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High court asked to resolve anti-terror lawsuit

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A FORMER Supreme Court justice and ex-Ombudsman on Wednesday asked the high tribunal to resolve a number of lawsuits seeking to void the law that expanded terror crimes in the country.

In a 12-page motion, former Justice Antonio T. Carpio, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, law professors and a student party reiterated their plea for the court to stop the law’s enforcement.

They said the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right against warrantless arrest, due process, bail and presumption of innocence are in “imminent danger of being transgressed by the vague and overbroad” provisions of the law.

“This honorable court must step in to prevent any imminent and threatened enforcement of the Anti-Terrorism Act,” the plaintiffs said, noting that the rules enforcing the law have taken effect.

They also questioned the validity of the rules, which provide that advocacy, protest, dissent and similar actions are considered “acts of terrorism” if they were “intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s life, or to create a serious risk to public safety.”

The plaintiffs said people or groups may suffer injury if they are classified by the Anti-Terrorism Council as terrorists.

More than 30 petitions were filed questioning the anti-terror law. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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