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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

SUPREME COURT
MANILA

CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW


(CENTERLAW), INC., represented by its
President, JOEL R. BUTUYAN, who is also
suing in his own behalf; and members ROGER
R. RAYEL, GILBERT T. ANDRES,
CRISPIN FRANCIS M. JANDUSAY,
KIMBERLY ANNE M. LORENZO, GELIE
ERIKA P. ESTEBAN, ELREEN JOY O. DE
GUZMAN, NICOLENE S. ARCAINA, and
SHAWN DUSTIN B. COSCOLUELLA;

FOUNDATION FOR MEDIA


ALTERNATIVES, INC., represented by its
Executive Director, LIZA GARCIA;
DEMOCRACY.NET.PH, INC., represented
by its Trustee, CARLOS ADRIAN A.
NAZARENO; VERA FILES, INC.,
represented by its President, ELLEN T.
TORDESILLAS, who is also suing in her own
behalf, and its journalists MEEKO ANGELA
R. CAMBA, ANTHONY L. CUAYCONG,
REIVEN C. PASCASIO, MERINETTE A.
RETONA, ROSALIA C. REVALDO,
ELIJAH J. RODEROS, CELINE ISABELLE
B. SAMSON, IVEL JOHN M. SANTOS,
and ESTRELITA C. VALDERAMA; and

Professors of the Lyceum of the Philippines


University College of Law, namely, DEAN MA.
SOLEDAD DERIQUITO-MAWIS,
PROFESSOR CARLO L. CRUZ,
PROFESSOR MARILYN P. CACHO-
DOMINGO, PROFESSOR SENEN
AGUSTIN S. DE SANTOS, PROFESSOR
MARLA A. BARCENILLA, PROFESSOR
ROMEL REGALADO BAGARES,
PROFESSOR JUAN CARLOS T. CUNA,
and PROFESSOR JOHN PAUL ALZATE
DELA PASION,

Petitioners,
-versus-

G.R. No. ________________

For: Certiorari and


Prohibition, with Prayer for
a Temporary Restraining
Order and/or Writ of
Preliminary Prohibitory
Injunction

SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES; HOUSE


OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
PHILIPPINES; ANTI-TERRORISM
COUNCIL; EXECUTIVE SECRETARY as
represented by SALVADOR C.
MEDIALDEA; ANTI-MONEY
LAUNDERING COUNCIL as represented
by Executive Director Atty. Mel Georgie
B. Racela; DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
as represented by Secretary Menardo I.
Guevarra; DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET
AND MANAGEMENT as represented by
Secretary Wendel E. Avisado;
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE as
represented by General Archie Francisco
F. Gamboa; ARMED FORCES OF THE
PHILIPPINES as represented by
Lieutenant General Gilbert Capay, and;
NATIONAL BUREAU OF
INVESTIGATION as represented by
Director Eric Bito-on Distor;
Respondents.
x------------------------------------------------------x

PETITION FOR CERTIORARI AND PROHIBITION


WITH PRAYER FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND/ OR
WRIT OF PRELIMINARY PROHIBITORY INJUNCTION

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PREFATORY STATEMENT

There is no question that the State, under the law and the
Constitution, has a bounden duty to protect everyone within its
jurisdiction from the horrors of terrorism and its many
contemporary forms. But the method by which the State seeks
to repress terrorism must not be repressive in itself. Else, the
State ironically transforms into a hideous principal terrorist
itself, in violation of the Bill of Rights.

And yet, the haphazard enactment by Congress of the Anti-


Terrorism Act of 2020 assailed in this Petition reveals the
Respondents’ misplaced priorities in the midst of a deadly
Covid-19 pandemic and lays bare the government’s design to
weaponize the law to suppress fundamental freedoms.

By penalizing acts regardless of the stage of execution, the


Anti-Terrorism Act criminalizes a whole range of actions
beginning with expressions of thoughts, to associations of
persons, and to the very acts resulting in death, injury or
damage, including “ordinary crimes” under existing laws.

For example, the questioned Act gives unbounded power and


discretion to the police and the military in ascertaining and
declaring what constitute acts of terrorism, even assigning to
them the authority to arrest mere suspects who may be
detained for 24 days without bringing charges against them in
court.

These are flagrant violations of the Constitutional rights to due


process, to free speech, expression and associations, not to
mention the right to bail and the guarantee on the availability
of the writ of habeas corpus.

The surveillance provisions authorize invasion of privacy of


persons, whether innocent, merely suspected, or even those
charged in court, for the purpose of securing evidence not only
for the prevention of terrorism or to arrest those responsible,
but for securing a conviction. These violate the rights to privacy
of persons and their communications, and the rights of the
accused.

The grant to the Anti-Terrorism Council of the power to


designate persons, associations or organizations as terrorists
results in a judgment with dire consequences on the persons

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and properties of those designated and is an encroachment on
the power of the judiciary to decide on the rights and
obligations of persons. The ATC’s power to authorize arrests
based on suspicion tramples on the constitutional standard of
probable cause and the exclusive power of the judge to issue
warrants of arrest.

The deputization of the military despite lack of training and


their being ill-equipped for police duties, can only add to the
misinterpretation, misapplication and grave abuse in the
implementation of the law.

The Anti-Terrorism Act also purports to implement our


international obligations, through the automatic adoption of
UN Security Council resolutions or similar such documents
provided by other international or transnational organizations
and sovereign jurisdictions, that identify, designate, and list
alleged terrorists and/or terror groups or groups funding,
financing, or that otherwise allegedly aid and abet terrorism.

Yet, such lists and documents are the result of procedures that
do not amount, by any stretch of the imagination, to an
adversarial process before a court of law where an accused is
given his right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses
ranged against him by his accusers. Such documents or lists,
without further evidence establishing guilt beyond reasonable
doubt, can never be constitutionally sufficient to deny
individuals, groups and associations their constitutional right
to life, liberty, and property, which are all zealously protected
by the Bill of Rights.

Under our hallowed constitutional doctrines and principles,


these constitute a prohibited Bill of Attainder.

All in all, the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act by Congress,


with all its ambiguities, patent violations of the separation of
powers, and grave transgressions of fundamental human
rights, show that even Senators and Members of the House of
Representative – all high officials of the land – are grossly
remiss, if not abusive of their powers and duties. If these
senators and representatives can err gravely on the crafting and
interpretation of the Act, what more the ordinary policemen
and the ill-trained military personnel who are tasked with its
implementation?

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Hence, Petitioners respectfully pray for the Honorable Court to
wield its supreme duty to uphold the supremacy of the
Constitution by striking down the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 for
being repugnant to the Constitution.

NATURE OF THE ACTION

This is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, with a Prayer


for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary
Prohibitory Injunction, asking the Honorable Court to declare
that Republic Act No. 11479, or “The Anti-Terrorism Act of
2020,” as repugnant to the Constitution.

Petitioners are primarily filing this Petition under Section 1,


Article VIII of the Constitution specifically under the expanded
certiorari jurisdiction of the Courts to “to determine whether or
not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of
the Government.”

Petitioners also pray that the Honorable Court, pending a final


resolution on this Petition, issue a Temporary Restraining
Order and/or a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction,
prohibiting the Public Respondents, and anyone acting under
their authority, stead, or behalf, from implementing the Anti-
Terrorism Act.

TIMELINESS OF THE PETITION

1) On 3 July 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed


Republic Act No. 11479 otherwise known as “The Anti-Terrorism Act
of 2020.″ 1

2) On 6 July 2020, the Anti-Terrorism Act was published in the


Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.

3) Under Section 58 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, it shall take


effect fifteen (15) days after the completion of its publication in
1
https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/06jun/20200703-RA-11479-RRD.pdf

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the Official Gazette. Counted from 6 July 2020, the law’s date of
publication in the Official Gazette, the Anti-Terrorism Act took effect
on 21 July 2020.
4) Thus, under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court as amended,
Petitioners have sixty (60) days from 21 July 2020, or until 19
September 2020, within which to file this Petition. Hence, Petitioners
are filing the instant action on time.

5) The corresponding docket and other lawful fees and


deposit for costs, if any, are paid simultaneously with the filing of
this Petition.

6) Petitioners respectfully submit that since the Anti-Terrorism


Act is an official act of the Legislative and the Executive Departments
of the National Government of the Philippines, it is subject to judicial
notice under Section 1, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court as amended,
such that there is no need for the submission in the instant
proceeding of a certified true copy of said law.

PARTIES

The PETITIONERS are as follows:

7) CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW (CENTERLAW),


INC., represented by its President, Joel R. Butuyan, is a corporation
duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines, and
with office address at 1105 Antel Corporate Centre, 121 Valero Street,
Salcedo Village, 1229 Makati City. CENTERLAW is a lawyers’
advocacy group actively litigating for respect and adherence to
international human rights law and to constitutional rights,
especially the right to freedom of speech, of expression, of the press,
and to peaceably assemble. It also actively advocates for internet
freedom, digital rights, and respect for the rule of law.

8) The Petitioners below, filing the instant Petition in propria


personae, are members of the Center for International Law, Inc.
(CenterLaw). They are members in good standing of the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines, who, as officers of the court, as human rights
defenders, and as taxpayers and citizens, have a direct interest in the
faithful adherence to constitutional rights and the rule of law. They
are suing as members of the Bar pursuant to their oath to uphold the
fundamental law of the land, and as citizens suing on an issue of

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transcendental importance, that of upholding the fundamental and
constitutional rights including the right to freedom of speech, of
expression, of the press, and to peaceably assemble.
8.1 JOEL R. BUTUYAN
8.2 ROGER R. RAYEL
8.3 GILBERT T. ANDRES
8.4 CRISPIN FRANCIS M. JANDUSAY
8.5 KIMBERLY ANNE M. LORENZO
8.6 GELIE ERIKA P. ESTEBAN
8.7 ELREEN JOY O. DE GUZMAN
8.8 NICOLENE S. ARCAINA
8.9 SHAWN DUSTIN B. COSCOLUELLA

9) FOUNDATION FOR MEDIA ALTERNATIVES, INC.


(FMA), represented by its Executive Director, Liza Garcia, is a
corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the
Philippines, and with office address at Unit 203 CRM Building III,
106 Kamias Road, East Kamias 1102, Quezon City. FMA assists
citizens and communities, especially civil society organizations
(CSOs) and other disadvantaged sectors, in the strategic and
appropriate use of information and communications technologies
(ICTs) for democratization and popular empowerment.

10) DEMOCRACY.NET.PH, INC., represented by its Trustee,


Carlos Adrian A. Nazareno, is a corporation duly organized and
existing under the laws of the Philippines, and with office address at
Unit 1342, Building 13 Guadalupe BLISS Phase 2, JP Rizal Extension,
1214 Makati City. DEMOCRACY.NET.PH is an information and
communications technology (ICT) rights, governance, development,
and security advocacy group, an advocate for the Magna Carta for
Philippine Internet Freedom (MCPIF) and is actively involved in ICT
policy development in the Philippine executive and legislature.

11) VERA FILES, INC., represented by its President, Ellen T.


Tordesillas, is a corporation duly organized and existing under the
laws of the Philippines, with office address at Unit 1402B West Trade
Center, 132 West Avenue, 1104 Quezon City. VERA Files Inc. is a
nonstock, nonprofit independent media organization that is
published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into
current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.” It is engaged in the
research, writing, production and distribution of news and other
media products and related services in multiple formats, including
but not limited to print broadcast and online, to advance excellence in
journalism.

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12) ELLEN T. TORDESILLAS is of legal age, Filipino, the
President of VERA Files, Inc., and a veteran journalist whose political
blog, ellentordesillas.com, is one of the country’s top political blogs.
She also writes columns for the English-language Malaya Business
Insight. Her columns also appear in ABS-CBN online.

13) The Petitioners indicated below are all of legal age,


Filipinos, and journalists who work at VERA Files, Inc. They are
suing as journalists to pursue truth and accountability from
government and public officers.

13.1 MEEKO ANGELA R. CAMBA


13.2 ANTHONY L. CUAYCONG
13.3 REIVEN C. PASCASIO
13.4 MERINETTE A. RETONA
13.5 ROSALIA C. REVALDO
13.6 ELIJAH J. RODEROS
13.7 CELINE ISABELLE B. SAMSON
13.8 IVEL JOHN M. SANTOS
13.9 ESTRELITA C. VALDERAMA

14) The Petitioners below are Filipinos, of legal age, lawyers,


and are members of the Faculty of the Lyceum of the Philippines
University College of Law, and teaching in different subject areas:

14.1 DEAN MA. SOLEDAD DERIQUITO-MAWIS


14.2 PROFESSOR CARLO L. CRUZ
14.3 PROFESSOR MARILYN P. CACHO-DOMINGO
14.4 PROFESSOR SENEN AGUSTIN S. DE SANTOS
14.5 PROFESSOR MARLA A. BARCENILLA
14.5 PROFESSOR ROMEL REGALADO BAGARES
14.6 PROFESSOR JUAN CARLOS T. CUNA
14.6 PROFESSOR JOHN PAUL ALZATE DELA PASION

15) All Petitioners are also suing as taxpayers, hereby


questioning the disbursement of public funds for the implementation
of the Anti-Terrorism Act, since this law is unconstitutional. They are
also bringing this suit as citizens who stand to be directly injured by
the unconstitutional nature of the law in question, inasmuch as it
infringes on their right to freely express their ideas and opinions on
the raging issues of the day through various forms of social media
and/or online and print publications.

16) Petitioners who are members of the Faculty of the LPU


College of Law are also suing as members in good standing of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines and as officers of the Court, sworn
to uphold the laws and the Constitution, and as academics, whose

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academic freedom and freedom of expression are infringed or
otherwise threatened by the provisions of the law questioned in this
Petition, as discussed below.

17) All of the Petitioners may be served with pertinent papers


and processes through their undersigned counsel, Center for
International Law (CenterLaw), Inc. at 1105 Antel Corporate Centre,
121 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City.

The PUBLIC RESPONDENTS are the following:

18) THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES is being sued for


passing the Anti-Terrorism Act with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction as the salient provisions of
the said Act are repugnant to the Constitution. The Senate may be
served with summons and notices of this Honorable Court, as well as
all other papers and processes, at the Senate, GSIS Bldg., Financial
Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City.

19) THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE


PHILIPPINES is being sued for passing the Anti-Terrorism Act with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
as the salient provisions of the said Act are repugnant to the
Constitution. The House may be served with summons and notices of
this Honorable Court, as well as all other papers and processes, at the
House of Representatives, Batasang Pambansa Complex, Batasan
Hills, 1126 Quezon City.

20) THE ANTI-TERRORISM COUNCIL is being sued as the


body that will implement the Anti-Terrorism Act and assume the
responsibility for the implementation of the policies of the country
against terrorism. It may be served with summons, court notices,
and pleadings through its Secretariat at the National Intelligence
Coordinating Agency (NICA), V Luna Road, 1100 Quezon City.

21) EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, as represented by


SECRETARY SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA, is the representative
of the Executive Department that will implement and execute the
Anti-Terrorism Act. He is also the statutory Chairperson and member
of the Anti-Terrorism Council under R.A. 11479. He may be served
with summons, court notices, and pleadings at the Office of the
Executive Secretary, Malacañang Palace, Manila.

22) DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, as represented by


SECRETARY MENARDO I. GUEVARRA, (hereinafter DOJ) is
charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act with promulgating the rules

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and regulations for its effective implementation. It may be served
with summons, court processes, and pleadings at the DOJ, Padre
Faura Street, Ermita, 1000 Manila.

23) ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL (hereinafter


AMLC), represented by its EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ATTY. MEL
GEORGIE B. RACELA, is being sued as one of the governmental
offices that will implement the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act. It
may be served with summons, court processes, and pleadings at the
Office of the Director, 5/F EDPC Building, Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas Complex, Mabini corner Vito Cruz Streets, Malate, 1004
Manila.

24) DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT


(hereinafter DBM) as represented by SECRETARY WENDEL E.
AVISADO is being sued because it is the Department charged with
the release of funds for the implementation of laws such as the Anti-
Terrorism Act. It may be served with summons, court processes, and
pleadings at the DBM, Boncodin Hall, General Solano St., San
Miguel, Manila.

25) PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE (hereinafter “PNP”) as


represented by POLICE GENERAL ARCHIE FRANCISCO F.
GAMBOA is being sued as the law enforcement agency of the
government charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act with the
enforcement of the provisions of the said law. It may be served with
summons, court processes, and pleasdings at the Office of the PNP
Chief, PNP National Headquarters, Camp B. Gen. Rafael T. Crame,
1111 Quezon City.

26) ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES (hereinafter


“AFP”), as represented by LIEUTENANT GENERAL GILBERT
CAPAY, is being sued in its capacity as a government agency tasked
with the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act. It may be served
with summons, court processes, and pleadings at the Office of the
Chairman of Joint Chiefs, AFP General Headquarters, Camp General
Emilio Aguinaldo, EDSA, 1100 Quezon City.

27) NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (hereinafter


“NBI”), as represented by DIRECTOR ERIC BITO-ON DISTOR, is
being sued as a law enforcement agency charged under the Anti-
Terrorism Act with the enforcement of the provisions of the said law.
It may be served with summons, court processes, and pleadings at
the NBI Building, Taft Avenue, Ermita, 1000 Manila.

