Anti-Terror Lawâs IRR OKâd
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who led the technical group tasked to craft the IRR, was pleased they were able to meet the deadline for the ATC’s approval.
STAR/Boy Santos, file
Anti-Terror Law’s IRR OK’d
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 (ATL) have been completed and approved by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) technical group and will soon be distributed to government security forces, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said yesterday.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who led the technical group tasked to craft the IRR, was pleased they were able to meet the deadline for the ATC’s approval.

“The ATC has approved today (Oct. 14) the IRR of the ATL crafted by a technical group led by the DOJ. We will disseminate copies to Congress and to law enforcement agencies as required under the law, and will publish the IRR online and in a newspaper of general circulation in the next few days,” said Guevarra.

The ATL’s IRR would be published online within the week and in two newspapers of general circulation this weekend.

The IRR will be effective once it has been published and registered with the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR) at the University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City by Friday.

Guevarra also mentioned that the IRR did not include social media regulation. “No specific provision pertaining to social media regulation,” he said.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay had earlier proposed to use the ATL to regulate social media, drawing strong criticism from various sectors.

At present, there are 37 petitions asking the Supreme Court (SC) to declare the ATL null and void on the premise that it is against the Constitution.

A source at the SC told The STAR that the high court has not yet set the date for oral arguments for the 37 petitions filed against the ATL’s implementation.

The ponente or justice-in-charge of the petitions has yet to formulate and submit the issues to be tackled for approval by the SC, said the source. Only then will a date be set for preliminary conference and the oral arguments.

“Ponente might be finished in the middle of November,” the source said.

Test case for ATL

Meanwhile, a suspected Indonesian suicide bomber arrested in Sulu last weekend is a potential test case for the ATL, particularly its provision punishing “inchoate offenses.”

Guevarra said he agreed with this observation made by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, national defense and security committee chairman and principal sponsor of the law.

Inchoate offenses refer to crimes that have not been completely carried out – in this case, the suicide bombing.

Speaking at the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board Summit last Tuesday, Lacson said the bombs and other items seized from Rezky Fantasya Rullie, also known as Nana Isirani and Cici, indicated she was preparing to take part in a terrorist attack.

“This is one example of an inchoate offense made punishable under the new Anti-Terrorism Law,” said Lacson. – Paolo Romero

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