Press Release on the Anti-Terrorism Law
Republic of the Philippines
National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict
Legal Cooperation Cluster
We greatly rejoice and welcome the landmark Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATA, Republic Act No. 11479). Based on the SC Media Advisory in G.R. Nos. 252578, et al., dated 9 December 2021, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020, except for two de minimis items.
This ruling exhibits the Supreme Court at its finest, and showed that it is a bastion of Justice and Fairness for all Filipinos seeking to protect the sacrosanct rights to life and liberty. And, this victory of the Republic is a victory for the Filipino people over terrorism which is regarded as a crime against the Filipino people, against humanity, and against the Law of Nations.
While a qualifier to the proviso in Section 4 and paragraph 2 in Section 25 of the law are declared unconstitutional, the same are quite insignificant, and do not, in any way, diminish the efficacy of the law or otherwise render it impotent. Indeed, the law in its entirety stood compelling, dynamic, and apposite with the demand of the present time and circumstances.
Amidst the 37 petitions challenging its validity, the spirit of the law, resonating the voice of the People calling for justice and condemning the more than 5-decade social menace that has been wreaking havoc especially in the country-side, has been heard and upheld by the Highest Court of the Land.
This victory will ensure that the Philippines has a dynamic law, at par with other countries, aimed in vanquishing terrorism balanced with the protection of human rights. Today’s ruling, serves as a stern warning against those malevolent groups or individuals who sow terrorism that Philippines is not a safe haven for them, and that they will be hunted down and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“Victory is sweetest when it is for the People.”