We trust the Supreme Court will uphold the majesty of the Constitution by purging the “Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020” of patently unconstitutional provisions and assuring that civil liberties would flourish.
We supplicate for justice and protection for the beleaguered Filipino people.
We are not against the suppression of terrorism because what we are protesting against is using the fear of terrorism as a subterfuge to curtail civil liberties, particularly: (a) free speech and the right to dissent; (b) freedom from arrest without judicial warrant; (c) privacy of communication; (d) security of property from unreasonable searches and seizures; and (e) freedom of association which cannot be infringed without due process.
The promotion of national security and the protection of basic rights are dual obligations of the State which are not antagonistic because they are mutually reinforcing.
The effective defense of national security redounds to the benefit of civil liberties even as the protection of civil liberties makes for a vibrant democracy and empowers the people to defend the integrity and existence of a protective government.
Consequently, basic freedoms should never be sacrificed in the pursuit of national security.
The contention that other countries have harsher laws is specious because our laws must be made and measured in accordance with the standards and prescriptions of our Constitution and consistent with our enviable heritage of democratic institutions.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN