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SC resets oral arguments on petitions vs anti-terror law

THE Supreme Court yesterday postponed the scheduled oral arguments, which was supposed to be held this January 19, on multitude of petitions questioning the legality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

This was after the high court granted the Office of the Solicitor General’s request for postponement when an assistant solicitor general and some staff who will attend the oral arguments have tested positive for COVID-19.

The new schedule for the oral arguments will be on February 2, 2021. The SC said that it will no longer entertain requests for postponement.

At least 37 petitions have been filed before the high tribunal questioning the legality, in whole or in part, of the hugely-controversial legislation.

President Duterte signed a stricter anti-terrorism law, condemned by critics and rights groups as a weapon to target opponents and stifle free speech.

Duterte has defended the law, saying law-abiding citizens should not fear as it targets terrorists including communist insurgents.

The highly contested provisions of the law are the following:

• section 4 – definition of Terrorism;

• section 5 – the threat to commit terrorism;

• section 6 – planning, training, preparing and facilitating the commission of terrorism;

• section 9 – inciting to commit terrorism;

• section 10 – recruitment to and membership in a terrorist organization;

• section 11 – foreign terrorist;

• section 12 – providing material support to terrorists.

• section 25 – designation of terrorist individual, groups of persons, organizations or associations;

• section 26 – proscription of terrorist organizations, associations or group of persons;

• section 27 – preliminary order of proscription

• section 29 – detention without judicial warrant of arrest.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Hector Lawas
Court reporter for more than 20 years