Church leaders appeal to SC justices to junk Anti-Terror Law

Published February 2, 2021, 5:32 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Church leaders have called on the Supreme Court to listen to the voice of the people by junking the Anti-Terror Law.


“Heed the voice of the people, defend the truth, and junk the dreaded terror bill,” Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Church People Workers Solidarity said in a statement.

“Let us join hands in prayer for our magistrates in the Supreme Court that God may enlighten their hearts and minds,” he added.

CWS issued the call Tuesday as the SC started the oral arguments on the petition against the Anti- Terrorism Law (ATL) of 2020.  

The group said perpetuators of killings, threats, intimidations and harassment are emboldened to continue their criminal acts because of ATL.

“Recent incidents’ of red-tagging by government agents against church and health workers in Negros resulted to killings. Last week, death treats sent via text messages were sent to union leaders and prominent activist in Cebu,” said Alminaza.

The group “One Faith, One Nation, One Voice” also issued the same appeal to SC Justices.

“With concern for democracy and the protection of human life, we pray that the Supreme Court will be able to discern the dangers and pitfalls of this legislation.  We urge them to uphold democracy and civil liberties, by striking down the repressive and ambiguous law,” the group said.

One Faith, One Nation, One Voice said the anti-terror law will only be misused and abused by militarists who wish to “lord it over” the Filipino people, obliterate opposition and quell the most legitimate dissent.

“Those in power have already demonstrated their desire for overreach and broad discretion in going after so-called ‘enemies of the state’ or ‘terrorism.’

Their folly in attacking church people, artists, members of the academe, development workers, and even former government officials lays bare great danger in undermining the checks-and-balances and due process under the law.  The Supreme Court is especially placed to judge these dangers and assure that civil liberties are safeguarded and democratic rights upheld,” the group said.

“We urge the Supreme Court to strike down this law fraught with ominous features that reek of the dark days of the Marcos martial law,” added the group.

The statement was signed by Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo, D.D., Apostolic Administrator, Archdiocese of Manila; Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza, General Secretary,  National Council of Churches in the Philippines; Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, Provincial Superior, De La Salle Brothers in East Asia;The Most Revd Rhee Timbang, Obispo Maximo, Iglesia Filipina Independiente; Sr. Ma. Lisa Ruedas, DC, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, Daughters of Charityand Bishop Emergencio Padillo, Middle Luzon Jurisdiction, United Church of Christ in the Philippines.