Anti-terrorism law implementing guidelines for final deliberations on Wednesday
Protesters gather at University Avenue at the University of the Philippines, Diliman campus in Quezon City as they picket in time for President Rodrigo Dutertes 5th State of the Nation last July 27, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Anti-terrorism law implementing guidelines for final deliberations on Wednesday
( - October 13, 2020 - 5:49pm

MANILA, Philippines — The guidelines for the implementation of contentious Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is up for final deliberations on October 14, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday.

Guevarra confirmed to reporters that the anti-terrorism law’s Implementing Rules and Regulation is set to be completed. “The [Anti-Terrorism Council] will do its final deliberation on the ATA IRR tomorrow (Wednesday),” he added.

After the council’s deliberation on the IRR, publication will follow.

The executive secretary heads the ATC, while the national security adviser sits as its vice chair. The council's members are the secretaries of justice, foreign affairs, national defense, the interior and local government, finance, and information and communications technology; and the executive director of the Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat.

Last week, Guevarra said that regulation of social media — a recommendation earlier floated by military chief, Gen. Gilbert Gapay — was not included in the draft IRR that he saw.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11479 or the ATA on July 3, amid mounting criticism against the law deemed by law experts as infringing on the peoples’ freedom.

The anti-terrorism law is facing at least 37 legal challenges at the Supreme Court. It is one, if not the most, highly contested laws before the tribunal.

Petitions against the law came from Constitution Framers, legal luminaries such as former SC acting chief justice Antonio Carpio, law academe, lawmakers, religious leaders, community leaders from Mindanao, and dozens of civil society groups.

A petition filed by youth leaders, filed through the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers-National Capital Region, earlier said that the IRR cannot be used to remedy the "defects" of the anti-terrorism law.

“Trying to ‘correct’ the glaring and inherent defect in the assailed law through its implementing rules must be avoided because of the dangers accompanying such a proposition, not the least of which is the unwarranted discretion being given to the law-enforcer when he is asked to set the rules for the implementation of a vague law,” they said.

The SC had previously said the petitions are set for oral arguments, but a date has yet to be set as of Tuesday. — Kristine Joy Patag

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