Labor alliance asks SC to rule on petitions vs anti-terror law

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WITH the looming full implementation of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA), the coalition of the country’s largest labor groups urged the Supreme Court on Sunday to act on the petitions questioning the legality of the measure.

“Nagkaisa maintains that there is a need for SC to resolve the constitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law with dispatch,” Nagkaisa said in a statement. 

It made the call after the Department of Justice promulgated and published the IRR of the ATA. 

Nagkaisa chairman Sonny Matula reiterated their opposition against ATA, particularly its provisions allowing the Anti Terrorism Council to publish a list of “terrorists” without benefit of fair trial.   

He also expressed concern on the imposition of the same degree of penalty on serious and less serious offenses under ATA.  

“Persons who threaten, conspire, propose, and incite to commit terrorism shall serve 12 years of imprisonment, as well as those who participate in the planning, training, preparation, and facilitation of the crime,” Matula told BusinessMirror in a SMS. 

“Any person who has knowledge of the commission of the crime of terrorism, even without active participation, also gets 12 years in jail,” he noted. 

Nagkaisa was among the 37 groups and individuals, who filed petitions before the SC questioning the constitutionality of certain provisions of the ATA. 

Matula said the latest action of the SC on the said petitions is to ask the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to comment on the 37 petitions. 

Nagkaisa will continue is campaign against the ATA, which it maintained is a threat to freedom of speech.

“If our generation will not do our duty, the cause of constitutional liberty might be lost by default in favor of those with authoritarian tendencies,” Nagkaisa said.

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