The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Monday said the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) cannot correct the problems in Republic Act 11479, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
“It is a basic principle in law that an IRR cannot rise above the provisions of the law that it seeks to clarify,” IBP President Domingo Egon Cayosa said in a statement.
“The IRR may therefore be hounded by the same questions surrounding R.A. 11479 itself,” he added.
Cayosa raised this point following the IRR’s registration with the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR) last Friday, Oct. 16, and publication over the weekend.
“The efforts of the Department of Justice to address the questions, fears, and objections of many over the Anti-Terrorism Law (R.A. 11479) through the publication of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) may be welcome and appreciated,” Cayosa said.
“Unfortunately, as DOJ officials themselves correctly admit, they cannot go beyond what the law provides,” he added.
At the moment, there are 37 petitions, including the IBP’s, that have been filed before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to invalidate in parts or as a whole RA 11479.
“We hope and pray that the pending petitions before the Honorable Supreme Court will be resolved on the merits for the proper guidance of all,” Cayosa said.
The IBP president said the people denounce terrorism but the Anti-Terrorism Law “impinges on constitutionally guaranteed rights and settled principles of law and governance.”
“The law affects all of us and even the next generation of Filipinos beyond the term of the current Congress and administration,” he said.
“It is best that the contentious and controversial issues regarding the law be resolved in a timely manner,” he added.