Calida: Anti-Terrorism Law in force even without IRR

Published July 23, 2020, 12:41 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Solicitor General Jose Calida said on Thursday that the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020 remains in force despite the lack of implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

Solicitor General Jose Calida (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“First, the promulgation of the IRR is not a condition precedent for the effectivity of the ATA,” Calida said in a statement.

“The pending issuance of an IRR cannot defer the law coming into force,” he added.

The Solicitor General pointed out “the complete publication of the ATA is the only condition sine qua non before it can take effect.”

Calida reminded the ATA has taken effect because it has been 15 days since it was printed and published in the Official Gazette last July 6.

“While there are provisions where operational details need to be spelled out or standards clearly defined in the IRR for the proper implementation of the law, there is no provision in the ATA which prohibits its implementation without an IRR,” he said.

Calida admitted that Sections 45 (creation of Anti-Terror Council) and 52 (management of persons caught) of the ATA can’t be implemented yet.

“Under both sections, Congress delegated quasi-legislative functions to the Anti-Terrorism Council and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Corrections to craft purely administrative rules for the effective implementation of the policies of the law,” he said.

“Save for these provisions, the law is self-executing,” he added.

The Solicitor General stated a law is “presumed to be valid when there exists an interpretation favorable to its effectivity.”

“Unless there are clear and unmistakable showing of the law’s constitutional and statutory infirmity, the presumption of validity subsists, and the law is binding and effective,” he said.