Petition Against New Anti-Terrorism Law Endorsed by Former Justices

07/28/2020 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – Philippines’ new anti-terrorism bill, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 3, is facing increased push back from home and abroad.

Former Philippines Supreme Court Justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio-Morales have become the latest protesters to such law. They joined the faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Law (UP Law) in petitioning the Supreme Court to void the controversial law, which many believe would become a tool for Manila to target political opponents and threaten freedom of speech.

The definition of terrorism which has been broadened, as well as possible offenses under the new definition, are concerning many rights groups. NPR reports that these groups are especially uncomfortable with a clause which reads inciting others through “speeches, writings, proclamations, emblems, banners, and other representations tending to the same end” could carry a punishment of 12 years in prison.

The Philippine Catholic Church even compared this law to China’s new National Security Law which came into effect in Hong Kong starting July 1.

According to Jurist.org, the petition was filed Thursday by the former justices, UP Law faculty and students. They ask that the court prevent the law from going into effect until oral arguments are heard and the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law.

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