The Supreme Court (SC) has been pressed anew to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would stop immediately the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act which the government started enforcing more than three months ago.
Retired SC Justices Antonio T. Carpio and Conchita Carpio Morales and other petitioners said the SC “must step in to prevent any imminent and threatened enforcement of the ATA, especially with the effectivity of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).”
“These developments will surely disrupt the status quo as law enforcers rob herein petitioners of the free exercise of their previously unhampered Constitutional liberties,” they stressed in their motion filed on Wednesday, October 28.
Thirty-seven petitions have been filed with the SC against the alleged unconstitutionality of ATA. All the petitions pleaded for a TRO.
Last Monday, the groups and individuals affiliated with the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) also pleaded for the issuance of TRO against the implementation of ATA.
Bayan told the SC: “… in light of the issuance of the IRR, the dangers brought by the enforcement of Republic Act No. 11479 (ATA) could no longer be ignored. It constitutes a grave and immediate threat which the petitioners implore the Court to address by way of resolution of their pending applications for provisional injunctive relief.”
The IRR was issued last October 14 by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), the body tasked to implement RA 11479.
It was last July 18 when the government started implementing the law that was signed by President Duterte last July 3.
The groups of Carpio and Morales, also a retired Ombudsman, told the SC:
“The extreme urgency for the need for injunctive relief is highlighted by the promulgation of the 2020 IRR of ATA.
“While petitioners had asserted that the ATA by itself, as a law, is complete and susceptible of immediately implementation of the State, the issuance of the ATA IRR demonstrates the resolve of the government to fully implement a law that is unconstitutional for its dire ramifications to fundamental constitutional rights of not only the petitioners but also the people themselves.”
The other petitioners, aside from Carpio and Morales, are University of the Philippines’ Associate Dean and Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea Director Jay L. Batongbacal, Institute for the Administration of Justice Director Dante B. Gatmaytan, and Senior Professorial Lecturers Victoria V. Loanzon and Anthony Charlemagne C. Yu, former SC public information office head Theodore O. Te, former Magdalo Party-list Representative and Security Analyst Francisco Ashley L. Acedillo , and incumbent UP University Student Council Councilor Tierone James M. Santos.
Named respondents were the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), the Senate, the House of Representatives, Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, and several Cabinet secretaries.
Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta has assured an expeditious resolution, after oral arguments, of the 37 petitions filed against ATA.
Peralta said the justice in charge of the petitions is expected to submit the consolidated issues for oral arguments, the dates of which have yet to be set by the SC.