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28) All the Respondents are required to be collectively served
summons, court processes, and pleadings through the OFFICE OF
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, 134 Amorsolo Street, Legazpi Village,
Makati City, Metro Manila.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

29) On 2 February 1987, the 1987 Constitution was ratified. On


11 February 1987, it was proclaimed to be in force. The first four (4)
sections of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights provide, as follows:

SECTION 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty,


or property without due process of law, nor shall any
person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

SECTION 2. The right of the people to be secure in their


persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or
warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause
to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant
and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly
describing the place to be searched and the persons or
things to be seized.

SECTION 3. (1) The privacy of communication and


correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful
order of the court, or when public safety or order requires
otherwise as prescribed by law.

(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the


preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in
any proceeding.

SECTION 4. No law shall be passed abridging the


freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the
government for redress of grievances.

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30) The other salient sections of the Bill of Rights that are
relevant to this Petition are as follows:

SECTION 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the


same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be
impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither
shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest
of national security, public safety, or public health, as may
be provided by law.

SECTION 8. The right of the people, including those


employed in the public and private sectors, to form
unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary
to law shall not be abridged.

SECTION 13. All persons, except those charged with


offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence
of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by
sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may
be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be
impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.

SECTION 14. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a


criminal offense without due process of law.

(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be


presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall
enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against
him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet
the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory
process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the
production of evidence in his behalf. However, after
arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the
absence of the accused provided that he has been duly
notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.

SECTION 15. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus


shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or
rebellion when the public safety requires it.

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SECTION 22. No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall
be enacted.
31) Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution further strengthened
the protection of civil and political rights even during extra-ordinary
times such as the suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, by
providing for a three-day maximum period of detention, to wit:

SECTION 18.

During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, any


person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially
charged within three days, otherwise he shall be released.

32) On 5 December 2017, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued


Proclamation 374, series of 2017, declaring the communist New
People’s Army (NPA) a terrorist organization, pursuant to Sections 3
and 15 of Republic Act 10168, otherwise known as the Terrorism
Financing and Suppression Act of 2012.

33) On 26 February 2020, the Senate approved, on third and


final reading by a vote of 19-2, Senate Bill No. 1083 or “An Act
Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 9372, Otherwise Known
as ‘An Act to Secure the State and Protect Our People From Terrorism’.”

34) The President certified the approved Senate Bill as urgent


thereby hastening deliberations by the House which adopted the bill
in a matter of days without entertaining amendments.

35) On 3 June 2020, amidst the COVID-19 Global Pandemic


and while Metro Manila was under General Community Quarantine,
the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading—
by 173 affirmative votes, 31 negative votes, and 29 abstentions—
House Bill 6875 or the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

36) On 3 July 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed


Republic Act No. 11479, or “The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020,” into
law.

37) On 6 July 2020, the Anti-Terrorism Act was published in the


print version of the Official Gazette.

38) On 8 July 2020, President Duterte said that the NPA is a


terrorist organization because “I finally declared them to be one.” 2
2
Gabriel Pabico Lalu ‘They are terrorists,‘ Duterte says of communist rebels, Philippine Daily
Inquirer, August 2, 2020, available at https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1303499/i-finally-declare-
communist-rebels-as-terrorists

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39) On 3 August 2020, AFP Chief Gapay, said at his first press
conference as the AFP Chief of Staff that his agency wants to regulate
social media to counter violent extremism, and for this purpose, the
AFP will propose specific provisions in the Implementing Rules and
Regulation of the assailed ATA addressing social media.3

40) Under Section 58 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, it shall take


effect fifteen (15) days after the completion of its publication in
the Official Gazette. Thus, counted from 6 July 2020, the Anti-Terrorism
Act took effect on 21 July 2020.

41) Under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court as amended,


Petitioners have sixty (60) days from 21 July 2020, or until
19 September 2020, within which to file this Petition. Hence,
Petitioners are filing the instant action on time.

GROUNDS FOR THE PETITION

42) This Petition is for Certiorari and Prohibition wherein


Petitioners contend that the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Act was
imbued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction as the salient provisions of said Act are repugnant to the
Constitution.

43) Petitioners contend that eight (8) out of the nine (9) penal
provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act are repugnant to the Constitution
for transgressing fundamental rights, including the right to freedom
of speech, the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition
the government for redress of grievances, and the right to freedom of
association. These repugnant penal provisions are Sections 4, 5, 6, 7,
8, 9, 10, and 12, and they are reproduced below for the Court’s
convenience:

3
Michael Punongbayan, ‘New AFP chief: Terror law to regulate social media’ The Philippine
Star, August 4, 2020, available at
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/08/04/2032704/new-afp-chief-terror-law-regulate-
social-media; Frances Mangosing, ‘PH military chief wants social media use regulated through
terror law’, Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 3, 2020, available at
https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1316253/ph-military-chief-wants-social-media-use-regulated-
through-terror-law

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Sec. 4. Terrorism – Subject to Sec. 49 of this Act, terrorism
is committed by any person who, within or outside the
Philippines, regardless of the stage of execution:

(a) Engages in acts intend ed to cause death or serious


bodily injury to any person, or endangers a person’s
life;

(b)Engages in acts intended to cause extensive damage or


destruction to a government or public facility, public
place or private property;

(c) Engages in acts intended to cause extensive interference


with, damage or destruction to critical infrastructure;

(d)Develops, manufactures, possesses, acquires, transports,


supplies or uses weapons, explosives or of biological,
nuclear, radiological or chemical weapons; and

(e) Release of dangerous substances, or causing fire, floods


or explosions when the purpose of such act, by its
nature and context, is to intimidate the general public or
a segment thereof, create an atmosphere or spread a
message of fear, to provoke or influence by intimidation
the government or any international organization, or
seriously destabilize or destroy the fundamental
political, economic, or social structures of the country,
or create a public emergency or seriously undermine
public safety, shall be guilty of committing terrorism
and shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment
without the benefit of parole and the benefits of
Republic Act No. 10592, otherwise known as “An Act
Amending Articles 29, 94, 97, 98 and 99 of Act No. 3815,
as amended, otherwise known as the Revised Penal
Code”: Provided, That, terrorism as defined in this Sec.
shall not include advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of
work, industrial or mass action, and other similar
exercises of civil and political rights, which are not
intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a
person, to endanger a person’s life, or to create a serious
risk to public safety.

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Sec. 5. Threat to Commit Terrorism – Any person who
shall threaten to commit any of the acts mentioned in Sec. 4
hereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12)
years.

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Sec. 6. Planning, Training, Preparing, and Facilitating


the Commission of Terrorism. – It shall be unlawful for any
person to participate in the planning, training, preparation
and facilitation in the commission of terrorism, possessing
objects connected with the preparation for the commission, or
collecting or making documents connected with the
preparation of terrorism. Any person found guilty of the
provisions of this Act shall suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits
of Republic Act No. 10592.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 7. Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism. – Any


conspiracy to commit terrorism as defined and penalized
under Section 4 of this Act shall suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits
of Republic Act No. 10592.

There is conspiracy when two (2) or more persons come


to an agreement concerning the commission of terrorism as
defined in Sec. 4 hereof and decide to commit the same.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 8. Proposal to Commit Terrorism. – Any person


who proposes to commit terrorism as defined in Section 4
hereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12)
years.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 9. Inciting to Commit Terrorism. – Any person

16
who, without taking any direct part in the commission of
terrorism, shall incite others to the execution of any of the acts
specified in Section 4 hereof by means of speeches,
proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other
representations tending to the same end, shall suffer the
penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12) years.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 10. Recruitment to and Membership in a Terrorist


Organization. – Any person who shall recruit another to
participate in, join, commit or support terrorism or a terrorist
individual or any terrorist organization, association or group
of persons proscribed under Section 26 of this Act, or
designated by the United Nations Security Council as a
terrorist organization, or organized for the purpose of
engaging in terrorism, shall suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits
of Republic Act No. 10592.

The same penalty shall be imposed on any person who


organizes or facilitates the travel of individuals to a state
other than their state of residence or nationality for the
purposes of recruitment which may be committed through
any of the following means:

(a) Recruiting another person to serve in any capacity in


or with an armed force in a foreign state, whether the armed
force forms part of the armed forces of the government of that
foreign state or otherwise;

(b)Publishing an advertisement or propaganda for the


purpose of recruiting persons to serve in any capacity in or
with such an armed force;

(c) Publishing an advertisement or propaganda


containing any information relating to the place at which or
the manner in which persons may make applications to serve
or obtain information relating to service in any capacity in or
with such armed force or relating to the manner in which
persons may travel to a foreign state for the purpose of
serving in any capacity in or with such armed force; or

(d)Performing any other act with the intention of


facilitating or promoting the recruitment of persons to serve

17
in any capacity in or with such armed force.

Any person who shall voluntarily and knowingly join


any organization, association or group of persons knowing
that such organization, association or group of persons
proscribed under Section 26 of this Act, or designated by the
United Nations Security Council as a terrorist organization, or
organized for the purpose of engaging in terrorism, shall
suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12) years.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 12. Providing Material Support to Terrorists. –


Any person who provides material support to any terrorist
individual or terrorist organization, association or group of
persons committing any of the acts punishable under Section
4 hereof, knowing that such individual or organization,
association, or group of persons is committing or planning to
commit such acts, shall be liable as principal to any and all
terrorist activities committed by said individuals or
organizations, in addition to other criminal liabilities he/she
or they may have incurred in relation thereto.

44) Furthermore, eight (8) more provisions—Sections 16, 17,


25, 29, 34, 36, 45, and 46 —of the Anti-Terrorism Act are also inimical
to the Constitution for transgressing fundamental rights, including
the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to
privacy, and the right to privacy of communication. Some of these
provisions also transgress the due process clause and the
Constitutional principle of separation of powers.

Sec. 16. Surveillance of Suspects and Interception and


Recording of Communications. – The provisions of Republic
Act No. 4200, otherwise known as the “Anti-Wire Tapping
Law” or the contrary notwithstanding, a law enforcement
agent or military personnel may, upon a written order of the
Court of Appeals secretly wiretap, overhear and listen to,
intercept, screen, read, surveil, record or collect, with the use
of any mode, form, kind or type of electronic, mechanical or
other equipment or device or technology now known or may
hereafter be known to science or with the use of any other

18
suitable ways and means for the above purposes, any private
communications, conversation, discussion/s, data,
information, messages in whatever form, kind or nature,
spoken or written words (a) between members of a judicially
declared and outlawed terrorist organization, as provided in
Section 26 of this Act; (b) between members of a designated
person as defined in Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 10168; or
(c) any person charged with or suspected of committing any
of the crimes defined and penalized under the provisions of
this Act: Provided, That, surveillance, interception and
recording of communications between lawyers and clients,
doctors and patients, journalists and their sources and
confidential business correspondence shall not be authorized.

The law enforcement agent or military personnel shall


likewise be obligated to (1) file an ex-parte application with the
Court of Appeals for the issuance of an order, to compel
telecommunications service providers (TSP) and internet
service providers (ISP) to produce all customer information
and identification records as well as call and text data records,
content and other cellular or internet metadata of any person
suspected of any of the crimes defined and penalized under
the provisions of this Act; and (2) furnish the National
Telecommunications Commission (NTC) a copy of said
application. The NTC shall likewise be notified upon the
issuance of the order for the purpose of ensuring immediate
compliance.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 17. Judicial Authorization, Requisites. – The


authorizing division of the Court of Appeals shall issue a
written order to conduct the acts mentioned in Section 18 of
this Act upon:

(a) Filing of an ex parte written application by a law


enforcement agent or military personnel, who has been duly
authorized in writing by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC);
and

(b)After examination under oath or affirmation of the


applicant and the witnesses he/she may produce, the issuing
court determines:

19
(1) that there is probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the crimes
defined and penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and
12 of this Act has been committed, or is being committed, or is
about to be committed; and

(2) that there is probable cause to believe based on


personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that evidence,
which is essential to the conviction of any charged or
suspected person for, or to the solution or prevention of, any
such crimes, will be obtained.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 25. Designation of Terrorist Individual, Groups of


Persons, Organizations or Associations. – Pursuant to our
obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution
(UNSCR) No. 1373, the ATC shall automatically adopt the
United Nations Security Council Consolidated List of
designated individuals, group of persons, organizations, or
associations designated and/or identified as a terrorist, one
who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization or group.

Request for designations by other jurisdictions or


supranational jurisdictions may be adopted by the ATC after
determination that the proposed designee meets the criteria
for designation of UNSCR No. 1373.

The ATC may designate an individual, groups of


persons, organization, or association, whether domestic or
foreign, upon a finding of probable cause that the individual,
groups of persons, organization, or association commit, or
attempt to commit, or conspire in the commission of the acts
defined and penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and
12 of this Act.

The assets of the designated individual, groups of


persons, organization or association above-mentioned shall be
subject to authority of the Anti-Money Laundering Council
(AMLC) to freeze pursuant to Section 11 of Republic Act No.
10168.

The designation shall be without prejudice to the


proscription of terrorist organizations, associations, or groups

20
of persons under Section 26 of this Act.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 29. Detention Without Judicial Warrant of Arrest.


– The provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code to
the contrary notwithstanding, any law enforcement agent or
military personnel, who, having been duly authorized in
writing by the ATC has taken custody of a person suspected
of committing any of the acts defined an penalized under
Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of this Act, shall, without
incurring any criminal liability for delay in the delivery of
detained persons to the proper judicial authority within a
period of fourteen (14) calendar days counted from the
moment the said suspected person has been apprehended or
arrested, detained, and taken into custody by the law
enforcement agent or military personnel. The period of
detention may be extended to a maximum period of ten (10)
calendar days if it is established that (1) further detention of
the person/s is necessary to preserve evidence related to
terrorism or complete the investigation; (2) further detention
of the person/s is necessary to prevent the commission of
another terrorism; and (3) the investigation is being
conducted properly and without delay.
Immediately after taking custody of a person suspected
of committing terrorism or any member of a group of
persons, organization or association proscribed under Section
26 hereof, the law enforcement agent or military personnel
shall notify in writing the judge of the court nearest the place
of apprehension or arrest of the following facts: (a) the time,
date, and manner of arrest; (b) the location or locations of the
detained suspects, and (c) the physical and mental condition
of the detained suspect/s. The law enforcement agent or
military personnel shall likewise furnish the ATC and the
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the written notice
given to the judge.

The head of the detaining facility shall ensure that the


detained suspect is informed of his/her rights as a detainee
and shall ensure access to the detainee by his/her counsel or
agencies and entities authorized by law to exercise visitorial
powers over detention facilities.

The penalty of imprisonment of ten (10) years shall be


imposed upon the police or law enforcement agent or military
personnel who fails to notify any judge as provided in the

21
preceding paragraph.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 34. Restriction on the Right to Travel. – Prior to


the filing of an information for any violation of Sections 4, 5,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of this Act, the investigating prosecutor
shall apply for the issuance of a precautionary hold departure
order (PHDO) against the respondent upon a preliminary
determination of probable cause in the proper Regional Trial
Court.

Upon the filing of the information regarding the


commission of any acts defined and penalized under the
provisions of this Act, the prosecutor shall apply with the
court having jurisdiction for the issuance of a hold departure
order (HDO) against the accused. The said application shall
be accompanied by the complaint-affidavit and its
attachments, personal details, passport number, and a
photograph of the accused, if available.

In cases where evidence of guilt is not strong, and the


person charged is entitled to bail and is granted the same, the
court, upon application by the prosecutor, shall limit the right
of travel of the accused to within the municipality or city
where he/she resides or where the case is pending, in the
interest of national security and public safety, consistent with
Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution. The court shall
immediately furnish the DOJ and the Bureau of Immigration
(BI) with the copy of said order. Travel outside of said
municipality or city, without the authorization of the court,
shall be deemed a violation of the terms and conditions of
his/her bail, which shall be forfeited as provided under the
Rules of Court.

He/she may also be placed under house arrest by order


of the court at his/her usual place of residence.

While under house arrest, he/she may not use


telephones, cellphones, e-mails, computers, the internet, or
other means of communications with people outside the
residence until otherwise ordered by the court.

If the evidence of guilt is strong the court shall


immediately issue an HDO and direct the DFA to initiate the

22
procedure for the cancellation of the passport of the accused.

The restrictions above-mentioned shall be terminated


upon the acquittal of the accused or of the dismissal of the
case filed against him/her or earlier upon the discretion of the
court on motion of the prosecutor or of the accused.

< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 36. Authority to Freeze. – Upon the issuance by


the court of a preliminary order of proscription or in case of
designation under Section 25 of this Act, the AMLC, either
upon its own initiative or request of the ATC, is hereby
authorized to issue an ex parte order to freeze without delay:
(a) and property or funds that are in any way related to
financing of terrorism as defined and penalized under
Republic Act No. 10168, or any violation of Sections 4, 5, 6, 7,
8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 of this Act.; and (b) property or funds of any
person or persons in relation to whom there is probable cause
to believe that such person or persons are committing or
attempting or conspiring to commit, or participating in or
facilitating the financing of the aforementioned sections of
this Act.

The freeze order shall be effective for a period not


exceeding twenty (20) days. Upon a petition filed by the
AMLC before the expiration of the period, the effectivity of
the freeze order may be extended up to a period not
exceeding six (6) months upon order of the Court of Appeals:
Provided, That, the twenty-day period shall be tolled upon
filing of a petition to extend the effectivity of the freeze order.

