Colmenares: Petitioners to file motion for reconsideration on SC's ATL decision
Colmenares: Petitioners to file motion for reconsideration on SC's ATL decision
Colmenares: Petitioners to file motion for reconsideration on SC's ATL decision
by John Dexter Tilo10 December 2021

The Anti-Terror Law (ATL) is not directed for terrorists but for dissenters, opposition, and activists, according to human rights lawyer Neri Colmenares, who said that they are planning to file a motion for reconsideration once the full decision of Supreme Court (SC) on the Anti-Terror Law is released.

The SC announced on Thursday that it decided to uphold most of the provisions in the Anti-Terror Law except for two, namely portions of Section 4 and Section 25.

It upheld some other contested parts of the law, including the power of the anti-terror council to order the arrest of suspected terrorists and detain them for as long as 24 days.

Colmenares, who is among the many petitioners of the law, was confused on why SC would allow such provision.


"Bakit 24 days? Bakit hindi niyo kasuhan? Sabi nila kasi maghahanap pa kaming ebidensya. Sabi namin, eh problema niyo yun, bakit kami magdusa dahil palpak kayong maghanap ng ebidensya?" he questioned.

(Why 24 days? Why not file a case? They said because they still need to find evidence. So we said, that’s their problem. Why should we suffer for your failure to find evidence?)

"Inuphold ng Korte Suprema 'yan - hindi ko nga alam bakit," he added.

(The Supreme Court upheld it. I don’t know why.)


Colmenares said that they plan to wait for the whole decision, but they will file a motion for reconsideration once it is released.

"Kaya mag-motion for reconsideration kami at least dun sa mga portion na inuphold ng Korte Suprema kapag natanggap na siyempre," he said.

(That’s why we will file a motion for reconsideration at least on the portions upheld by the Supreme Court once we receive [a copy of the full decision].)

According to Colmenares, even without the Anti-Terror Law, bombing and killing is already against the law under the Revised Penal Code.


"Ang mga walang kasalanan ang matatamaan nito," Colmenares said. "Hindi talaga para sa terorista, para 'to sa mga dissenter, para sa mga oposisyon, para sa mga activist."

(Innocent people will be affected by this. This is not for terrorists, this is for dissenters, opposition, and for activists.)

For presidentiables

Meanwhile, Atty. Tony La Viña, another petitioner of the Anti-Terror Law, said the stand of the presidentiables on the Anti-Terror Law should be sought.


"Kailangan natin tanungin bawat kandidato for president ano bang posisyon niyo diyan?" he told DZRH in a separate interview.

(We need to ask every candidate for president on what their stand is.)

"'Yan ang una nating tanungin, naiintindihan na ba nila na labag sa karapatang pantao yan?" he added.

(That is the first thing we need to ask. Do they understand that the law violates human rights?)


In addition, whoever should win as president should only utilize the law against terrorists and not to target different groups.

"Wag gamitin sa indigenous peoples, wag gamitin sa workers, wag gamitin sa mga studenyate kasi hindi sila ang mga terorista," he said.

(Don’t use it against indigenous peoples, don’t use it against workers, don’t use it against students because they are not terrorists.)

"Wag na wag kang mag-red tag, bawal ang redtagging. Hindi karapat-dapat ginagawa ng gobyerno yun," he added.


(Don’t ever red tag. Red-tagging is not allowed. The government should not be doing that.)

The Anti-Terror Law is regarded as the most contested law in the Philippines with 27 petitions filed to the SC. It was signed into law on July 3, 2020, and took effect on July 18.

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