Test new law on Anti-Terror

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio in reacting to the newly signed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (RA 11479) by Pres. Duterte signed on July 3, said the Supreme Court is now   ready to accept questions about the new law’s constitutionality. In fact the Tribunal is now swamped with negative petitions.

But the best litmus test is to let the law run for a while and test its effectivity. After all, if it is unjust, and with evidence, the Supreme Court can easily decapitate the law by declaring it’s unconstitutional.

In this manner, it will prove critics wrong that democracy is dead in this country.  By questioning its constitutionality in the Supreme Court, it means that democracy is still very much alive in this country. On the other hand, is the present march of protest,   not a form of suppressing the framers’ good intentions?   So:  test the law. Let it run for a while, — until it hurts.

– Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday July 3, signed into law the anti-terrorism measure in the midst of   mounting opposition and fears that it targets critics of the government. ——not terrorists?

But Duterte’s legal team had weighed up,   the concerns from different groups before the bill was signed. The law takes effect 15 days after publication.

The Philippine Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020                 (RA 11479), which amends the 2007 Human Security Act, expands the definition of terrorism, which human rights advocates say could lead to abuses and stifle free speech. It also permits the surveillance, warrantless arrest and detention of suspects for up to 24 days, upon clearance by the Anti-Terrorism Council.

Most reaction is that,  this law is only good up to its implementors.  Depending on whose administration it is being implemented.

If the implementer is a saint, then he or she will invoke righteous justice in implementing   the Anti-Terrorism Law. There will be no complaints. But if the implementer is the devilish kind, then unrighteous justice will prevail   and there will be complaints from all over.

The good side of the law is that it intends to pre-empt the terrorist, say from exploding a suicide bomb in our markets or churches. It can arrest the would-be bomber on mere suspicion but with evidence —before he actually explodes the bomb—before innocent people are killed.  Aint that a good law?    Otherwise if the government has no evidence, the arrestor will be held liable       if he unjustly makes a wrongful warrantless arrest.

Best is :  test the law

The law is not yet tested by time. Let it be.  Why is  there so big fuss? |Are the noisy protestors friends or foes of   terrorists — who by shouting in the streets are   they merely exposing their true color and affiliations?  Why howl if you have nothing to fear? We are almost sure that by now,   government agents are  documenting who are the noisy oppositors for possible links with terrorists. Yes, a wise agent can use this protest- “pandemic” to lead them to the real terrorists.. On the other hand, the real terrorists are just keeping silent.

Every good law can be unjustly implemented, depending on its implementers and the entire justice system. Everybody knows that interpreting the law comes from all sides, depending on who is majority and influential on the arguments.

Under Duterte, surely PRRD   will make sure that it will pass the constitutionality test, otherwise, he would not have signed it.  After Duterte’s term, that’s another big story ….for the future…

On the side of its authors, this is a good law ——if not abused — because it can conduct sweeping hindrances to terroristic acts, therefore, good for the public welfare…. But on the other hand, if it is abused even to arrest innocent persons, then that is another story….any existing law for that matter is always bad if done  IN EXCESS            of its limitations.

Like the law on illegal drugs….it is a good law, but if only small fries are caught and killed and the big drug lords go scot free of what good is the law?   If rogue policemen enforcers are the first to violate the law, then of what good is a good law? It becomes   no good, naturally.

So let us give the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 a chance to be implemented. Let us see whom the government will arrest and detain first. Will these be hard core terrorists, or, will the arrests be done in harassment of political rivals? It remains to be seen.

And until proven otherwise, let’s give the new law enough time to be tested and implemented.  It still remains to be seen, so people, let’s wait how the Duterte law enforcers will implement this new anti-terror law.