Notwithstanding the preceding paragraphs, the AMLC,


consistent with the Philippines’ international obligations,
shall be authorized to issue a freeze order with respect to
property or funds of a designated organization, association,
group or any individual to comply with binding terrorism-
related resolutions, including UNSCR No. 1373 pursuant to
Article 41 of the charter of the UN. Said freeze order shall be
effective until the basis for the issuance thereof shall have
been lifted. During the effectivity of the freeze order, an
aggrieved party may, within twenty (20) days from issuance,
file with the Court of Appeals a petition to determine the
basis of the freeze order according to the principle of effective
judicial protection: Provided, That the person whose property
or funds have been frozen may withdraw such sums as the

23
AMLC determines to be reasonably needed for monthly
family needs and sustenance including the services ofo
counsel and the family medical needs of such person.
< < < 0 >>>

Sec. 45. Anti-Terrorism Council – An Anti-


Terrorism Council (ATC) is hereby created. The members of
the ATC are: (1) the Executive Secretary, who shall be its
Chairperson; (2) the National Security Adviser who shall be
its Vice Chairperson; and (3) the Secretary of Foreign Affairs;
(4) the Secretary of National Defense; (5) the Secretary of
Interior and Local Government; (6) the Secretary of Finance;
(7) the Secretary of Justice; (8) the Secretary of Information
and Communications Technology; and (9) the Executive
Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC)
Secretariat as its other members.

The ATC shall implement this Act and assume the


responsibility for the proper and effective implementation of
the policies of the country against terrorism. The ATC shall
keep records of its proceedings and decisions. All records of
the ATC shall be subject to such security classifications as the
ATC may, in its judgment and discretion, decide to adopt to
safeguard the safety of the people, the security of the
Republic, and the welfare of the nation.

The NICA shall be the Secretariat of the ATC. The ATC


shall define the powers, the duties, and functions of the NICA
as Secretariat of the ATC. The Anti-Terrorism Council-
Program Management Center (ATC-PMC) is hereby
institutionalized as the main coordinating and program
management arm of the ATC. The ATC shall define the
powers, duties and functions of the ATC-PMC. The
Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the
Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of
Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of
Education (DepEd), the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD), the Presidential Adviser for Peace,
Reunification and Unity (PAPRU, formerly PAPP), the
Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
(BARMM), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the BI,
the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Intelligence Service of
the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), the Philippine
Center on Transnational Crimes (PCTC), the Philippine
National Police (PCP) intelligence and investigative elements,
the Commissioner on Higher Education (CHED), and the

24
National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) shall
serve as support agencies of the ATC.

The ATC shall formulate and adopt comprehensive,


adequate, efficient, and effective plans, programs or measures
to prevent, counter, suppress, or eradicate the commission of
terrorism in the country and to protect the people from such
acts. In pursuit of said mandate, the ATC shall create such
focus programs to prevent and counter terrorism, prevent and
stem terrorist financing, and to ensure compliance with
international commitments to counterterrorism-related
protocols and bilateral and/or multilateral agreements, and
identify the lead agency for each program, such as:

(a) Preventing and countering violent extremism


program – The program shall address the conditions
conducive to the spread of terrorism which include, among
others: ethnic, national, and religious discrimination; socio-
economic disgruntlement; political exclusion;
dehumanization of victims of terrorism; lack of good
governance; and prolonged unresolved conflicts by winning
the hearts and minds of the people to prevent them from
engaging in violent extremism. It shall identify, integrate,
and synchronize all government and non-government
initiatives and resources to prevent radicalization and violent
extremism, thus reinforce and expand an after-care program;

(b)Preventing and combating terrorism program – The


program shall focus on denying terrorist groups access to the
means to carry out attacks to their targets and formulate
response to its desired impact through decisive engagements.
The program shall focus on operational activities to disrupt
and combat terrorism activities and attacks such as curtailing,
recruitment, propaganda, finance and logistics, the protection
of potential targets, the exchange of intelligence with foreign
countries and the arrest of suspected terrorists;

(c) International affairs and capacity building program –


the program shall endeavor to build the State’s capacity to
prevent and combat terrorism by strengthening the
collaborative mechanisms between and amont ATC members
and support agencies and facilitate cooperation among
relevant stakeholders, both local and international, in the
battle against terrorism; and

25
(d)Legal affairs program – The program shall ensure
respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law as
the fundamental bases of the fight against terrorism. It shall
guarantee compliance with the same as well as with
international commitments to counterterrorism-relate
protocols and bilateral and/or multilateral agreements.

Nothing herein shall be interpreted to empower the


ATC to exercise any judicial or quasi-judicial power or
authority.

Sec. 46. Functions of the Council. – In pursuit of its


mandate in the previous Section, the ATC shall have the
following functions with due regard for the rights of the
people as mandated by the Constitution and pertinent laws:

(a) Formulate and adopt plans, programs, and


preventive and counter-measures against terrorists and
terrorism in the country;
(b)Coordinate all national efforts to suppress and
eradicate terrorism in the country and mobilize the entire
nation against terrorism prescribed in this Act;
(c) Direct the speedy investigation and prosecution of all
persons detained or accused for any crime defined and
penalized under this Act;
(d)Monitor the progress of the investigation and
prosecution of all persons accused and/or detained for any
crime defined and penalized under the provisions of this Act;
(e) Establish and maintain comprehensive database
information systems on terrorism, terrorist activities, and
counterterrorism operations;
(f) Enlist the assistance of and file the appropriate action
with the AMLC to freeze and forfeit the funds, bank deposits,
placements, trust accounts, assets and property of whatever
kind and nature belonging (i) to a person suspected of or
charged with alleged violation of any of the acts defined and
penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of this
Act, (ii) between members of a judicially declared and
outlawed terrorist organization or association as provided in
Section 26 of this Act; (iii) to designated persons defined
under Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 10168; (iv) to an individual
member of such designated persons; or (v) any individual,

26
organization, association or group of persons prescribed
under Section 26 hereof;
(g)Grant monetary rewards and other incentives to
informers who give vital information leading to the
apprehension, arrest, detention, prosecution, and conviction
of person or persons found guilty for violation of any of the
acts defined and penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
and 12 of this Act: Provided, That, no monetary reward shall
be granted to informants unless the accused’s demurrer to
evidence has been denied or the prosecution has rested its
case without such demurrer having been filed;
(h)Establish and maintain coordination with and the
cooperation and assistance of other states, jurisdictions,
international entities and organizations in preventing and
combating international terrorism;
(i) Take action on relevant resolutions issued by the UN
Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter;
and consistent with the national interest, take action on
foreign requests to designate terrorist individuals,
associations, organizations or group of persons;
(j) Take measures to prevent the acquisition and
proliferation of terrorists of weapons of mass destruction;
(k)Lead in the formulation and implementation of a
national strategic plan to prevent and combat terrorism;
(l) Request the Supreme Court to designate specific
divisions of the Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Courts to
handle all cases involving the crimes defined and penalized
under this Act;
(m) Require other government agencies, offices and
entities and officers and employees and non-government
organizations, private entities and individuals to render
assistance to the ATC in the performance of its mandate; and
(n)Investigate motu proprio or upon complaint any
report of abuse, malicious application or improper
implementation by any person of the provisions of this Act.

45) Petitioners do not have at their disposal any appeal, nor


any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
law, except the instant Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with

27
Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or
Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction.
46) The acts of Public Respondents, if not immediately
restrained or enjoined, will cause grave and irreparable injury to
Petitioners as journalists, human rights and rule of law organizations,
human rights defenders, taxpayers, Filipino citizens, and/or
members of the legal profession, and the entire Filipino people as the
Anti-Terrorism Act tramples on fundamental constitutional rights.

47) Further, the Anti-Terrorism Act tramples on constitutional


principles such as the due process clause and the separation of
powers among the branches of government.

48) For the same reasons, the commission and continuance of


the acts complained of during the pendency of this Petition will work
injustice to Petitioners, and to the people of the Republic of the
Philippines. Petitioners pray for the exemption from the posting of a
bond in view of the nature of the instant petition which is anchored
on the grounds discussed below.

PROCEDURAL GROUNDS FOR THE PETITION

I.
PETITIONERS HAVE STANDING TO FILE THE
INSTANT PETITION FOR CERTIORARI AND PROHIBITION

II.
THE CONTROVERSY IS SUFFICIENTLY RIPE FOR THE
HIGH COURT’S ADJUDICATION

III.
THE FILING OF THE INSTANT PETITION DOES NOT
VIOLATE THE HIERARCHY OF COURTS, GIVEN THE
URGENCY AND THE NATURE OF THE ISSUES INVOLVED

IV.
THE PETITION INVOLVES MATTERS OF PUBLIC
INTEREST AND TRANSCENDENTAL IMPORTANCE SUCH AS
WOULD JUSTIFY A RELAXATION OF PROCEDURAL
REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL ADJUDICATION

28
VIOLATIONS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS

I.
THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH, AND
OVERBREADTH

A. SECTION 4--TERRORISM
1. CRIMINALIZES INTENT AND PREPARATORY ACTS, WHICH
INCLUDE SPEECH.

2. SECTION 4’S PROVISO AND COLATILLA ON


“TERRORISM” EXPLICITLY REFERS TO NUMEROUS
MANIFESTATIONS OF SPEECH AND SYMBOLIC SPEECH.

B. SECTION 5--THREAT TO COMMIT TERRORISM


SECTION 5 IS INTRINSICALLY ABOUT SPEECH.

C. SECTION 6--PLANNING, TRAINING, PREPARING, AND


FACILITATING THE COMMISSION OF TERRORISM

SECTION 6 IS ABOUT SPEECH BY INCLUDING “POSSESSING


OBJECTS CONNECTED WITH THE PREPARATION FOR THE
COMMISSION OF TERRORISM, OR COLLECTING OR MAKING
DOCUMENTS CONNECTED WITH THE PREPARATION OF
TERRORISM.”

D. SECTION 7--CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT TERRORISM


CONSPIRACY: I AGREE, I LIKE IT TOO!

E. SECTION 8--PROPOSAL TO COMMIT TERRORISM


PROPOSAL: I PROPOSE WE KILL ALL THE LAWYERS!

F. SECTION 9--INCITING TO COMMIT TERRORISM


SECTION 9 EXPLICITLY REFERS TO “SPEECHES,
PROCLAMATIONS, WRITINGS, EMBLEMS, BANNERS OR OTHER
REPRESENTATIONS TENDING TO THE SAME END.”

G. SECTION 10--RECRUITMENT TO AND MEMBERSHIP


IN
A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

SECTION 10 EXPLICITLY REFERS TO “PUBLISHING AN

29
ADVERTISEMENT OR PROPAGANDA.”

H. SECTION 12—PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT TO


TERRORISTS
VIS-À-VIS SECTION 3(E) “MATERIAL SUPPORT”

MATERIAL SUPPORT: GIVING PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IS


DANGEROUS TO YOUR LIBERTY!

II.
VOID FOR VAGUENESS

A. SECTION 4--TERRORISM

B. SECTIONS 5, 6, 7, 8, AND 9
THESE PROVISIONS, BY REFERRING TO THE UTTERLY VAGUE
DEFINITION OF “TERRORISM” IN SECTION 4, ARE NECESSARILY
VAGUE AND, THEREFORE, UNCONSTITUTIONAL

C. SECTION 12—PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT TO


TERRORISTS
“NO MORE FREE LUNCH.”

III.

RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION


SECTION 10—RECRUITMENT TO AND MEMBERSHIP IN
A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
VIS-À-VIS UN SECURITY COUNCIL DESIGNATIONS

IV.
EX POST FACTO LAW/BILL OF ATTAINDER
SECTION 10—RECRUITMENT TO AND MEMBERSHIP IN A
TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
VIS-À-VIS UN SECURITY COUNCIL DESIGNATIONS

30
V.
DUE PROCESS CLAUSE

A. SECTIONS 10, 25 AND 36

GIVE AUTOMATIC LEGALITY TO THE DESIGNATION BY THE UN


SECURITY COUNCIL OF A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION, DESPITE
THE ABSENCE OF JUDICIAL PROCESSES.

B. SECTIONS 45 AND 46

VIOLATES THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE FOR GIVING THE ANTI-


TERRORISM COUNCIL (ATC) AUTHORITY TO “IDENTIFY,
INTEGRATE, AND SYNCHRONIZE” ALL NON-GOVERNMENT
INITIATIVES AND RESOURCES AND TO REQUIRE NGOS, PRIVATE
ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUALS TO RENDER ASSISTANCE TO THE
ATC IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS MANDATE.

VI.
RIGHT AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCHES & SEIZURES
SECTION 29—DETENTION WITHOUT JUDICIAL
WARRANT OF ARREST

SECTION 16—SURVEILLANCE OF SUSPECTS AND


INTERCEPTION AND RECORDING OF COMMUNICATIONS

VII.
RIGHT TO PRIVACY
SECTION 16—SURVEILLANCE OF SUSPECTS AND
INTERCEPTION AND RECORDING OF
COMMUNICATIONS

VIII.
RIGHT TO BAIL
SECTION 29—DETENTION WITHOUT JUDICIAL
WARRANT OF ARREST

31
IX.
RIGHT TO TRAVEL
SECTIONS 34—RESTRICTION ON THE RIGHT TO
TRAVEL

X.
RIGHT AGAINST INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE
SECTIONS 46—FUNCTIONS OF THE COUNCIL

XI.
THE PRESUMPTION OF CONSTITUTIONALITY DOES
NOT APPLY TO “THE ANTI-TERRORISM ACT OF 2020”
SINCE ITS NUMEROUS PROVISIONS VIOLATE
FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION

I.
SEPARATION OF POWERS

A. JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE

B. JUDICIAL FUNCTION OF DETERMINING


ADJUDICATING THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF
PERSONS

II.
GUARANTEE OF THE PRIVILEGE OF HABEAS CORPUS

32
SECTION 29—DETENTION WITHOUT JUDICIAL
WARRANT OF ARREST

A. VIOLATES THE GUARANTEE ON THE


AVAILABILITY OF THE PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS

B. VIOLATES THE 3-DAY MAXIMUM DETENTION


PERIOD FOR WARRANTLESS ARRESTS PROVIDED
UNDER SECTION 18, ARTICLE VII OF THE
CONSTITUTION IN THE EXTRA-ORDINARY
SITUATION WHERE THE PRIVILIGE OF HABEAS
CORPUS IS SUSPENDED.

III.
CALLING OUT POWERS RE: MILITARY

SECTION 29—DETENTION WITHOUT JUDICIAL


WARRANT OF ARREST

33
DISCUSSION

PROCEDURAL GROUNDS FOR THE PETITION

I. PETITIONERS HAVE STANDING


TO FILE THE INSTANT PETITION FOR
CERTIORARI AND PROHIBITION.

49) Petitioners as Filipino citizens, taxpayers, as concerned


citizens, and as either--- journalists, academics, lawyers, and/or
human rights defenders--- have standing to file the instant suit. In a
host of jurisprudence locus standi means a personal and substantial
interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain
direct injury as a result of the act being challenged. 4 Otherwise stated,
a proper party is one who has sustained or is in immediate danger of
sustaining an injury as a result of the act complained of. 5 Thus, for a
party to have personal standing, he needs only prove, first, injury to
his right or interest,6 and second, a “fairly traceable” causal
connection between the claimed injury and the challenged conduct.7

50) With regard to the first requisite, which requires injury in


fact, there is no rigid rule as to what may constitute such injury. It
8

may refer to aesthetic or environmental injury 9 or pertain to a


“spiritual stake” in the values of the Constitution, 10 and may be held
to exist when the assailed administrative ruling entails future loss of
profits.11 Indeed, even the mere fact that many people suffer the
same injury claimed does not preclude a finding that the requisite
standing exists.12
4
Tankiko v. Cezar, G.R. No. 131277, February 2, 1999.
5
ISAGANI CRUZ, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 25 (2000), citing Ex Parte Levitt, 303 US 633.
6
Tankiko v. Cezar, G.R. No. 131277, February 2, 1999; CRUZ, Id.,at 25; Duke Power Co. v. Carolina
Environmental Study Group, 438 US 59 (1978).
7
Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, 438 US 59 (1978).
8
Association of Data Processing Service Organizations v. Comp., 397 US 150 (1970) in RONALD
ROTUNDA, MODERN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CASES AND NOTES 1054 (3rd ed., 1989) [Hereinafter,
ROTUNDA].
9
JOHN E. NOWAK AND RONALD ROTUNDA, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 78 (4th ed., 1991), citing Sierra
Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972).[Hereinafter, NOWAK & ROTUNDA].
10
Id., at 77
11
Association of Data Processing Service Organizations v. Comp., 397 US 150 (1970), cited in
ROTUNDA, supra note 13, at 1054
12
Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972) , cited in NOWAK AND ROTUNDA, supra note 9 at
78.

34
51) As for the second requisite, it is complied with when the
Petitioners show that there is a substantial likelihood that the relief
requested will redress the claimed injury.13 Even if the line of
causation between the injury and the conduct is attenuated, the
existence of "an identifiable trifle" is sufficient for meeting this
requisite.14

52) Petitioners stand to suffer directly from the “chilling effect”


of the unconstitutional impositions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, whose
numerous provisions are overbroad and vague that these can be
applied arbitrarily on protected speech and symbolic speech of all
Filipinos, including that of Petitioners.

