Press Release
January 10, 2011

Enrile hails SC ruling on Anti-Terrorism Act

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday hailed the recent Supreme Court ruling that Republic Act No. 9372, also known as the Human Security Act of 2007 or the Anti-Terrorism Law, does not violate the Philippine Constitution.

"I commend the Supreme Court for ruling with finality that the Anti-Terrorism Act conforms to the fundamental law. The state must have ample means at its disposal to protect the citizenry from terrorist acts that lead to loss of life and destruction of property. Terrorism has no place in a civilized society such as ours," Enrile said.

"The Anti-Terrorism Law contains adequate safeguards against abuses by the military and the police. We need it to maintain law and order throughout the country and prevent terrorist groups from causing disorder and chaos in our society," Enrile explained.

"We cannot allow terrorist groups like the Abu Sayyaf, which has already launched terrorist bombings not only in Mindanao but even in Metro Manila, to hold the nation hostage to their lost cause. Our security forces should pursue them without let-up. The Anti-Terrorism Act ensures that the government will be able to uphold the rule of law in our country at all times," Enrile added.

In a two-page resolution, the SC en banc dismissed the petitions filed by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network Inc., Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Bayan Southern Tagalog and Karapatan seeking the reversal of its Oct. 5, 2010 ruling which declared the constitutionality of the Human Security Act.

In dismissing the various petitions, the SC stressed that the groups failed to raise new arguments in their motion for reconsideration.

In its Oct. 5, 2010 ruling, the SC ruled that the petitioners had no legal standing to assail Republic Act 9372 since "none of them faces any charge" of violating the said law.

The cause-oriented groups invoked their legal right to file the suit on the basis of being suspected "communist fronts" by the government, while individual petitioners invoked the "transcendental importance" doctrine and their status as citizens and taxpayers.

The High Tribunal said that while the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People's Army (NPA) and the Abu Sayyaf Group have been classified by the United States and the European Union as foreign terrorist organizations, no case has yet been filed before any court declaring these organizations as domestic terrorist groups.

The Supreme Court pointed out that since the implementation of the law in 2007, the petitioners "have conducted their activities fully and freely without any threat of, much less an actual prosecution or proscription under Republic Act 9372."

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