#JunkTerrorLaw trends as SC holds oral arguments vs anti-terror law

Published February 3, 2021, 8:08 AM

by Gabriela Baron

The hashtag JunkTerrorLaw trended on social media after the Supreme Court (SC) started its oral arguments for the 37 petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020 on Tuesday.


Thirty seven groups of petitioners chose 13 lawyers — seven main and six alternates — to argue on the issue set by the SC for oral arguments.

The seven lawyers chosen by the petitioners will be facing Solicitor General Jose Calida. Among them are former Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) Chairman Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, Alfredo Molo III, Evalyn Ursua, and Algamar Latiph.

Their alternatives are former SC spokesperson Theodore Te, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) Secretary General Ephraim Cortez, NUPL Spokesperson Josalee Deinla, Randall Tabayoyong, Howard Calleja, and Batuas Lucman.

In a tweet, a netizen compared the lawyers to Marvel Comics’ fictional superheroes The Avengers.

NUPL’s Atty. Sol Taule shared the hand-stitched statement mask she wore during the oral arguments.

Meanwhile, poet and screenwriter Jerry Gracio underscored the need to explain the implications of the ATA oral argument in a language that a lot of Filipinos will understand.

“Kung hindi maintindihan ng mga tao ang nangyayari sa korte, paano sila makikilahok sa discursong panlipunan? (If people do not understand what’s going on in court, how can they participate in social discourse?) Gracio wrote.

The #JunkTerrorLaw already reached over 98,000 tweets as of writing.

Oral arguments will resume on Tuesday, Feb. 9.