53) In the instant petition, Petitioners assert their public rights


as citizens to be able to freely express their views on the raging issues
of the day against the constitutionally-infirm portions of the
Anti-Terrorism Act. Thus their standing as citizens is founded on this
unassailable constitutional entitlement. As this Honorable Court held
in the landmark case of Francisco, Jr. v. House of Representatives:

….In fine, when the proceeding involves the assertion of a


public right, the mere fact that he is a citizen satisfies the
requirement of personal interest.15

54) Moreover, even though the Anti-Terrorism Act does not


have an appropriation provision, nevertheless, the implementation of
the constitutionally repugnant provisions of this law will necessarily
have to entail the expenditure of public funds. Petitioners therefore
raise as well their right as taxpayers to enjoin the implementation of
the Anti-Terrorism Act for its manifest unconstitutionality. Public
money should not be wasted on a statute that is void for being
unconstitutional.

II. THE CONTROVERSY IS


SUFFICIENTLY RIPE FOR THE HIGH
COURT’S ADJUDICATION.

55) The principle of ripeness is premised on the doctrine that,


for the courts to act, there must be an actual case or controversy
involving a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal
13
Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, 438 US 59 (1978).
14
NOWAK & ROTUNDA, supra note 9, at 1055, citing U.S. v. SCRAP, 412 U.S. 669 (1973).
15
Ernesto V. Francisco Jr., et al, v. House of Representatives, GR. No. 160261, Nov. 10, 2003.

35
claims susceptible of judicial adjudication.16 Under this principle, a
suit is not ripe where it was brought too early. 17 The principle is
underlined by the fact that, until the controversy becomes concrete
and focused, the court would find it difficult to evaluate the practical
merits of each party.18 However, the requirement of ripeness is not
bound to any hard and fast rules, 19 and the degree of ripeness
required may vary depending on the nature of the constitutional
problem involved.20

56) The controversy that compelled the Petitioners to file the


instant petition before the Honorable Court is sufficiently ripe for
adjudication. It has been held that where a party will sustain
immediate injury and such injury would be redressed by the relief
requested, then the case involved would already satisfy the
requirement of ripeness.21

57) In the instant case, with the taking effect of the


Anti-Terrorism Act, the Public Respondents will implement the
repugnant provisions of the law, to the detriment of Petitioners and
the nation. Such already constitutes a justiciable controversy
according to jurisprudential requirements, as it involves “a definite
and concrete dispute touching on the legal relations of parties having
adverse legal interests.”22

58) This Honorable Court has held that the people need not
await the implementing evil to befall on them before they can
question acts that are illegal or unconstitutional. In Pimentel, Jr. vs.
Hon. Aguirre,23 citing Tañada v. Angara,24 the High Court held, that:

This is a rather novel theory -- that people should await the


implementing evil to befall on them before they can
question acts that are illegal or unconstitutional. Be it
remembered that the real issue here is whether the
Constitution and the law are contravened by Section 4 of
AO 372, not whether they are violated by the acts
implementing it. In the unanimous en banc case Tañada v.
Angara,33 this Court held that when an act of the legislative
16
CRUZ, supra note 10, at 23. See also International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union,
Local 37 v. Boyd, 347 US 222 (1954).
17
NOWAK & ROTUNDA, supra note 9 at 68
18
Id.
19
Id.
20
Barrett 125, citing United Public Workers v. Mitchell, 330 US 75 (1947) and Adler v. Board of
Education, 342 US 485 (1952).
21
Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, 438 US 59 (1978), quoted in
ROTUNDA, supra note 9, at 1053
22
Guingona Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 354 Phil. 415, 426, July 10, 1998
23
G.R. No. 132988, July 19, 2000.
24
G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997.

36
department is seriously alleged to have infringed the
Constitution, settling the controversy becomes the duty of
this Court. By the mere enactment of the questioned law or
the approval of the challenged action, the dispute is said to
have ripened into a judicial controversy even without any
other overt act. Indeed, even a singular violation of the
Constitution and/or the law is enough to awaken judicial
duty. Said the Court:

In seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate


on the ground that it contravenes the Constitution,
the petition no doubt raises a justiciable
controversy. Where an action of the legislative
branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the
Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in
fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute.
'The question thus posed is judicial rather than
political. The duty (to adjudicate) remains to assure
that the supremacy of the Constitution is
upheld.”34 Once a “controversy as to the application
or interpretation of a constitutional provision is
raised before this Court x x x , it becomes a legal
issue which the Court is bound by constitutional
mandate to decide.”35 

III. THE FILING OF THE INSTANT


PETITION DOES NOT VIOLATE THE
HIERARCHY OF COURTS, GIVEN THE
URGENCY AND THE NATURE OF THE
ISSUES INVOLVED.

59) It may be argued that the instant Petition should be


dismissed for being in violation of the principle of the hierarchy of
courts. However, in Article VIII, Section 5, paragraph 2 (a) of the
Constitution, it is explicit that the Honorable Supreme Court has
jurisdiction in all cases in which the constitutionality or validity of
any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential
decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in
question.

60) Thus, it has been held that where a case raises


constitutional issues of transcendental importance to the public and

37
involves a petition for certiorari and prohibition within the court's
original jurisdiction within the Constitution, the Court may exercise
primary jurisdiction over said case though it apparently failed to
observe the rule of hierarchy of courts.25 That a case involving
constitutional issues regarding treatment of cooperatives and the
need for speedy disposition of cases would, for instance, justify the
Court's taking cognizance over a case invoking its primary
jurisdiction.26

61) Petitioners respectfully submit that the instant Petition


involves constitutional issues of transcendental importance as well as
of compelling circumstances that would merit a latitudinarian view
of the principle of hierarchy of courts.

IV. THE PETITION INVOLVES


MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST AND
TRANSCENDENTAL IMPORTANCE
SUCH AS WOULD JUSTIFY A
RELAXATION OF ANY PROCEDURAL
REQUIREMENT FOR CONSTITUTIONAL
ADJUDICATION.

62) This Honorable Court has repeatedly and consistently


affirmed that it may brush aside technicalities of procedure where a
rigid adherence to the rules would prejudice substantial justice, 27
where the issues are of first impression and entail interpretation of
key provisions of the Constitution and law,28 or where the case
involves matters of transcendental importance.29

63) Unquestionably, this Honorable Court has the power to


suspend procedural rules in the exercise of its inherent power, as
expressly recognized in the Constitution, to promulgate rules
concerning 'pleading, practice and procedure in all courts. In proper
cases, procedural rules may be relaxed or suspended in the interest of
25
Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, G.R. No.133250, July 9, 2002.
26
Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association v. Secretary, G.R. No.143076, June 10, 2003.
27
Solicitor-General v. Metropolitan Manila Authority, G.R. No.102782, December 11, 1991.
28
Philippine International Air Terminals Co., G.R. No.155001, May 5, 2003.
29
Defensor-Santiago v. Comelec, G.R. No.127325, March 19, 1997. See KMU v. Garcia, G.R.
No.115381, December 23, 1994 (standing); Kilosbayan v. Guingona, G.R. No.113375, May 5, 1994
(standing); Kilosbayan v. Morato, G.R. No.118910, November 16, 1995 (standing); Solicitor-
General v. Metropolitan Manila Authority, G.R. No.102782, December 11, 1991. (standing,
propriety of prohibition); Osmena v. Comelec, G.R. No.100318, July 30, 1991 (standing, etc.); Daza
v. Singson, G.R. No.86344, December 21, 1989 (propriety of remedy); Association of Small
Landowners in the Philippines v. Secretary, G.R. No.79310, July 14, 1989; Philippine International
Air Terminals Co., G.R. No.155001, May 5, 2003 (standing), particularly J. Panganiban, sep.op.

38
substantial justice, which otherwise may be miscarried because of a
rigid and formalistic adherence to such rules.30
64) As was held by this Honorable Court in the above-cited
cases, the Court, in the exercise of its sound discretion, may brush
aside procedural barriers and take cognizance of a case in view of the
paramount importance and the constitutional significance of the
issues raised. Thus, as the issues raised by the Petitioners in the
instant case are of paramount public interest, the Petitioners humbly
pray that the Honorable Court brush aside procedural barriers, if
any, in taking cognizance of this case.

SUBSTANTIVE GROUNDS FOR THE PETITION

VIOLATIONS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS

I. THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF


SPEECH, AND OVERBREADTH

65) An actual case or controversy is required in order for the


Court to take cognizance of a case. An actual case or controversy is
one that involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite
legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution. However, as the Anti-
Terrorism Act violates the right to free speech, the requisite of an
actual case or controversy is not applicable.

66) In Estrada v. Sandiganbayan,31 this Honorable Court has


held that a “facial challenge is allowed” to a “vague statute and to
one which is overbroad because of possible ‘chilling effect’ upon
protected speech,” to wit:

A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute


and to one which is overbroad because of possible "chilling
effect" upon protected speech. The theory is that "[w]hen
statutes regulate or proscribe speech and no readily
apparent construction suggests itself as a vehicle for
rehabilitating the statutes in a single prosecution, the
transcendent value to all society of constitutionally
30
Solicitor-General v. Metropolitan Manila Authority, G.R. No.102782, December 11, 1991.
31
G.R. No. 148560, Nov. 19, 2001.

39
protected expression is deemed to justify allowing attacks
on overly broad statutes with no requirement that the
person making the attack demonstrate that his own
conduct could not be regulated by a statute drawn with
narrow specificity."15 The possible harm to society in
permitting some unprotected speech to go unpunished is
outweighed by the possibility that the protected speech of
others may be deterred and perceived grievances left to
fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly broad
statutes.32

67) In Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan,33 this Honorable Court


ruled that a facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute
and to one that is overbroad, to wit:

A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute


and to one which is overbroad because of possible 'chilling
effect' upon protected speech. The theory is that '[w]hen
statutes regulate or proscribe speech and no readily
apparent construction suggests itself as a vehicle for
rehabilitating the statutes in a single prosecution, the
transcendent value to all society of constitutionally
protected expression is deemed to justify allowing attacks
on overly broad statutes with no requirement that the
person making the attack demonstrate that his own
conduct could not be regulated by a statute drawn with
narrow specificity.' The possible harm to society in
permitting some unprotected speech to go unpunished is
outweighed by the possibility that the protected speech of
others may be deterred and perceived grievances left to
fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly broad
statutes.34

68) In Disini, Jr. v. The Secretary of Justice,35 the Honorable


Court affirmed that a facial challenge is applicable to penal statutes
that encroach upon freedom of speech, to wit:

When a penal statute encroaches upon the freedom of


speech, a facial challenge grounded on the void-for-
vagueness doctrine is acceptable. The inapplicability of the
doctrine must be carefully delineated. As Justice Antonio
T. Carpio explained in his dissent in Romualdez v.
Commission on Elections, "we must view these statements
32
Id.
33
Romuladez v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 152259, 29 July 2004;
34
Id.
35
Disini, Jr. v. The Secretary of Justice, et al., G.R. No. 203335, 11 February 2014.

40
of the Court on the inapplicability of the overbreadth and
vagueness doctrines to penal statutes as appropriate only
insofar as these doctrines are used to mount ‘facial’
challenges to penal statutes not involving free speech."

In an "as applied" challenge, the petitioner who claims a


violation of his constitutional right can raise any
constitutional ground – absence of due process, lack of fair
notice, lack of ascertainable standards, overbreadth, or
vagueness. Here, one can challenge the constitutionality of
a statute only if he asserts a violation of his own rights. It
prohibits one from assailing the constitutionality of the
statute based solely on the violation of the rights of third
persons not before the court. This rule is also known as the
prohibition against third-party standing.

But this rule admits of exceptions. A petitioner may for


instance mount a "facial" challenge to the constitutionality
of a statute even if he claims no violation of his own rights
under the assailed statute where it involves free speech on
grounds of overbreadth or vagueness of the statute.

The rationale for this exception is to counter the "chilling


effect" on protected speech that comes from statutes
violating free speech. A person who does not know
whether his speech constitutes a crime under an overbroad
or vague law may simply restrain himself from speaking in
order to avoid being charged of a crime. The overbroad or
vague law thus chills him into silence.36

69) The curtailment of freedom of speech through the


vagueness and overbreadth of the penal statute results into a chilling
effect. Hence, a facial challenge is allowed to be mounted against the
statute, or else, persons are silenced into inaction for not knowing
whether their speech constitutes a crime under an overbroad or
vague law.

70) From the doctrines enunciated, there are clear grounds to


assail, on its face, the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act for
criminalizing protected speech.

71) Specifically, the Anti-Terrorism Act (“ATA”) can be


subjected to a facial challenge since eight (8) out of its nine (9) penal
provisions criminalize protected speech, symbolic speech and
expressions of thoughts. It will be shown below that Sections 4, 5, 6,

36
Id.

41
7, 8, 9, 10, and 12 of the Anti-Terrorism Act regulate, proscribe, and
criminalize protected speech, symbolic speech, and expressions of
thoughts.

A. SECTION 4--TERRORISM
1. CRIMINALIZES INTENT AND PREPARATORY ACTS,
WHICH INCLUDE SPEECH.

2. SECTION 4’S PROVISO AND COLATILLA ON


“TERRORISM” EXPLICITLY REFER TO NUMEROUS
MANIFESTATIONS OF SPEECH AND SYMBOLIC
SPEECH.

72) Section 4 of the ATA is repugnant to Article III, Section 4 of


the Constitution for abridging right to freedom of speech and the
right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the
government for redress of grievances.

73) Section 4 of the ATA defines the crime of terrorism, as


follows:

Sec. 4 Terrorism – Subject to Section 49 of this Act,


terrorism is committed by any person who within or
outside the Philippines, regardless of the stage of
execution:

(a) Engages in acts intended to cause death or serious


bodily injury to any person, or endangers a person’s life;
(b) Engages in acts intended to cause extensive damage or
destruction to a government or public facility, public place
or private property;

(c) Engages in acts intended to cause extensive interference


with, damage or destruction to critical infrastructure;

(d) Develops, manufactures, possesses, acquires, transports,


supplies or uses weapons, explosives or of biological,
nuclear, radiological or chemical weapons; and

(e) Release of dangerous substances, or causing fire, floods


or explosions

42
when the purpose of such act, by its nature and context, is
to intimidate the general public or a segment thereof,
create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear, to
provoke or influence by intimidation the government or
any of its international organization, or seriously
destabilize or destroy the fundamental political, economic,
or social structures of the country, or create a public
emergency or seriously undermine public safety, shall be
guilty of committing terrorism and shall suffer the penalty
of life imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the
benefits of Republic Act No. 10592, otherwise known as
“An Act Amending Articles 29, 94, 97, 98 and 99 of Act
No. 3815, as amended, otherwise known as the Revised
Penal Code”: Provided, That, terrorism as defined in this
Section shall not include advocacy, protest, dissent,
stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, and other
similar exercises of civil and political rights, which are
not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a
person, to endanger a person’s life, or to create a serious
risk to public safety. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)

74) As Section 4 of the ATA provides that terrorism is


“regardless of the stage of execution,” it criminalizes mere intent and
preparatory acts, which necessarily include speech, symbolic speech,
and expressions of thought.

75) Criminalizing whatever actions regardless of the stage of


their execution removes the restriction that only overt acts should be
punished under the law. Since the stages of execution are not given
any context in the ATA, a person will be vulnerable to being tagged
as a terrorist even though that person has not presented any real
danger to society.

76) Thus, “acts” defined under Section 4 of the ATA are


incomprehensible and overbroad. In its common meaning, an act
refers to “a thing done” which by logic includes all forms of action.
Section 4 in effect punishes all kinds of possible actions that a person
can do “regardless of the stage of execution.”

77) If Section 4 of the ATA is applied, the mere thought and


inception of an idea in a person is criminalized to be already an act
of terrorism. Never has intent alone been a level of culpability
punishable by penal statutes because our laws have always required
overt illegal acts to be the standard when it comes to punishment.

43
78) This statute essentially restricts the ideas of man and
woman and his/her freedom to express himself/herself in the form
of literature, artwork, and other medium that may be seen as acts of
terrorism as defined in Section 4.
79) Since Section 4 is so overly broad in defining “terrorism,”
this will logically result in the curtailment of the right to freedom of
speech and expression when a person doubts his/her actions of
collecting, making, and possessing objects or documents that might
be seen as connected with terrorist activities. This will silence
him/her and his/her right to free speech and expression.

80) This is already prior restraint.

81) Section 4 is a clear attack on the right to freedom of speech


and other civil and political rights even where it included a proviso
which, on first glance, purports to exclude from the definition of
“terrorism” the enumerated protected speech, symbolic speech, and
other exercises of civil and political rights by stating that “terrorism as
defined in this Section shall not include advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage
of work, industrial or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and
political rights.”

82) This is so because the proviso of Section 4 includes a


colatilla that these enumerated protected speech, symbolic speech,
and other exercise of civil and political rights are only excluded
from the definition of terrorism if these “are not intended to cause
death or serious physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s
life, or to create a serious risk to public safety.”

83) With this “exception to the exception”, the onus probandi


still lies upon the person invoking his/her exercise of the right to
free speech, of symbolic speech, of expression, and other similar
exercises of civil and political rights to show that such exercise is
“not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, to
endanger a person’s life, or to create a serious risk to public safety.”

84) In other words, the colatilla of Section 4 of the ATA


remains to unduly burden a person’s exercise of his/her
constitutional right to speech, of expression, and other civil and
political rights.

85) Thus, the exceptions provided by the provision to all acts


of advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass
action, and other similar exercises of civil or political rights is
essentially meaningless, given the overbroad language of Section 4 of

44
the ATA, and the aforementioned colatilla. In the hands of an ill-
advised, ill-trained, though well-intentioned law enforcement agents,
Section 4 is putty that can be formed according to certain desired
ends at cross-purposes with the Constitution.

