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SC appoints another amicus curiae in anti-terror law petition

THE Supreme Court has appointed former chief justice Reynato Puno as amicus curiae (friend of court) during resumption of oral argument proceedings on several petitions questioning the legality of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 next week.

This brought to two ‘friends of court’ appointed to help the SC in the disposition of 37 petitions against the controversial legislation which President Duterte signed last July 3.

Last January 29, the SC appointed former high court justice Francis Jardeleza as amicus curiae. Under the Rules of Court, the SC may invite lawyers to appear and help in disposition of issues.

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.