MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has taken the position that every Filipino has the right to question the newly-signed anti-terrorism law before the Supreme Court (SC).
Eight petitions have already filed before the High Court questioning RA 11479, the Anti-Terrorism Act 2020 signed into law by President Duterte recently. The last petition was filed by Sanlakas.
Guevarra said “it is the right of every citizen to question an act of the legislature that he thinks is contrary to the fundamental law of the land,” and the Supreme Court is duty-bound to resolve “with exactitude the constitutional limits of state power.”
“This right and duty are at the very heart of all the petitions filed in relation to the anti-terrorism law.” Guevarra explained.
Earlier the High Court has the executive department to comment on the petitions questioning the legality of RA 11479. It has yet to issue a temporary restraining order as prayed for by the petitioners who criticized several provisions of the new law.
Among its provisions assailed by the petitioners are the very definition of the crime of terrorism, the maximum of 24 days of prolonged detention of a suspect without a judicial warrant or without charging him, the maximum of 90 days technical surveillance and wiretapping of communications, the maximum of six months investigation of a suspect’s bank accounts and the freezing of assets and the authority to designate a person or association as a terrorist without judicial intervention.