” the petition read.

 

This may put progressives in danger, with the likes of Gabriela as among the oft red-tagged organizations in the country.

The law, the group said, violates Constitutionally-guaranteed rights such as rights of speech, expression, and association。 It also violates the principle of separation of powers, with state security forces assuming the judicial function of finding probable cause, Gabriela said。

“To be branded and declared as terrorist is dangerous。 Similarly dangerous is being branded as communist front,” the petition read, “These are an all-inclusive category which attempts to demonize Petitioners and other groups and individuals who are advocating for social change。”

Among their petitioners are Gabriela’s officers Gertrudes Libang and Joms Salvador, former Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus, and theater actress and women’s rights activist Monique Wilson.

They were assisted by fellow women’s rights advocates, lawyers Alnie Foja and Minerva Lopez. (http://www.nmglthk.com)

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