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Philippines’ Supreme Court: Anti-terror law parts unconstitutional.
The Philippines’ Supreme Court has recently declared certain provisions of the country’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 as unconstitutional. The decision was made after several petitions were filed by various groups and individuals, including human rights advocates and journalists, who argued that the law could be used to suppress dissent and violate civil liberties.
The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in July of last year, with the aim of strengthening the government’s ability to combat terrorism. However, critics have raised concerns that the law is too broad and vague, and could be used to target individuals and groups who are not actually involved in terrorism.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court struck down several provisions of the law, including the provision that allows for warrantless arrests and detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days. The court also declared unconstitutional the provision that allows the Anti-Terrorism Council to designate individuals and groups as terrorists without due process.
The court’s decision was hailed by human rights advocates and civil society groups, who have been calling for the repeal of the law since it was passed. They argue that the law is a threat to democracy and could be used to silence dissent and opposition.
However, the government has defended the law, saying that it is necessary to combat terrorism and protect national security. They have also argued that the law has sufficient safeguards to prevent abuse and protect civil liberties.
The Supreme Court’s decision is a significant victory for human rights and civil liberties in the Philippines. It sends a strong message that the government cannot trample on the rights of its citizens in the name of national security. However, the fight is far from over, as the government may still appeal the decision or try to pass a new version of the law.
In the meantime, human rights advocates and civil society groups will continue to monitor the situation and push for the protection of civil liberties and human rights in the Philippines. The Supreme Court’s decision is a step in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that the government respects the rights of its citizens and upholds the rule of law.