CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The successive challenges to the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 continued with a group of Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples on Friday (Aug. 7) filing a petition at the Supreme Court to nullify the controversial law.
“We humbly ask the highest court in the land to declare null and void Republic Act 11479, and immediately forbid its implementation,” read a joint statement by Sandugo—Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination.
Among the petitioners were:
- Samira Gutoc, of AkoBakwit
- Beverly Longid, of Katribu
- Joanna Cariño, Sandugo co-chair
- Nora Sukal, a B’laan tribal leader
- Amirah Lidasan, of Moro-Christian Peoples Alliance
- Teresa de la Cruz, an Aeta indigenous leader
- Kakay Tolentino, of Bai Indigenous Women
- Judy Pasimio, of Lilak
- Rose Hayahay, a teacher of Save Our Schools Network
- Chad Errol Booc, a volunteer teacher of Alcadev.
The petitioners’ legal counsels were Antonio Laviña, law professor and former dean of the Ateneo School of Government, and Ryan Roset, of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center.
The anti-terror law, the group said, “is recognized even by experts of jurisprudence as blatantly unconstitutional.”
“Cloaked in legalese, it is none other than terrorism in disguise,” it added.
The petitioners said they filed the petition as a sign of their faith in the rule of law, “no matter how cruel it has been to us national minorities throughout the decades.”
“We believe it is never too late for the law to be reclaimed and used for good,” the petitioners said.
The law, they said, is merely a cog in the gigantic machinery of greed which, while rooted in regimes past, has expanded rapidly under Duterte’s presidency.
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