Attack on lawyer prompts new plea vs anti-terror law

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The petitioners against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and their lawyers yesterday filed another plea for the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the implementation of the law after one of their co-counsels was attacked on March 3.

In a five-page joint manifestation and further reiterative motion for issuance of injunctive relief, the petitioners asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order or a status quo ante order pending the resolution of the consolidated petitions against the law.

Angelo Karlo Guillen, an official of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, was stabbed repeatedly by two still unidentified assailants in Iloilo City, the latest in what the petitioners described as a series of attacks on them and their lawyers. The assailants took Guillen’s laptop and case files.

The petitioners said the attack on Guillen is a grim reminder of the conditions of the social environment they claim the law fostered.

“It is one where activists and human rights defenders not only pray that they do not fall prey in the first place to such relentless incitements to violence and assaults. It is one where every inch of democratic space must be defended to the teeth lest the lofty tenets of the Constitution be mangled into mere hortatory aspirations that shall fail at every turn to keep brutes and assassins, under the badge of authority, at bay,” they said.

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