NUJP disappointed over SC’s ruling on Anti-Terrorism Act

Published December 12, 2021, 5:15 PM

by Manila Bulletin

The National Union of the Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling on the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020, saying that the “constitutional” decision with the exemption of two provisions is “hardly a victory.”

(Photo / NUJP Facebook Page)

NUJP said that the organization was “disappointed” with SC for upholding a law “infringing the public’s right to free press and expression.”

“The striking down of the caveat on political dissent offers no consolation in the context of continuous and intensifying attacks on the Philippine media,” NUJP said In a statement on Friday, Dec. 10.

The statement was released after SC declared the ATA as constitutional except for two provisions – a portion of Section 4 and a portion of Section 25.

Republic Act No. 11479’s Section 4, by a vote of 12-3, was declared unconstitutional for being overboard and violative of freedom of expression. Meanwhile, a portion of Section 25, or the power of the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) to designate a person or group as a terrorist, was also voided by the SC with a vote of 9-6.

NUJP said it remains concerned that parts of the law, such as Section 9 and Section 12 could be used against journalists for “simply covering groups and issues that government links to supposed terrorist groups.” (Charie Mae F. Abarca)