86) Furthermore, Section 4 of the ATA punishes these acts of


exercising one’s constitutional rights to speech, of expression, and
other civil and political rights, when there is alleged ill-intent behind
those acts even if such ill-intent is not manifested later on. The
punishment of mere thought should never be institutionalized
under any penal statute.

87) To illustrate, Section 4 of the ATA punishes the assembly


or acts of advocacy of persons even when there is no outward
manifestation of violence and it is incumbent upon these assembly of
persons to prove that they did not intend to cause death or serious
physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s life, or to create a
serious risk to public safety. This means that the lawful gathering of
citizens to express their advocacy will be considered as terrorism if
law enforcement agents deem that there is a serious risk to public
safety.

88) In the case of Chavez v. Gonzales,37 the Honorable Court


ruled that within the ambit of freedom of speech and expression is
the right to assembly, to wit:

The scope of freedom of expression is so broad that it


extends protection to nearly all forms of communication.
It protects speech, print and assembly regarding secular
as well as political causes, and is not confined to any
particular field of human interest. The protection covers
myriad matters of public interest or concern embracing all
issues, about which information is needed or appropriate,
so as to enable members of society to cope with the
exigencies of their period. The constitutional protection
assures the broadest possible exercise of free speech and
free press for religious, political, economic, scientific,
news, or informational ends, inasmuch as the
Constitution's basic guarantee of freedom to advocate
ideas is not confined to the expression of ideas that are
conventional or shared by a majority.38

89) This means that in Section 4 of the ATA, the colatilla


qualifying advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or

37
G.R. No. 168338, Feb. 15, 2008.
38
Id.

45
mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and political rights
are acts of terrorism when done with supposed ill-intent, whose
meaning is left to the determination of law enforcement agents. This
is a violation of the right to freedom of speech.

90) Again, to illustrate, from Section 4 of the ATA, the normal


occurrence of peaceful protests will be treated as terrorism if law
enforcement agents construe those acts to be intended to create a
serious risk to public safety. But who is to say what “serious risk to
public safety” means?

91) The danger posed by Section 4 of the ATA is best


illustrated in the picket or strike lines where any resistance to strike-
breaking by either the employers or by members of the national
police may be categorized as terrorism under the law. Thus, what
was once perfectly legitimate labor action became illegal with the
passage of this law.

92) Furthermore, Section 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Act presents a


clear vacuum as it does not define what “serious risk to public safety”
means and it fails to give a clear definition of what constitutes
“serious physical harm.” The provisions presume that all forms of risk
and harm will equate to acts of terrorism, which is overly broad.

93) Moreover, the “serious risk to public safety” in the


colatilla of Section 4 of the ATA is a lower threshold for conviction
compared to the clear and present danger test adopted by this
Honorable Court in free speech cases.

94) There is always a “serious risk to public safety” in any


“protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, and other
similar exercises of civil and political rights[.]” Does this mean that the
people should refrain from exercising “protest, dissent, stoppage of
work, industrial or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and
political rights,” so as not to pose a “serious risk to public safety?”

95) Thus, Section 4 of the ATA dismantled, in one swoop, the


constitutional rights to freedom of speech, of expression, and the
clear and present danger test, as well as the exercise of other civil and
political rights.

96) Article III, Section 4 of the Constitution warrants that no


law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression,

46
or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and
petition the government for redress of grievances.

97) Section 4 of the ATA is precisely such law that abridges the
freedom of speech, of expression, of the press, and the right of the
people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for
redress of grievances.

98) Thus, Section 4 of the ATA is repugnant to Article III,


Section 4 of the Constitution for being overbroad because it
criminalizes acts -- regardless of the stage of execution -- as terrorism
when these acts include the exercise of the constitutional rights to
freedom of speech, of expression, the right to peaceably assemble and
to petition the government for redress of grievances, and other civil
and political rights.

99) The Honorable Court explained the overbreadth doctrine


in Estrada v. Sandiganbayan,39 to wit:

The void-for-vagueness doctrine states that "a statute


which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in
terms so vague that men of common intelligence must
necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its
application, violates the first essential of due process of
law." The overbreadth doctrine, on the other hand,
decrees that "a governmental purpose may not be
achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly
and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms.40
(emphasis and underscoring supplied)

100) Clearly, Section 4 of the ATA punishes acts with a


presumption of intent which goes against the very essence of the
constitutionally-protected rights of freedom of speech and
expression. Coupled with the vague idea of what acts are being
criminalized in the statute, there is now a presumption that
whatever act is done by any person at any stage of execution could
be considered an act of terrorism.

B. SECTION 5 -- THREAT TO COMMIT TERRORISM


SECTION 5 IS INTRINSICALLY ABOUT SPEECH.

39
G.R. No. 148560, Nov. 19, 2001.
40
Id.

47
101) Section 5 of the ATA is intrinsically about freedom of
speech and expression. It provides, as follows:

Sec. 5. Threat to Commit Terrorism – Any person who


shall threaten to commit any of the acts mentioned in Sec. 4
hereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12)
years.

102) Section 5 is anchored on terms defined and criminalized in


Section 4 of the ATA and is, thus, interconnected with it.

103) The mere threat of any of the acts perceived to be acts of


terrorism mentioned in Section 4 is already deemed to be a criminal
act under Section 5. Not only is the ATA attacking the acts forming
part of the freedom of speech in Section 4, it now seeks to equally
curtail the intent to express one’s self by making the “threat to
commit” an act a criminal act by its very nature.

104) As the acts mentioned in Section 4 of the ATA are overly


broad, the threat to commit any of those acts will necessarily also
be considered as terrorism under the ATA. This unjust restriction of
a person’s thoughts, ideas, and notions clearly tramples upon
freedom of speech and expression.

105) As much as Petitioners do not agree with the threats by the


President to kill drug personalities or to destroy the oligarchs --
which may be considered as threats to commit terrorism as defined in
the law --- Petitioners value more the premium that the Constitution
gives to the freedom to express oneself.

106) Hence, the restriction on the freedom of speech and


expression by Section 5 of the ATA is unconstitutional.

107) Section 5 is overly broad since the mere threat to commit


any act mentioned in Section 4 of the ATA criminalizes those acts in
their indeterminate stage. A threat to commit something cannot be
quantified in ordinary means especially when the statute itself lacks
definition of the phrase “threat to commit terrorism.”

48
C. SECTION 6--PLANNING, TRAINING, PREPARING, AND
FACILITATING THE COMMISSION OF TERRORISM

SECTION 6 IS ABOUT SPEECH BY INCLUDING “POSSESSING


OBJECTS CONNECTED WITH THE PREPARATION FOR THE
COMMISSION OF TERRORISM, OR COLLECTING OR MAKING
DOCUMENTS CONNECTED WITH THE PREPARATION OF
TERRORISM.”

108) Section 6 of the ATA equally infringes on the right to


freedom of speech by making the mere possession of objects and
collecting or making of documents as acts of terrorism. It provides, as
follows:

Sec. 6. Planning, Training, Preparing, and Facilitating


the Commission of Terrorism. – It shall be unlawful for any
person to participate in the planning, training, preparation and
facilitation in the commission of terrorism, possessing objects
connected with the preparation for the commission, or
collecting or making documents connected with the
preparation of terrorism. Any person found guilty of the
provisions of this Act shall suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits of
Republic Act No. 10592.

109) As enunciated in Chavez,41 the Honorable Court declared


that freedom of speech and expression have far reaching intrinsic
inclusions that involve publications and speeches. In this regard, the
Court is quoted as follows:

The constitutional protection is not limited to the


exposition of ideas. The protection afforded free speech
extends to speech or publications that are entertaining as
well as instructive or informative. Specifically, in Eastern
Broadcasting Corporation (DYRE) v. Dans, this Court stated
that all forms of media, whether print or broadcast, are
entitled to the broad protection of the clause on freedom of
speech and of expression.

110) Allowing Section 6 of the ATA would make it criminal for


any person to be in possession of objects such as publications
considered to be intended for the conduct of supposedly acts
pertained to in Section 4. Since the acts criminalized in Section 4 are
vague and overbroad, there is now doubt as to whether the
41
Id at 35.

49
possession, collection, or making of items or documents will result in
being culpable under the statute. The vagueness of what acts,
objects or documents are being referred to as terrorism-related will
have a chilling effect on the person who is overcome with fear in not
knowing if he/she can still exercise his/her right to free speech
through such avenues.

111) Let us suppose that there is a person who is in the process


of writing a novel with themes directly relating to his frustration and
dissatisfaction with the government which unknowingly to him, will
create destabilization in the political structure. That person can now
be considered a terrorist under Section 6 of the ATA. The intimate
sphere of man’s thoughts should not be made criminal by an
ambiguous statute that seeks to unjustly punish legal acts.

112) A person’s mere possession of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere


and El Filibusterismo would preposterously be criminalized under
Section 6 of the ATA, as would a person’s mere possession of Karl
Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital under the very same
Section 6 of the ATA.

113) Thus, Section 6 of the ATA is unconstitutional under the


overbreadth doctrine most notably in providing that “possessing
objects connected with the preparation for the commission of terrorism or
collecting or making documents connected with the preparation of
terrorism” are punishable acts under the ATA.

114) This has relevance as well to Petitioners who are


journalists, human rights defenders, and advocates of an open and
public digital space. In the course of their work, they may gather or
research materials that in some way deal with terrorism; their mere
possession of such materials under this loosely-worded provision is
also criminalized.

115) The same can be said of Petitioners who are lawyers and
professors of law. Their stock-in-trade are ideas and ideals, which
they encounter in the course of their work as academics and
practicing lawyers. Class discussions will be severely restricted
because such discussions could be penalized under the vague and
overbroad provisions of the ATC. Even legal representation in
proceedings under the ATC of persons accused or suspected of
terrorism may also be criminalized under the law, simply because of
the lack of proper and specified applicable definitions in the law.

116) The lack of definition as to what these objects and


documents are under Section 6 makes it so overly broad that it could

50
include harmless literature or other documentary works which
contain dissenting opinions, unpopular opinions, or minority
opinions opposed to the opinions of the majority in society. Not only
is freedom of speech and expression desecrated by Section 6 of the
ATA, it also seeks to empower the punishment of possession of
everyday objects and documents that might be seen as connected, no
matter how vaguely, to acts criminalized as terrorism.

D. SECTION 7--CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT TERRORISM


CONSPIRACY: I AGREE, I LIKE IT TOO!

117) Section 7 of the ATA equally infringes on the right to


freedom of speech by making mere agreement to speech as a crime in
itself. It provides as follows:

Sec. 7. Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism. – Any


conspiracy to commit terrorism as defined and penalized
under Section 4 of this Act shall suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits
of Republic Act No. 10592.

There is conspiracy when two (2) or more persons come


to an agreement concerning the commission of terrorism as
defined in Sec. 4 hereof and decide to commit the same.

118) Section 7 makes mere agreement a crime, and to agree


intrinsically involves speech exemplified by the sentence “I agree, I
like it too!”

119) Again, Section 7 is anchored on terms mentioned in


Section 4 of the ATA and is, thus, interconnected with it.

120) The mere agreement to any of the acts perceived to be acts


of terrorism mentioned in Section 4 is already deemed to be a
criminal act under Section 7. Not only is the ATA attacking the acts
forming part of protected speech in Section 4, it now seeks to equally

51
curtail the intent to express one’s self by making the mere agreement
a criminal act by its very nature.

121) As the acts mentioned in Section 4 of the ATA are overly


broad, the mere agreement to commit any of those acts will
necessarily also be considered as a crime under Section 7.
Consequently, Section 7 is overbroad since the mere agreement to
commit any act as mentioned in Section 4 of the ATA criminalizes
those acts in their indeterminate stage.

122) It is not outside the realm of the possible where a real


terrorist would post on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter
either a plan to carry out a terror attack or perhaps insinuate a
recruitment drive for more adherents to his or her cause; all those
who “like”the post are liable to be prosecuted under this provision,
where the reality is that the mere act of clicking the “like” or “love”
button (in the case of Twitter) could mean a thousand things other
than agreeing with the post.

123) Thus, Section 7 of the ATA unjustly penalizes a person’s


thoughts, ideas, and expression and, thus, transgresses the
constitutional right to free speech.

E. SECTION 8--PROPOSAL TO COMMIT TERRORISM


PROPOSAL: I PROPOSE WE KILL ALL THE LAWYERS!

124) Section 8 of the ATA equally infringes on the right to


freedom of speech by making mere proposal as a crime in itself. It
provides, as follows:

Sec. 8. Proposal to Commit Terrorism. – Any person


who proposes to commit terrorism as defined in Section 4
hereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12)
years.

125) Section 8 makes a mere proposal a crime and to propose


intrinsically involves speech. Thus, under Section 8, it is already
criminal to utter the famous Shakespearean line in Scene II, Act IV of
King Henry The Sixth Part II:

DICK: The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

52
126) Again, Section 8 is anchored on acts criminalized in
Section 4 of the ATA and is, thus, interconnected with it.

127) The mere proposal of any of the acts perceived to be acts of


terrorism mentioned in Section 4 is already deemed to be a criminal
act under Section 8. Not only is the ATA attacking the acts forming
part of the freedom of speech in Section 4, it now seeks to equally
curtail the intent to express one’s self by making the mere proposal a
criminal act by its very nature.

128) As the acts criminalized in Section 4 are overbroad, the


mere proposal to commit any of those acts will necessarily also be
considered as a crime under Section 8 of the ATA. Consequently,
Section 8 is overbroad since the mere proposal to commit any act
mentioned in Section 4 becomes a crime by itself in its indeterminate
stage.

129) Thus, Section 8 is an unjust restriction of a person’s


thoughts, ideas, and notions that clearly tramples the freedom of
speech and expression. And the restriction on the freedom of speech
and expression by Section 8 of the ATA is unconstitutional.

F. SECTION 9—INCITING TO COMMIT TERRORISM

SECTION 9 EXPLICITLY REFERS TO “SPEECHES,


PROCLAMATIONS, WRITINGS, EMBLEMS, BANNERS OR
OTHER REPRESENTATIONS TENDING TO THE SAME
END.”

130) Section 9 of the ATA explicitly refers to “speeches,


proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations tending
to the same end,” and it provides, as follows:

Sec. 9. Inciting to Commit Terrorism. – Any person who,


without taking any direct part in the commission of terrorism, shall
incite others to the execution of any of the acts specified in Section 4
hereof by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems,
banners or other representations tending to the same end, shall
suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12) years.

53
131) Section 9 is clearly about speech. Furthermore, Section 9
not only criminalizes speech that merely incite the execution of any of
the acts specified in Section 4, but also symbolic speech by including
“representations tending to the same end.”

132) To illustrate, under Section 9, the mere possession of a


communist hammer and sickle flag is already criminal; or wearing
a Mao cap or a Ho Chi Minh hat for that matter. Well, even possession
of an ISIS flag for use in a theater presentation would be criminal,
given the overbroad language of the provision.

133) This makes Section 9 so overly broad for proscribing even


constitutionally protected speech. Section 9 is not narrowly drawn
and constitutes a clear attack on the constitutional right to free
speech. Section 9 unduly burdens a person’s exercise of his/her
constitutional right to speech and of expression. Thus, Section 9 of the
Anti-Terrorism Act dismantled, in one swoop, the constitutional right
to freedom of speech and of expression.

134) Article III, Section 4 of the Constitution warrants that no


law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression,
or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and
petition the government for redress of grievances.

135) Section 9 of the ATA is precisely such law that abridges the
freedom of speech, of expression, of the press, and the right of the
people peaceably to assemble.

136) Section 9 is repugnant to Article III of the Constitution


since it is overbroad for proscribing speech and symbolic speech for
merely “tending to the same end.” Thus, Section 9 of the ATA
presents a clear chilling effect upon free speech.

G. SECTION 10--RECRUITMENT TO AND MEMBERSHIP IN


A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

SECTION 10 EXPLICITLY REFERS TO “PUBLISHING AN


ADVERTISEMENT OR PROPAGANDA.”

137) Section 10 of the ATA, specifically its sub-paragraphs (b)


and (c) refer to “[p]ublishing an advertisement or propaganda,” and it
provides, as follows:

54
Sec. 10. Recruitment to and Membership in a Terrorist
Organization. – Any person who shall recruit another to
participate in, join, commit or support terrorism or a terrorist
individual or any terrorist organization, association or group
of persons proscribed under Section 26 of this Act, or
designated by the United Nations Security Council as a
terrorist organization, or organized for the purpose of
engaging in terrorism, shall suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits of
Republic Act No. 10592.

The same penalty shall be imposed on any person who


organizes or facilitates the travel of individuals to a state other
than their state of residence or nationality for the purposes of
recruitment which may be committed through any of the
following means:

(b) Publishing an advertisement or propaganda for the


purpose of recruiting persons to serve in any capacity in
or with such an armed force;

(c ) Publishing an advertisement or propaganda


containing any information relating to the place at which
or the manner in which persons may make applications
to serve or obtain information relating to service in any
capacity in or with such armed force or relating to the
manner in which persons may travel to a foreign state for
the purpose of serving in any capacity in or with such
armed force; or

138) The above-quoted sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) explicitly


refer to speech. These sub-paragraphs are not narrowly crafted as
their texts do not differentiate whether the “armed force” refers to that
of a terrorist-sponsoring state or to an ally state.

