NUPL to respect SC ruling on Anti-Terrorism Act

Published December 8, 2021, 2:52 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog


One of the 37 groups of petitioners who challenged the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020 said it will respect the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision on the issue.

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said in a statement: “Whatever the final outcome, we as officers of the court are duty-bound to respect and accept the ruling. When necessary and appropriate, we shall regroup ourselves for the next steps and options.”

“At any rate, the people must always be relentless in pushing back against any real or perceived overreach of governmental power,” NUPL said through its President Edre U. Ulalia.

The SC last Tuesday, Dec. 7, resolved the 37 petitions during its online full court session.

But the ruling and the result of the voting of the 15-member SC could not be immediately released.

Lawyer Brian Keith F. Hosaka, SC Spokesperson and chief of the court’s public information office (PIO) said:

“Considering that there were numerous issues resolved in the case, as well as the fact that each justice had to vote on each issue, there is a need to accurately confirm and tally the vote of each justice in order to ensure the correct resolution of the Court per issue,”

The SC ruling is expected to be released until Friday, Dec. 10.

RA 11479 was enacted on July 3, 2020 and implemented 15 days later starting July 18, 2020.

Last Feb. 2, the SC started conducting oral arguments on the petitions which were consolidated into one case.

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo had assured that the ruling on the 37 petitions would be handed down before the end of 2021.

The NUPL said: “The ruling will certainly reverberate across the land and beyond. Its substantive and procedural nuances, implications and repercussions, must be divined, dissected and digested well especially for the practical benefit of the people who simply refuse to let the dying of the light of our rights.”

It also pointed out that “the much-awaited ruling will impact on us all as human beings, its implications and consequences on our basic civil and political rights to be felt beyond the here and now.”

On the part of NUPL, Olalia said the group will “continue to invoke adherence to the text and spirit of the Constitution, beseech compliance with basic legal rules and principles, and resolutely exercise our rights.”

“The people will continue to link arms to collectively fight back as one for a noble cause, particularly when there is a clash between the superiority of governmental power over essential rights that are the source of that power in the first place,” he declared.