The Anti-Terrorism Law, Constitutional or Not?



Months back we wrote in this column about this writer’s perceived fear that the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Law might lead to possible abuses by the government’s personnel tasked to implement the law. This fear was shared by no less than the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and other human rights advocates who claim that the law is in flagrant violation of our Constitution particularly that which refers to the freedom of speech and assembly. From latest reports we have read both in tv and other print and broadcast media, it appears that the IBP and some human rights advocates have filed a petition with the Supreme Court praying that the law be declared void and unconstitutional. This column does not wish to discuss the merits or demerits of the case lest we may be declared in contempt of court. However, we regret to say that we are less hopeful of a verdict of unconstitutionality of the law, given the present composition of the Supreme Court where eleven (11) of its members were Duterte appointees out of the fifteen (15) total composition of the Court. Of course, we do not question here the integrity and fairness of the Justices appointed by the President but what will prevent the latter from wielding its influence by some means for a decision declaring the constitutionality of the law. Remember that the Anti-Terror bill was a pet bill of Malacañang and was approved by both Houses of Congress before it adjourned seni die.

Until now the entire City of Naga is still in General Quarantine due to the pandemic existing in the city. It was supposed to end to July 15 but extended to July 31 due to the persistence of the pandemic. In the meantime we urge all persons concerned to always wear masks and/or observe the protocol distance whenever outside of their residences.

QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:

“FAR GRAVER IS IT TO CORRUPT THE FAITH THAT IS THE LIFE OF THE SOUL THAN TO COUNTERFEIT THE MONEY THAT SUSTAINS TEMPORAL LIFE.” SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS

FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:

“THUS SAYS THE LORD: OBSERVE WHAT IS RIGHT, DO WHAT IS JUST. FOR MY SALVATION IS ABOUT TO COME, MY JUSTICE ABOUT TO BE REVEALED.” ISAIAH 56;1