139) To illustrate, it would be criminal under either of the above


sub-paragraphs (b) or (c) to post a link in one’s Facebook wall for a
US Navy recruitment page for cooks to serve in the US Navy.

55
140) Furthermore, it would be criminal under either sub-
paragraphs (b) or (c) to post a link in one’s Facebook wall for a West
Point Academy online call for new cadets.

141) Thus, Section 10 of the ATA is overbroad for proscribing


even constitutionally protected speech. Section 10 is not narrowly
drawn and constitutes a clear attack on the right to free speech.

H. SECTION 12—PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT TO


TERRORISTS VIS-À-VIS SECTION 3(E) “MATERIAL
SUPPORT”

Material support: giving professional advice is dangerous to


your liberty!

142) Section 12 of the ATA, specifically its provision on


“providing material support to terrorists,” if construed in relation to the
definition of material support in Section 3(e), criminalizes even the
giving of professional advice to suspected terrorists. The provisions
of Section 12 are quoted as follows:

Sec. 12. Providing Material Support to Terrorists. – Any


person who provides material support to any terrorist individual or
terrorist organization, association or group of persons committing
any of the acts punishable under Section 4 hereof, knowing that
such individual or organization, association, or group of persons is
committing or planning to commit such acts, shall be liable as
principal to any and all terrorist activities committed by said
individuals or organizations, in addition to other criminal liabilities
he/she or they may have incurred in relation thereto.

Sec. 3. Definition of Terms – as used in this Act:


( e ) Material Support shall refer to any property, tangible or


intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments
or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert
advise or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or

56
identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons,
lethal substances, explosives, personnel (one or more individuals
who may be or include oneself), and transportation;

143) Material support in Section 3(e) includes “expert advice or


assistance” which may refer to professional advice.

144) Section 12 on “providing material support to terrorists” is


overbroad when construed with Section 3(e) for including the
giving of professional advice such as the one given by lawyers,
doctors, and/or by accountants.
145) In addition, the provision may also be applied to a person,
both natural or juridical, who supports the non-violent or political
wing of a designated organization that has several affiliates not
directly involved in armed and violent acts.

146) In the absence of any criteria clearly defining and properly


limiting the ATC’s power to specify an organization as a terrorist
organisation and given the breadth of the definition of “terrorist
organization” under the ATA, it would be totally discretionary on
the Respondent Council to designate the non-violent aspect of such
an organization on the basis that it indirectly assisted in or fostered
the doing of a terrorist act.

147) This is to be correlated with the propensity of government


officials to lump political organizations with the armed wing of
groups advocating for secession. A person who is not necessarily a
member of such a political organization but who supports some of
the advocacies of the latter could be prosecuted under the ATC on the
basis of the fact that the political organization is allied in some way
with an armed group tagged by the ATC as a terrorist organization.

148) This also upends the well-known civilian/non-combatant


distinction made in International Humanitarian Law (IHL).42 The
“red-tagging” of what even the police and the military acknowledge
as “legal fronts” of alleged underground organizations violates that
distinction.

149) Yet, that distinction is maintained by the very law passed


by Congress to implement IHL and the Rome Statute: Republic Act
9851, the Philippine IHL Act.

42
On this point, see the ICRC IHL Database on Customary International Law, Rule 1, The
Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants, https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-
ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule1

57
150) The red-tagging is dangerous, because it becomes an
excuse to target members of the same organizations for harassment,
arrest, or worse, bodily harm. With the passage into law of the
assailed ATA, the dangers of red-tagging is multipled a hundred-
fold, because anyone may be marked by the ATC as supporting the
legal fronts by mere liking or retweeting of messages in social media;
the latter groups, in turn, by weak association, are already marked
guilty of terrorism. The overbroad nature and the vagueness of the
relevant provisions of the assailed law are incontrovertible. Section 12
is a restriction on the right to freedom of speech and it is
unconstitutional.

151) Therefore, eight (8) out of the nine (9) penal provisions of
the Anti-Terrorism Act should be declared repugnant to the
Constitution for transgressing fundamental rights, including the
right to freedom of speech, the right of the people to peaceably
assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances, and
the right to freedom of association.

II. VOID FOR VAGUENESS

152) The acts that constitute crimes of terrorism under the


ATA are undefined and vague and should be declared
unconstitutional under the void-for-vagueness doctrine.

A. SECTION 4--TERRORISM

153) The Honorable Court explained the void-for-vagueness


doctrine in Estrada v. Sandiganbayan,43 citing People v. Nazario, as
follows:

A statute or act may be said to be vague when it lacks


comprehensible standards that men of common
intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and
differ in its application.   In such  instance, the statute is
repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects - it
43
G.R. No. 148560, Nov. 19, 2001.

58
violates due process for failure to accord persons,
especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what
conduct to avoid; and, it leaves law enforcers unbridled
discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an
arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle.44

154) That the definition of “terrorism’ in Section 4 of the


ATA is about speech is clear from its proviso, which is quoted below:

…Provided, That, terrorism as defined in this Section shall not


include advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial
or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and political
rights, which are not intended to cause death or serious
physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s life, or to
create a serious risk to public safety.

155) Thus, in accordance with Estrada v. Sandiganbayan,45


a facial challenge against Section 4 of the ATA is allowed because of
its possible chilling effect upon protected speech.

156) The ATA makes qualifiers as to the purpose of these vague


acts that constitute as terrorism, and these are as follows: if the
purpose of the acts under Section 4 by their nature and context, is to
intimidate the general public or a segment thereof, create an
atmosphere or spread a message of fear, to provoke or influence by
intimidation the government or any international organization, or
seriously destabilize or destroy the fundamental political, economic,
or social structures of the country, or create a public emergency or
seriously undermine public safety.

157) The lack of concise definitions under the ATA is adverse to


the basic constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.

158) These qualifiers put an overly broad mantle of power on


the statute by guaranteeing that all acts under the sun are included
and can be considered as acts of terrorism. Since the qualifiers are
also vague in their definition, a person can only assume what they
really mean or refer to. This will have an effect of silencing such
person for fear of being considered a terrorist under the law.

159) There is no clear definition in Section 4 of the ATA as to


what “acts” constitute terrorist acts. If taken in the basic meaning, all
44
Id.
45
G.R. No. 148560, Nov. 19, 2001.

59
forms of acts including speech and communication will be
criminalized under Section 4. This means that any manifestation of
speech or forms of speech will qualify as criminal acts under the
statute.

160) That the definition of terrorism in Section 4 of the ATA is


vague is a clear violation of the freedom of speech, of expression, and
right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for
redress of grievances.

161) The definition of “terrorism” in Section 4 of the ATA is


utterly vague since it does not provide comprehensible standards to
guide the authorities, the suspects, and the public as to what acts
constitute “terrorism.”

162) In a half-hearted attempt at defining “terrorism,” the


Anti-Terrorism Act merely enumerated acts which are already
punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special laws, and then
added five (5) potential criminal intents, as follows;

(a) to intimidate the general public or a segment thereof;


(b)create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear;
(c) to provoke or influence by intimidation the government or
any international organization;
(d)seriously destabilize or destroy the fundamental political,
economic, or social structures of the country; or
(e) create a public emergency or seriously undermine public
safety.

163) The vagueness of the definition of “terrorism” in Section 4


of the ATA stems from the use of vague words and phrases in the
added phrase such as “segment thereof,” “atmosphere,” “message of
fear,” and “public safety.” Petitioners point out that this feeble attempt
at defining terrorism only gives the military, police, and other
agencies of the Executive branch of government, unbridled discretion
in describing certain acts as “acts of terrorism” without giving the
people the faintest idea of what acts should be avoided in order not
to run afoul with the law.

164) This Honorable Court may take judicial notice of the very
recent pronouncement of the newly-appointed Chief of Staff of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, Gen. Gapay, that his agency wants
to regulate social media to counter violent extremism, and for this
purpose, the AFP will propose specific provisions in the

60
Implementing Rules and Regulations of the assailed ATA addressing
social media.46

165) Furthermore, the definition of “terrorism” in Section 4 of


the ATA leaves it to anyone’s guess as to what constitutes an act that
“create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear.”

166) This qualifier is not really of any help at all. It is quite


obvious that anything that is reported extensively by media, simply
because it is a newsworthy event, can be framed by anyone with the
right (or wrong motivation!) as an event meant to create an
atmosphere of fear or spread a message of fear, in which case the
messenger is often blamed for the message as well.

167) On the other hand, it is perfectly possible for certain


quarters to project a narrative of unrest in the country, in the pursuit
of certain vested interests, like Mindanao being labeled a bastion of
terrorism, with both Al Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated groups allegedly
vying for control. A successful projection then becomes a
justification for one thing and one thing only— control over the land
and natural resources and a people’s way of life by such vested
interests, through militarization of the area.

168) Obviously, the ATA utterly failed in solving the inherent


difficulty of defining what constitutes “terrorism.” Apropos is what
this Honorable Court noted in David v. Macapagal-Arroyo,47 that the
phrase “acts of terrorism” is still an amorphous and vague concept.
The extent of this vagueness can be gleaned from the comment in the
same decision, which deserves to be quoted in full:

In fact, this “definitional predicament” or the “absence


of an agreed definition of terrorism” confronts not only our
country, but the international community as well.  The
following observations are quite apropos:

In the actual unipolar context of


international relations, the “fight against
terrorism” has become one of the basic slogans
when it comes to the justification of the use of
force against certain states and against groups

46
Michael Punongbayan, ‘New AFP chief: Terror law to regulate social media’ The Philippine
Star, August 4, 2020, available at
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/08/04/2032704/new-afp-chief-terror-law-regulate-
social-media; Frances Mangosing, ‘PH military chief wants social media use regulated through
terror law’, Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 3, 2020, available at
https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1316253/ph-military-chief-wants-social-media-use-regulated-
through-terror-law
47
G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006.

61
operating internationally.  Lists of states
“sponsoring terrorism” and of terrorist
organizations are set up and constantly being
updated according to criteria that are not always
known to the public, but are clearly determined
by strategic interests.

The basic problem underlying all these


military actions – or threats of the use of force as
the most recent by the United States against Iraq
– consists in the absence of an agreed definition
of terrorism.

Remarkable confusion persists in regard to


the legal categorization of acts of violence either
by states, by armed groups such as liberation
movements, or by individuals.

The dilemma can by summarized in the


saying “One country’s terrorist is another
country’s freedom fighter.”  The apparent
contradiction or lack of consistency in the use of
the term “terrorism” may further be
demonstrated by the historical fact that leaders
of national liberation movements such as Nelson
Mandela in South Africa, Habib Bourgouiba in
Tunisia, or Ahmed Ben Bella in Algeria, to
mention only a few, were originally labeled as
terrorists by those who controlled the territory at
the time, but later became internationally
respected statesmen.

What, then, is the defining criterion for


terrorist acts – the  differentia specifica
distinguishing those acts from eventually
legitimate acts of national resistance or self-
defense?

Since the times of the Cold War the United


Nations Organization has been trying in vain to
reach a consensus on the basic issue of
definition.  The organization has intensified its
efforts recently, but has been unable to bridge
the gap between those who associate “terrorism”
with any violent act by non-state groups against
civilians, state functionaries or infrastructure or

62
military installations, and those who believe in
the concept of the legitimate use of force when
resistance against foreign occupation or against
systematic oppression of ethnic and/or religious
groups within a state is concerned.

The dilemma facing the international


community can best be illustrated by reference
to the contradicting categorization of
organizations and movements such as Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) – which is a
terrorist group for Israel and a liberation
movement for Arabs and Muslims – the
Kashmiri resistance groups – who are terrorists
in the perception of India, liberation fighters in
that of Pakistan – the earlier Contras in
Nicaragua – freedom fighters for the United
States, terrorists for the Socialist camp – or, most
drastically, the Afghani Mujahedeen (later to
become the Taliban movement): during the Cold
War period they were a group of freedom
fighters for the West, nurtured by the United
States, and a terrorist gang for the Soviet Union. 
One could go on and on in enumerating
examples of conflicting categorizations that
cannot be reconciled in any way – because of
opposing political interests that are at the roots
of those perceptions.

How, then, can those contradicting


definitions and conflicting perceptions and
evaluations of one and the same group and its
actions be explained?  In our analysis, the basic
reason for these striking inconsistencies lies in
the divergent interest of states.  Depending on
whether a state is in the position of an occupying
power or in that of a rival, or adversary, of an
occupying power in a given territory, the
definition of terrorism will “fluctuate”
accordingly.  A state may eventually see itself as
protector of the rights of a certain ethnic group
outside its territory and will therefore speak of a
“liberation struggle,” not of “terrorism” when
acts of violence by this group are concerned, and
vice-versa.

63
The United Nations Organization has been
unable to reach a decision on the definition of
terrorism exactly because of these conflicting
interests of sovereign states that determine in
each and every instance how a particular armed
movement (i.e. a non-state actor) is labeled in
regard to the terrorists-freedom fighter
dichotomy.  A “policy of double standards” on
this vital issue of international affairs has been
the unavoidable consequence.

This “definitional predicament” of an


organization consisting of sovereign states – and
not of peoples, in spite of the emphasis in the
Preamble to the United Nations Charter! – has
become even more serious in the present global
power constellation: one superpower exercises
the decisive role in the Security Council, former
great powers of the Cold War era as well as
medium powers are increasingly being
marginalized; and the problem has become even
more acute since the terrorist attacks of 11
September 2001 I the United States.

The absence of a law defining “acts of terrorism” may


result in abuse and oppression on the part of the police or
military.   An illustration is when a group of persons are
merely engaged in a drinking spree.   Yet the military or
the police may consider the act as an act of terrorism and
immediately arrest them pursuant to G.O. No. 5.  
Obviously, this is abuse and oppression on their part.  It
must be remembered that an act can only be considered a
crime if there is a law defining the same as such and
imposing the corresponding penalty thereon.48

169) Hence, such definition of “terrorism” in Section 4 of the


ATA violates the due process clause of the Constitution since it is so
vague such that men and women of common intelligence must
necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. This
is in consonance with well-settled jurisprudence as quoted in the
following:

That the terms of a penal statute creating a new offense


must be sufficiently explicit to inform those who are
subject to it what conduct on their part will render them

48
Id.

64
liable to its penalties is a well recognized requirement,
consonant alike with ordinary notions of fair play and the
settled rules of law, and a statute which either forbids or
requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of
common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
meaning and differ as to its application violates the first
essential of due process of law.49 (emphasis supplied,
internal citations omitted)

170) The more important aspect of the vagueness doctrine is not


actual notice, but the other principal element of the doctrine—the
requirement that legislatures place reasonably clear guidelines for
law enforcement officials and triers of fact in order to prevent
arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.50
171) To the extent that the law is vague, it might have an in
terrorem effect and it will deter persons from engaging in protected
activities. An unclear law, a law that does not draw bright lines,
might regulate, or appear to regulate, more than is necessary, and
thus deter or chill persons from engaging in protected activities.51

172) Hence, due to the vague definition of “terrorism” in


Section 4 of the ATA, there exists the danger of arbitrary
prosecution against any citizen of the country who merely exercises
his/her right to freedom of speech and of expression, and who may
be branded as a terrorist under the ATA.

173) The Estrada52 case echoed the void-for-vagueness doctrine


when the Honorable Court pronounced that, when a constitutionally
protected right of an individual is in danger of being trampled upon
by a criminal statute, such law must be struck down for being void,
especially if it is vague. The Court declared, as follows:

One of the fundamental requirements imposed by the


Constitution upon criminal statutes is that pertaining to
clarity and definiteness. Statutes, particularly penal laws,
that fall short of this requirement have been declared
unconstitutional for being vague. This "void-for-
vagueness" doctrine is rooted in the basic concept of
fairness as well as the due process clause of the
Constitution.

49
Connally v. General Construction Co., 269 U.S. 385 (1926) cited in Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan,
G.R. No. 152259, July 29, 2004.
50
See Smith v. Goguen 415 U.S. 566 (1974).
51
JOHN E. NOWAK AND RONALD ROTUNDA, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 1071 (2000, 6th Ed.)
52
Id at 40.

65
The Constitution guarantees both substantive and
procedural due process as well as the right of the accused
to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation
against him. A criminal statute should not be so vague and
uncertain that "men of common intelligence must
necessarily guess as to its meaning and differ as to its
application.

174) Section 4 of the ATA is wickedly vague in defining what


acts constitute “terrorism” and is therefore violative of substantial
due process as well as the freedom of speech and expression.

175) In comparison, the Human Security Act of 200753 made a


better attempt at defining acts that would constitute terrorism by
enumerating already punishable acts under the Revised Penal Code
and special laws, thereby making it ascertainable what specific acts
are prohibited and considered as terrorist acts.
176) Under the ATA, acts become terrorist acts when qualified
to have been coupled with supposed intent, but said acts are vague
and incomprehensible.

177) For example, Section 4(a) of the ATA states that if any act is
coupled with the intent to cause serious bodily injury, and Section
4(b) states that if acts are intended to cause extensive damage or
destruction to private property, then these acts could then
theoretically be already categorized as acts of terrorism under the
ATA. However, the statute does not clearly define what serious
bodily injury is or what qualifies as extensive damage or
destruction to property whether it be private or public.

178) Section 4(a) of the ATA also talks about acts that endanger
a person’s life. The provision lacks the sufficient guidelines to
clearly indicate which acts and to what extent cover endangering
another person’s life. Time and again we have seen many examples
of unnecessary force being dealt with by law enforcement agents
against those who they deemed to have endangered another person’s
life. These encounters usually end in death since the discretion to
take action lies on law enforcement officers to exercise judgment and
make the decision of what “endangers life.”

179) Furthermore, it is also unclear what “extensive


interference with, damage or destruction to critical infrastructure”
mean according to Section 4(c) of the ATA. Nowhere in the statute is
it defined what critical infrastructure refers to and what the
guidelines are to establish extensive interference.
53
https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2007/03/06/republic-act-no-9372/

66
180) Section 4(d) of the ATA which criminalizes the
development, manufacture, processing, acquisition, transport,
supplying or use of weapons, explosive or of biological, nuclear,
radiological or chemical weapons is also vague. The term “weapons”
and “explosives” lack clear definition. Technically, any object
ranging from a kitchen knife to a steel rod will be considered as
weapons under this statute. Explosives can also come in many
different forms most of which are normal household items. The lack
of definition for these terms will present a situation whereby any
object perceived to be a weapon or explosive will now serve as basis
for arrests since they might be considered as objects included in
terrorist activities.

181) The release of dangerous substances, or causing fire, floods


or explosions under Section 4(e) of the ATA are also acts which are
unqualified and undefined. This statute does not define what
“dangerous substances” are. The statute also fails to clearly define the
methodology or circumstance of the release of such dangerous
substances nor does it establish the overt act in causing fires, floods,
or explosions.

182) The qualifiers under Section 4 of the ATA as to the purpose


of the acts are also vague. The statute states that for the act to be
considered terrorism it must be to intimidate the general public or a
segment thereof, create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear, to
provoke or influence by intimidation the government or any of its
international organization, or seriously destabilize or destroy the
fundamental political, economic, or social structures of the country,
or create a public emergency or seriously undermine public safety.

183) Again, there is absence in Section 4 of the limits and


boundaries to the phrases “destabilize or destroy the fundamental
political, economic, or social structures of the country”, “public
emergency” and “seriously undermine public safety.” These terms
are so vague that men and women of common intelligence can only
guess as to their meaning.

184) The reckless liberality in defining what acts will amount to


terrorism will be left in the hands of law enforcement which violates
the right to substantive due process and which will result in the
unlawful application of the law. This will give law enforcement
officers the unbridled discretion in carrying out the provisions of
the statute.

67
185) In addition, the current administration has historically
used the term “destabilize” against opposition groups. This makes
the statute a dangerous source of abuse since the administration can
now maliciously label dissenters as terrorists at its whim. This has the
effect of silencing those who are not pleased with the current
government.

186) Therefore, Section 4 of the ATA should be declared


unconstitutional under the void-for-vagueness doctrine.

B. SECTIONS 5, 6, 7, 8, AND 9, BY REFERRING TO THE


UTTERLY VAGUE DEFINITION OF “TERRORISM” IN
SECTION 4, ARE NECESSARILY UNCONSTITUTIONAL

187) Section 5 of the ATA should also be void for being vague.
The statue makes any person criminally liable if he/she “shall
threaten to commit any acts” mentioned in Section 4. A mere threat
to commit an act should not be considered a crime when the threat
to commit is undefined in the statute seeking to punish it.

188) No elements are indicated in the statute as well as the


process of how threat is committed for it to amount to a crime. Unlike
the crimes of light threat and grave threat specifically described in the
Revised Penal Code, the threat here in the ATA lacks detailed and
accurate description to be considered a crime under criminal law.

189) Equally, Section 6 of the ATA is also vague. There is no


clear outline as to the extent of the “preparation” and “facilitation” of
the acts subject of Section 4. The phrase “possessing objects connected
with the preparation for the commission of terrorism or collecting or
making documents connected with the preparation of terrorism” is
also undefined as to what objects and documents will be deemed
connected with or deemed used as materials for the preparation of
acts of terrorism.

190) As Section 6 refers to Section 4 which is appallingly vague


in its description of terrorism, Section 6 is also necessarily ambiguous
and unconstitutional.

68
191) Furthermore, as Sections 7, 8, and 9 refer to the utterly
vague definition of “terrorism” in Section 4, these penal provisions
that proscribe protected speech and symbolic speech are also
necessarily unconstitutional for the same reasons.

C. SECTION 12—PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT TO


TERRORISTS
“NO MORE FREE LUNCH.”

192) The vagueness of Section 12 on “providing material


support to terrorists,” if construed in relation to the definition of
material support in Section 3(e), would criminalize even the giving
of free lunches to suspected terrorists. Section 12 and 3 provide, as
follows:

Sec. 12. Providing Material Support to Terrorists. – Any


person who provides material support to any terrorist
individual or terrorist organization, association or group of
persons committing any of the acts punishable under Section 4
hereof, knowing that such individual or organization,
association, or group of persons is committing or planning to
commit such acts, shall be liable as principal to any and all
terrorist activities committed by said individuals or
organizations, in addition to other criminal liabilities he/she or
they may have incurred in relation thereto.

Sec. 3. Definition of Terms – as used in this Act:



( e ) Material Support shall refer to any property, tangible or
intangible, or service, including currency or monetary
instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging,
training, expert advise or assistance, safehouses, false
documentation or identification, communications equipment,
facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel
(one or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and
transportation;

69
193) Material support in Section 3(e) includes “any property,
tangible or intangible.” In fact, even the giving of a pencil or a ball pen
will be criminal under Section 12, and the criminalization of such an
act – whether the giving of free lunches out of human kindness or
the unsuspecting lending of a pencil for the use of a terrorist – would
be a violation of the principle of proportionality, which of course
becomes a due process question.

194) There are no clear standards by which to determine


whether one is committing the crime under Section 12 of
“providing material support to terrorists” if construed in relation to
Section 3(e) on material support.

195) Therefore, Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 of the ATA should


be declared unconstitutional under the void-for-vagueness doctrine.

III. RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF


ASSOCIATION

SECTION 10—RECRUITMENT TO AND MEMBERSHIP IN A


TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
VIS-À-VIS U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL
DESIGNATIONS

196) Section 10 of the ATA, in relation to foreign designations, is


repugnant to Article III, Section 8 of the Constitution for abridging
the right to freedom of association.

197) Section 10 of the ATA penalizes mere recruitment or


association, even in the absence of the act terrorism.

198) Worse, Section 10 penalizes the mere recruitment or


association with an organization that has been designated by the UN
Security Council as a terrorist organization.

199) It should be noted that the UN Security Council


procedures identifying, designating, and listing alleged terrorists
and/or terror groups or groups funding, financing, or otherwise
aiding and abetting terrorism are merely administrative in nature;
these procedures do not amount, by any stretch of the imagination,

70
to an adversarial process before a court of law where an accused is
given his right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses ranged
against him by his accusers.54

200) A mere list of alleged terrorists or terror groups from an


international body, another sovereign state, or a supranational
organization for that matter – and nothing more – cannot be a
sufficient basis for Philippine courts to convict a person or persons
to life in prison without parole.

201) Such a list, without further evidence establishing guilt


beyond reasonable doubt, can never be constitutionally sufficient to
deny individuals, groups and associations their constitutional right to
life, liberty, and property, which are all zealously protected by the
Bill of Rights.

IV. EX POST FACTO LAW/BILL OF


ATTAINDER

SECTION 10—RECRUITMENT TO AND MEMBERSHIP IN A


TERRORIST ORGANIZATION VIS-À-VIS U.N. SECURITY
COUNCIL DESIGNATIONS

202) Section 10 of the ATA in relation to UN Security Council


designations is repugnant to Article III, Section 22 of the Constitution
for being an ex post facto law or bill attainder.

203) The Honorable Court held in Salvador v. Mapa, Jr.,55 that


an ex post facto law is, as follows:

An ex post facto law has been defined as one — (a) which


makes an action done before the passing of the law and
which was innocent when done criminal, and punishes
54
For this very reason, even an Office of the Ombudsperson established by the UN to vet such
lists made by the UN Security Council pursuant to its Chapter VII powers does not pass the
constitutional requirement of due process. On this Office, see United Nation Office of the
Ombudsperson, Historical Guide
of the Ombudsperson Process through Security Council resolutions and
Reports of the Office of the Ombudsperson to the Security Council (March 2018), available at
https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/sites/www.un.org.securitycouncil/files/historical_guide_
ombudsperson_process_march_2018.pdf
55
G.R. No. 135080, Nov. 28, 2007.

71
such action; or (b) which aggravates a crime or makes it
greater than it was when committed; or (c) which changes
the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than the
law annexed to the crime when it was committed; or (d)
which alters the legal rules of evidence and receives less or
different testimony than the law required at the time of the
commission of the offense in order to convict the
defendant.22 This Court added two (2) more to the list,
namely: (e) that which assumes to regulate civil rights and
remedies only but in effect imposes a penalty or
deprivation of a right which when done was lawful; or (f)
that which deprives a person accused of a crime of some
lawful protection to which he has become entitled, such as
the protection of a former conviction or acquittal, or a
proclamation of amnesty.23

204) Section 10 of the ATA is an ex post facto law in relation to


U.N. Security Council designations of terrorist organizations made
even before the effectivity of the ATA and which will be penalized
with the harsher penalty of life imprisonment without the benefit of
parole and the benefits of the good conduct time allowance as
amended by Republic Act No. 10592.

205) In People v. Ferrer,56 the Honorable Court held that a bill of


attainder is as follows:

A bill of attainder is a legislative act which inflicts


punishment without trial. Its essence is the substitution of
a legislative for a judicial determination of guilt. The
constitutional ban against bills of attainder serves to
implement the principle of separation of powers by
confining legislatures to rule-making and thereby
forestalling legislative usurpation of the judicial function.
History in perspective, bills of attainder were employed to
suppress unpopular causes and political minorities, and it
is against this evil that the constitutional prohibition is
directed. The singling out of a definite class, the imposition
of a burden on it, and a legislative intent, suffice to
stigmatize a statute as a bill of attainder.57

206) Hence, Section 10 is a bill of attainder in relation to U.N.


Security Council designations of terrorist organizations as it inflicts

56
G.R. Nos. L-32613-14, Dec. 27, 1972.
57
Id.

72
punishment without a judicial trial simply by a mere terrorist
designation by the U.N. Security Council.

V. DUE PROCESS CLAUSE

A. SECTIONS 10, 25 AND 36


GIVE AUTOMATIC LEGAL EFFECT TO THE DESIGNATION BY THE
UN SECURITY COUNCIL OF A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION,
DESPITE THE ABSENCE OF JUDICIAL PROCESSES.

207) Sections 10, 25, and 36 of the ATA are unconstitutional for
violating due process requirements, insofar as they allow the
government to punish, proscribe, or subject groups, associations,
corporations, or individuals to a financial and asset freeze order
and/or forfeiture proceedings by the simple device of
“automatically” adopting U.N. Security Council Chapter VII
Resolution/s on terrorism or similar designations from other
jurisdictions or supranational organizations, without further
evidence.

208) The following provisions of the law --- no matter how ideal
the underlying intent may be --- ultimately fail to meet the strict
constitutional standards of substantive and procedural due process,
under which a suspect or an accused, is innocent until proven guilty:

 Section 10, under which a person who recruits others for


membership in an organization designated by the U.N.
Security Council as a terrorist organization, and for the
purpose of carrying out terrorism, will be penalized
with life imprisonment without the benefit of parole;

Sec. 10. Recruitment to and Membership in a Terrorist


Organization. – Any person who shall recruit another to
participate in, join, commit or support terrorism or a terrorist
individual or any terrorist organization, association or group
of persons proscribed under Section 26 of this Act, or
designated by the United Nations Security Council as a
terrorist organization, or organized for the purpose of

73
engaging in terrorism, shall suffer the penalty of life
imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits of
Republic Act No. 10592.

The same penalty shall be imposed on any person who


organizes or facilitates the travel of individuals to a state other
than their state of residence or nationality for the purposes of
recruitment which may be committed through any of the
following means:

(e) Recruiting another person to serve in any capacity in


or with an armed force in a foreign state, whether the armed
force forms part of the armed forces of the government of that
foreign state or otherwise;

(f) Publishing an advertisement or propaganda for the


purpose of recruiting persons to serve in any capacity in or
with such an armed force;

(g)Publishing an advertisement or propaganda


containing any information relating to the place at which or the
manner in which persons may make applications to serve or
obtain information relating to service in any capacity in or with
such armed force or relating to the manner in which persons
may travel to a foreign state for the purpose of serving in any
capacity in or with such armed force; or

(h)Performing any other act with the intention of


facilitating or promoting the recruitment of persons to serve in
any capacity in or with such armed force.

Any person who shall voluntarily and knowingly join


any organization, association or group of persons knowing
that such organization, association or group of persons
proscribed under Section 26 of this Act, or designated by the
United Nations Security Council as a terrorist organization, or
organized for the purpose of engaging in terrorism, shall suffer
the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12) years.

 Section 25, under which the Anti-Terror Council


established by the law, may automatically adopt
designations of individuals or groups as terrorists or
terror financiers, by the UN Security Council under UN

74
Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), or by other
jurisdictions or by other supranational organizations,
and;

Sec. 25. Designation of Terrorist Individual, Groups of


Persons, Organizations or Associations. – Pursuant to our
obligations under United Nations Security Council
Resolution (UNSCR) No. 1373, the ATC shall automatically
adopt the United Nations Security Council Consolidated List
of designated individuals, group of persons, organizations, or
associations designated and/or identified as a terrorist, one
who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization or group.

Request for designations by other jurisdictions or


supranational jurisdictions may be adopted by the ATC after
determination that the proposed designee meets the criteria
for designation of UNSCR No. 1373.

The ATC may designate an individual, groups of


persons, organization, or association, whether domestic or
foreign, upon a finding of probable cause that the individual,
groups of persons, organization, or association commit, or
attempt to commit, or conspire in the commission of the acts
defined and penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and
12 of this Act.

The assets of the designated individual, groups of


persons, organization or association above-mentioned shall
be subject to authority of the Anti-Money Laundering Council
(AMLC) to freeze pursuant to Section 11 of Republic Act No.
10168.

The designation shall be without prejudice to the


proscription of terrorist organizations, associations, or groups
of persons under Section 26 of this Act.

 Section 36, under which groups or individuals tagged


as terrorists by the UN Security Council in terrorism-

75
related resolutions issued under Art. 41 of the UN
Charter, may be subject of freeze orders/forfeiture
orders on their financial assets by the Philippine Anti-
Money Laundering Council.

Sec. 36. Authority to Freeze. – Upon the issuance by


the court of a preliminary order of proscription or in case of
designation under Section 25 of this Act, the AMLC, either

76
upon its own initiative or request of the ATC, is hereby
authorized to issue an ex parte order to freeze without delay:
(a) and property or funds that are in any way related to
financing of terrorism as defined and penalized under
Republic Act No. 10168, or any violation of Sections 4, 5, 6, 7,
8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 of this Act.; and (b) property or funds of any
person or persons in relation to whom there is probable cause
to believe that such person or persons are committing or
attempting or conspiring to commit, or participating in or
facilitating the financing of the aforementioned sections of

77
this Act.

The freeze order shall be effective for a period not


exceeding twenty (20) days. Upon a petition filed by the
AMLC before the expiration of the period, the effectivity of
the freeze order may be extended up to a period not
exceeding six (6) months upon order of the Court of Appeals:
Provided, That, the twenty-day period shall be tolled upon
filing of a petition to extend the effectivity of the freeze order.

Notwithstanding the preceding paragraphs, the AMLC,


consistent with the Philippines’ international obligations,
shall be authorized to issue a freeze order with respect to
property or funds of a designated organization, association,
group or any individual to comply with binding terrorism-
related resolutions, including UNSCR No. 1373 pursuant to
Article 41 of the charter of the UN. Said freeze order shall be
effective until the basis for the issuance thereof shall have
been lifted. During the effectivity of the freeze order, an
aggrieved party may, within twenty (20) days from issuance,
file with the Court of Appeals a petition to determine the
basis of the freeze order according to the principle of effective
judicial protection: Provided, That the person whose property
or funds have been frozen may withdraw such sums as the
AMLC determines to be reasonably needed for monthly
family needs and sustenance including the services ofo
counsel and the family medical needs of such person.

209) It should be noted that the U.N. Security Council


procedures identifying, designating, and listing alleged terrorists
and/or terror groups or groups funding, financing, or otherwise
aiding and abetting terrorism are merely administrative in nature.
These procedures do not amount, by any stretch of the imagination,
to an adversarial process before a court of law where an accused is
given his right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses ranged
against him by his accusers.58

210) A mere list of alleged terrorists or terror groups from an


international body, another sovereign state, or a supranational
58
For this very reason, even an Office of the Ombudsperson established by the UN to vet such
lists made by the UN Security Council pursuant to its Chapter VII powers does not pass the
constitutional requirement of due process. On this Office, see United Nation Office of the
Ombudsperson, Historical Guide of the Ombudsperson Process through Security Council resolutions
and Reports of the Office of the Ombudsperson to the Security Council (March 2018), available at
https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/sites/www.un.org.securitycouncil/files/historical_guide_
ombudsperson_process_march_2018.pdf

78
organization for that matter – and nothing more – cannot be a
sufficient basis for Philippine courts to convict a person or persons
to life in prison without parole.

211) Such a list, without further evidence establishing guilt


beyond reasonable doubt, can never be constitutionally sufficient to
deny individuals, groups and associations their constitutional right to
life, liberty, and property, which are all zealously protected by the
Bill of Rights.

