/ 28 April 2022

THE KABATAAN party-list condemned the Supreme Court’s final ruling on the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

The high court upheld the law as it denied the motions for reconsideration filed by the petitioners.

“This is a disappointment given observable intensifying redtagging and terrorist-labelling that has led to more human rights violations and even massacres in the past months including the Bloody Sunday massacre in 2021 and the New Bataan 5 massacre in 2022 nearly one year apart from each other,” the youth group said in a statement.

“Worse, among victims of attacks were actual petitioners against the Terror Law including Atty. Angelo Karl ‘AK’ Guillen who was stabbed by a screwdriver and Chad Booc, a volunteer Lumad teacher and Computer Science graduate of UP Diliman killed along with his companions while in a community visit in Mindanao. Are not mounting dead bodies a substantial issue?” it added.

The group stressed that even amid the 2022 electoral campaign period, opposition candidates, supporters and bystanders were deprived of free speech.

“Clearly, voiding some provisions of the Terror law is not enough. A revised Terror Law does not mean that the rabid and bloody track record of state forces attacking innocent civilians in the name of counterinsurgency or in behalf of the sitting regime will suddenly change for the better,” the group said.

It lamented that the court’s decision will prolong President Rodrigo Duterte’s legacy of brutal rule despite the end of his term.