Three more petitions questioning the validity of the government’s expanded law against terror have been filed at the Supreme Court.
A coalition of 18 legal resource civic groups asked the court to nullify the Anti-Terrorism Act, citing its “highly questionable” definition of the crime.
Church leaders and women’s rights group General Assembly of Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality Leadership, and Action (Gabriela), Inc. also filed separate petitions.
The law groups said the measure uses “overbroad, ambiguous, and imprecise terms.” “This grants too much enforcement discretion to the government,” according to a copy of their lawsuit.
The church leaders said some provisions of the law are “oppressive and inconsistent with our Constitution” and pose “serious threat to the fundamental freedoms of all peaceful Filipinos.”
The law, which took effect on July 18, considers attacks that cause death or serious injury, extensive damage to property and manufacture, possession, acquisition, transport and supply of weapons or explosives as terrorist acts.
It also allows the government to keep a suspect in jail without an arrest warrant for 14 days from three days previously. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas