MORE than 100 human rights groups, religious organizations, and individuals jointly urged Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra and Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo to act against the anti-terror law and protect human rights defenders.

“We… are writing to you to express our profound and urgent concern on the recent extrajudicial killings, judicial harassment, arbitrary arrests and detention and threats through red-tagging against human rights defenders, including Karapatan human rights workers, human rights lawyers, trade unionists and public sector unions, and organizers of community pantries in the Philippines,” the 103 groups and individuals said in a June 7 letter to the two officials.

In the letter, they appealed for specific actions such as a review and revision of rules on search and arrest warrants, a ruling on the pending cases against the Anti-Terrorism Act filed before the Supreme Court, and publicly recognize the legitimate and essential work of human rights defenders. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago