28th petition filed vs anti-terror law

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    HUMAN rights lawyers and several Muslims who were tagged as members of terrorist groups yesterday filed the 28th petition challenging the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

    In their petition before the Supreme Court , the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocate together with lawyers from the Ateneo Legal Services Center and individuals Jimmy Bla, Nazr Dilangalen and Main Mohammad asked the SC to nullify the controversial law which was signed by President Duterte just last month, saying its passage was railroaded by Congress which it said did not consult the people, especially those who would be most affected by its implementation.

    They asked the SC to government from enforcing several sections that they said violate the Constitution, including Section 29 which authorizes the Anti-Terrorism Council to order a warrantless arrest and prolonged detention of a suspected terrorist.

    Bla, Dilangalen and Mohammad said they have the legal standing to challenge the legality of the anti-terrorism law having been previously tagged as members of the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute terror groups.

    Bla was apprehended in his home in Zamboanga City in 2018 and later “randomly tagged” as an Abu Sayyaf member. He is still detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig as his trial continues.

    Dilangalen, an engineer working for the Cotabato City government, was accused of being a recruiter of the Abu Sayyaf and detained for two years before a local court dismissed the case last year for lack of evidence.