Two of the framers of the 1987 Constitution are among the 6th batch of petitioners who filed Wednesday a plea challenging the legality of the newly-enacted Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
Christian Monsod and Felicitas Arroyo, who were part of the 1986 Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution, were joined by professors from the Ateneo and Xavier University and Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) in bringing the petition to the Supreme Court.
Prior to this, seven 1987 Constitution framers also issued a statement condemning the said law.
“We, Framers, believe that we do not need another law against terrorism at this time when in fact we have sufficient laws that can thwart terrorists and acts of terrorism,” they said in a statement signed by Monsod, Arroyo, Teodoro Bacani, Florangel Rosario Braid, Edmundo Garcia and Bernardo Villegas.
“We condemn this Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 which brings us back to the 1970s. We need to move forward, not backwards. We need to focus on what truly ails our people in their struggle for survival, while we deal with an inadequate public health system, mass poverty, gross inequalities, and not squander this unique opportunity of coming together as a people in the time of the pandemic,” they said.
The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was faced with severe criticism even before being signed into law. Six petitions are already filed before the Supreme Court by known legal experts, now including even the framers of the 1987 Constitution, the law of the land.