No amount of assurances from law enforcement agencies that there will be no abuses in the implementation of the “Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020” would mitigate the incidence of abuses because the law itself is abusive and derogatory of human rights, civil liberties and fundamental freedoms.
The repressive provisions in the law embolden law enforcers to perpetrate errant and arbitrary implementation against spirited ordinary citizens, progressive activists and political dissenters who have long been considered as “enemies of the state”.
The new anti-terrorism law must be cleansed of its constitutional infirmities notwithstanding the say-so of its implementors.
It is incumbent upon the Supreme Court to use the scalpel of judicial review to excise the numerous oppressive and unconstitutional provisions of the new law in its adjudication of relevant petitions.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN