The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is set to take effect starting midnight of Saturday, July 18, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Friday, July 17.
“The effectivity clause of the Anti-Terrorism Act states that the Act shall take effect 15 days after its publication in the official gazette or in at least two newspapers of general circulation,” Guevarra explained.
“Considering that the law was published on July 3, it will take effect on July 18, which is the 15th day,” he declared.
Guevarra pointed this out to “rectify our earlier statement that the law will take effect after the 15th day, or on July 19.”
Meanwhile, Guevarra said the government is set to draft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law.
“We’re just about to start drafting the IRR,” the secretary said.
“We have to finish this in 90 days,” he added.
Once the draft has been approved, the secretary said “the IRR will likewise have to be published when it is done.”
“The DOJ and the Anti-Terrorism Council, in consultation with law enforcement agencies and military institutions, will promulgate the IRR for the implementation of the anti-terrorism law,” the DOJ chief said.
Despite the lack of a draft, Guevarra assured “the law will take effect even without the IRR.”
The secretary explained “the promulgation of the IRR is not a condition for the effectivity of the law.”
“Some provisions are self-executing, like the organization of the ATC,” the DOJ chief pointed out.
“But there are provisions where operational details need to be spelled out or standards clearly defined in the IRR for a proper implementation of the law,” he added.
At the moment, nine separate petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the constitutionality of many of the provisions of the law and have it stopped from being implemented.