212) Moreover, such a list violates the U.N. Charter itself, in


particular its founding principles respecting human rights59, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights60 – whose norms are
considered customary international law by our courts 61 – and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 62 to
name but a few international documents.63
59
The Preamble of the UN Charter declares that in drafting it, the states parties have voted “to
reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the
equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.”
60
UDHR Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person;
UNHR Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an
independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any
criminal charge against him;
UDHR Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed
innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the
guarantees necessary for his defence. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on
account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or
international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed
than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.”
61
Mejoff v. Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 70 (1951).
62
Republic v Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 104768, July 21, 2003.
63
ICCPR, Article 9, (1). Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be
subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such
grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.  (2.) Anyone who is
arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly
informed of any charges against him;
ICCPR, Article 14, 1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the
determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law,
everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial
tribunal established by law. The press and the public may be excluded from all or part of a trial
for reasons of morals, public order (ordre public) or national security in a democratic society, or
when the interest of the private lives of the parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary
in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests
of justice; but any judgement rendered in a criminal case or in a suit at law shall be made public
except where the interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern
matrimonial disputes or the guardianship of children. 
2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until
proved guilty according to law. 
3. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the
following minimum guarantees, in full equality: (a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a
language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him; 
(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate
with counsel of his own choosing; 
(c) To be tried without undue delay; 
(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his
own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal
assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without
payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it; 

79
213) These norms are considered part of the law of the land
under the Constitution’s Incorporation Clause. In addition, we are
also bound to comply with these human rights protections via the
doctrine of transformation, insofar as these are embodied in treaties
to which the Philippines is a party.64

SECTION 25 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR


ENCROACHING UPON JUDICIAL AND
QUASI-JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS AND FOR
VIOLATING FUNDAMENTAL DUE PROCESS.

214) Judicial power has been defined as “the duty of the courts
of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable…”65

215) On the other hand, “[q]uasi-judicial powers involve the


power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the
legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the
standards laid down by law itself in enforcing and administering the
same law.”66

216) It must be stressed that under Section 25, the ATC can do
the following:

a. Automatically adopt the UN Security Council


Consolidated List of designated individuals, group of
persons, organizations, or associations designated and/or
(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and
examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him; 
(f) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language
used in court; 
(g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt. 
4. In the case of juvenile persons, the procedure shall be such as will take account of their age and
the desirability of promoting their rehabilitation. 
5. Everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being
reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law. 
6. When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence and when
subsequently his conviction has been reversed or he has been pardoned on the ground that a new
or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the
person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction shall be compensated
according to law, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure of the unknown fact in time is wholly
or partly attributable to him. 
7. No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already
been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each
country.
64
For the complex ways in which these two modes of ‘direct effect of international law” in
Philippine practice takes place, see Romel Regalado Bagares, “Philippine Chapter,” in Oxford
Handbook of International Law in Asia and the Pacific (2019) 406-432.
65
PHIL. CONST., art. VIII, § 1.
66
Biraogo v. PTC, G.R. No. 192935, Dec. 7, 2010.

80
identified as a terrorist, one who finances terrorism, or a
terrorist organization or group;

b. Adopt the request for designations by other


jurisdictions or supranational jurisdictions after
determination that the proposed designee meets the
criteria for designation of UNSCR No. 1373;

c. Designate an individual, group of persons,


organization, or association, whether domestic or foreign,
upon a finding of probable cause that the individual,
groups of persons, organization, or association commit, or
attempt to commit, or conspire in the commission of the
acts defined and penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, and 12 of this Act

d. Freeze, with authority from the Anti-Money


Laundering Council, the assets of the designated
individual, group of persons, organization or association
abovementioned.

217) Under an intimately related provision, Section 29 likewise


empowers the ATC to authorize warrantless arrests for a maximum
period of 24 days.

218) Based on the factors characterizing what judicial or


quasi-judicial functions are, the ATC is actually given these
functions because ATC can directly settle and affect rights of those
suspected as terrorists.

219) While Section 45 says that ATC has neither judicial or


quasi-judicial functions, the powers bestowed upon it belie this.

220) It must be emphasized that with the ATC lies the fate of
one suspected of being a terrorist – his/her rights to life, liberty, and
property.

221) There are real legal consequences, by just being merely


‘designated’ as terrorists. These legal implications are overreaching
because they comprise of the following: freezing of assets (Section
25, Section 36), and; detention without judicial warrant (Section 29).

222) Thus, the ATC cannot hide behind the cloak or disguise
given to it by Congress, or by claiming that it is “not a judicial or
quasi-judicial” agency.

81
223) Despite such proviso, the ATC clearly performs judicial or
quasi-judicial functions. Clearly, the ATC encroaches upon judicial
functions by being unconstitutionally vested with such powers.
224) However, what’s worse than this is the ATC’s ability to
exercise such functions without affording affected parties due
process.

225) It is a fundamental constitutional canon under Article III,


Section 1 of the Constitution, that:

SECTION 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty,


or property without due process of law, nor shall any
person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

226) Due process is a guarantee against the exercise of arbitrary


power.67 It may be substantive due process, where the State must
justify two things: (1) the interests of the public generally, as
distinguished from those of a particular class, require such
interference; and (2) that the means are reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon
individuals.68

227) On the substantive aspect, not only is the word “designate”


in itself vague. But Congress, through this section would want this
Honorable Court to believe that this is fair and not arbitrary: that
persons merely suspected as terrorists and being simply designated
as such by a sole body – disguising as a non-judicial body – will be
made to suffer all the real legal implications of being a terrorist,
including freezing of assets and / or warrantless detention.

228) While the general public interest involved would be to


“protect life, liberty, and property from terrorism,” the means of
achieving this end is unduly oppressive, for this law and its means
are the very same vehicle for the evil it pretends to curtail: the
deprivation of life, liberty, and property. This Anti-Terrorism Act
is an act of terror in itself.

229) Due process may also be procedural fairness. It may be


judicial or non-judicial, as in administrative bodies.

230) Due process in judicial proceedings is satisfied if the


following conditions are met:

67
BERNAS, 118.
68
US v. Toribio, 15 Phil. 85 (1910); Lawton v. Steel, 152 US 133 (1894).

82
(a) There must be a court or tribunal clothed with
judicial power to hear and determine the matter before it;
(b) Jurisdiction must be lawfully acquired over
the person of the defendant or over the property which is
the subject of the proceedings;
(c) The defendant must be given an opportunity
to be heard; and
(d) Judgment must be rendered upon lawful
hearing. 69

231) In administrative proceedings, however, the following are


the “cardinal primary requirements” under the seminal case of Ang
Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations:

(a) The right to a hearing, which includes the right to


present one’s case and submit evidence in support thereof;
(b) The tribunal must consider the evidence presented;
(c) The decision must have something to support itself;
(d) The evidence must be substantial;
(e) The decision must be based on the evidence
presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record
and disclosed to the parties affected;
(f) The tribunal or the body or any of its judges must
act on its own independent consideration of the law and
facts of the controversy;
(g) The Board or the body should, in all controversial
questions, render its decision in such manner that the
parties to the proceeding can know the various issues
involved, and the reason for the decision rendered.

232) In any case, the essence of procedural due process is the


need for notice and opportunity to be heard.

233) Under the law in question, none of these is attendant or


available for anyone suspected and designated under Section 25 of
the ATA.

234) No standard is provided or criteria properly supplied as to


how one person or group can be “designated.” And once someone is
designated, there is no way of knowing, of contesting this
designation. No notice is given to the suspected person/s, and the
opportunity to be heard is not available.

235) Since the ATC can automatically adopt the U.N. Security
Council’s list. The ATC can also designate by itself, request for

69
Banco Espano v. Palanca, 37 Phil 921 (1918).

83
designations by other jurisdictions, freeze assets with AMLC, and
authorize warrantless detentions, without clear and sufficient
standards. All these collectively constitute an affront to constitutional
rights, because due process is clearly subverted and blatantly
disregarded.

236) And again, the ATC can simply escape further judicial
review or scrutiny by invoking the proviso under Section 45, which
states that ATC has neither judicial or quasi-judicial functions.

237) Given the foregoing, this law, through the ATC, is the
epitome of arbitrariness. For encroaching upon judicial functions
and for violating due process, Section 25 of the ATA is
unconstitutional.

SECTION 36 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR


VIOLATING ONE’S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS.

238) Under Section 36 of the ATA, there is no fair and


reasonable opportunity to explain one’s side nor is there an
opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling
complained of.

239) An ex parte order to freeze any property or funds is


issued even without a determination of probable cause. The Anti-
Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is delegated to a mere rubber-
stamp agency if the Anti-Terror Council (ATC) requests it to freeze
one’s assets.

240) Unlike that of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 as


amended70 where a freeze order can only be mandated by the Court
of Appeals, Section 36 of the ATA gives the ATC unbridled discretion
in obtaining a freeze on the assets of a mere suspect.

241) A person suspected and designated under Section 25 is not


given any notice that his/her assets will be frozen nor he/she is
given a notice to explain why the freeze order should be lifted.

70
Republic Act No. 9160 as amended by RA 9194.

84
242) Even in the context of anti-money laundering, only the
Court of Appeals is authorized to issue a freeze order 71 recognizing
the gravity of this punishment.

243) The ATA gives the same power to the AMLC as conduit of
ATC without any safeguards or respect to procedural due process.
244) Thus, Section 36 of the ATA is unconstitutional for
violating the constitutional right to due process.

B. SECTIONS 45 AND 46

245) Sections 45 and 46 of the ATA violate the due process


clause for giving the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) the authority to
“identify, integrate, and synchronize” all non-government initiatives
and resources and to require NGOs, private entities and
individuals to render assistance to the ATC in the performance of
its mandate.

246) The authority given to the ATC in Sections 45 and 46 over


the initiatives and resources of NGOs is confiscatory in nature and a
violation of substantive due process by depriving these NGOs of
their liberty and property, without due process of law. This authority
of the ATC effectively deprives these NGOs the liberty to allocate
their meager resources. Moreover, this authority of the ATC deprives
these NGOs of the limited resources that they have in the first place.

VI. RIGHT AGAINST


UNREASONABLE SEARCHES &
SEIZURES

A. SECTION 29—DETENTION WITHOUT JUDICIAL


WARRANT OF ARREST

247) Section 29 of the ATA is unconstitutional for violating the


right against unreasonable searches and seizures in Article III,
Section 2 of the Constitution because it allows prolonged detention
based on mere suspicion. Section 29 of the ATA provides, as follows:

71
Id.

85
Sec. 29. Detention Without Judicial Warrant of
Arrest. – The provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal
Code to the contrary notwithstanding, any law enforcement
agent or military personnel, who, having been duly
authorized in writing by the ATC has taken custody of a
person suspected of committing any of the acts defined an
penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of this
Act, shall, without incurring any criminal liability for delay
in the delivery of detained persons to the proper judicial
authority within a period of fourteen (14) calendar days
counted from the moment the said suspected person has
been apprehended or arrested, detained, and taken into
custody by the law enforcement agent or military personnel.
The period of detention may be extended to a maximum
period of ten (10) calendar days if it is established that (1)
further detention of the person/s is necessary to preserve
evidence related to terrorism or complete the investigation;
(2) further detention of the person/s is necessary to prevent
the commission of another terrorism; and (3) the
investigation is being conducted properly and without
delay.

Immediately after taking custody of a person


suspected of committing terrorism or any member of a
group of persons, organization or association proscribed
under Section 26 hereof, the law enforcement agent or
military personnel shall notify in writing the judge of the
court nearest the place of apprehension or arrest of the
following facts: (a) the time, date, and manner of arrest; (b)
the location or locations of the detained suspects, and (c) the
physical and mental condition of the detained suspect/s.
The law enforcement agent or military personnel shall
likewise furnish the ATC and the Commission on Human
Rights (CHR) of the written notice given to the judge.

The head of the detaining facility shall ensure that the


detained suspect is informed of his/her rights as a detainee
and shall ensure access to the detainee by his/her counsel or
agencies and entities authorized by law to exercise visitorial
powers over detention facilities.

The penalty of imprisonment of ten (10) years shall be


imposed upon the police or law enforcement agent or
military personnel who fails to notify any judge as provided
in the preceding paragraph.

86
248) In this connection, Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution
provides, as follows:

SECTION 2. The right of the people to be


secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall be inviolable, and no search
warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except
upon probable cause to be determined
personally by the judge after examination
under oath or affirmation of the complainant
and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be
searched and the persons or things to be
seized.

249) Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution expressly requires a


warrant for an arrest or a search. And a warrant must be issued by a
judge based on probable cause.

250) Thus, an arrest or a search cannot be made without a


warrant issued by a judge that is based on probable cause.

251) In concluding his discussion on the odious Arrest, Search,


and Seizure Order (ASSOs) and Presidential Commitment Orders
(PCOs) which allowed for preventive detention during the Marcos
Dictatorship, 1987 Constitutional Commission Member Fr. Joaquin
Bernas, S.J. stated as follows:

[T]he rule consecrated by the Constitution for the validity


of arrests, whether the arrests be with warrant or without
warrant or whether the warrant be issued by a judge or by
any other responsible authorized by law, is that the arrest
must be based on the existence of “probable cause.” This
is the bottom line. To require less and to say that the
ultimate test for the validity of a detention is not
probable cause but the good faith or bad faith of the
executive is to trivialize dignity. 72

252) Even in the exceptional cases where a warrantless arrest


can be lawfully made, certain standards and overt acts must be

72
JOAQUIN G. BERNAS, S.J., 1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES: A
COMMENTARY 217 (2009 ed.). Emphasis supplied.

87
present so as to make the arrest valid. These exceptional
circumstances are as follows:

A peace officer or private person may, without a warrant,


arrest a person:

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has


committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has


probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge
of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested
has committed it; and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has


escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is
serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his
case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred
from one confinement to another.73

253) In this connection, Section 29 of the ATA provides, as


follows:

Sec. 29. Detention Without Judicial Warrant of Arrest.


– The provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code to
the contrary notwithstanding, any law enforcement agent or
military personnel, who, having been duly authorized in
writing by the ATC has taken custody of a person suspected
of committing any of the acts defined an penalized under
Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of this Act, shall, without
incurring any criminal liability for delay in the delivery of
detained persons to the proper judicial authority within a
period of fourteen (14) calendar days counted from the
moment the said suspected person has been apprehended or
arrested, detained, and taken into custody by the law
enforcement agent or military personnel. The period of
detention may be extended to a maximum period of ten (10)
calendar days if it is established that (1) further detention of
the person/s is necessary to preserve evidence related to
terrorism or complete the investigation; (2) further detention
of the person/s is necessary to prevent the commission of
another terrorism; and (3) the investigation is being
conducted properly and without delay…

73
RULES ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, rule 113, § 5. Emphasis supplied.

88
254) By its provisions, Section 29 of the ATA expressly
authorizes arrests without warrants. The said section of the law does
not even direct law enforcers or military personnel to charge the
person under detention or to apply subsequently for a warrant to
justify a suspect’s arrest.

255) Not only are these warrantless arrests not among the
established circumstances that validly constitute warrantless arrest,
they also fail to meet the minimum standard of “probable cause”
under the Constitution. Under this provision, one can be detained
for a maximum of 24 days without a warrant and on mere suspicion
by the ATC alone.

256) “Probable cause” for an arrest or for the issuance of a


warrant of arrest would mean “such facts and circumstances which
would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an
offense has been committed by the person sought to be arrested.”74

257) In ordinary parlance, “suspicion” refers to “the act or an


instance of suspecting something wrong without proof or on slight
evidence.”75 To “suspect,” is to “to imagine (one) to be guilty or
culpable on slight evidence or without proof.”76

258) “Mere suspicion” or a “hunch” is not even sufficient to


justify a “stop-and-frisk” search.77

259) Clearly, by legitimizing warrantless arrests based on


suspicion, the law tramples upon the minimum standard of
probable cause under the Constitution.

260) A warrantless arrest cannot be based on mere suspicion.

261) If anyone can be arrested based on mere suspicion under


the ATA, then the express and inviolable right to be secure in one’s
personal being under the Constitution is clearly violated. The
guaranty to this right becomes nothing but a hollow promise.

74
Macad v. People, G.R. No. 227366, Aug. 1, 2018.
75
Merriam-Webster, “suspicion,” available at https://www.merriam-
webster.com/dictionary/suspicion (last accessed 16 July 2020).
76
Merriam-Webster, “suspect,” available https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspect
(last accessed 16 July 2020).
77
People v. Bronola, G.R. No. 213225, Apr. 4, 2018, citing Terry v. Ohio.

89
B. SECTION 16—SURVEILLANCE OF SUSPECTS AND
INTERCEPTION AND RECORDING OF COMMUNICATIONS

SECTION 16 (IN RELATION TO SECTION 17) OF “THE ANTI-


TERRORISM ACT OF 2020” IS REPUGNANT TO THE
CONSTITUTION FOR VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHT AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCHES.

262) Section 16 of the ATA violates the constitutional right


against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to privacy, and
the rights of the accused, enshrined in Article III, Sections 2, 3, and 12
of the Constitution, by allowing authorities to conduct “surveillance”
with unbridled discretion, amounting to an unreasonable search
without a warrant, and based merely on bare suspicion and a written
order issued via an ex-parte application.

263) Section 16 of the ATA, which provides how authorities


may conduct surveillance, states as follows:

Sec. 16. Surveillance of Suspects and Interception and


Recording of Communications. – The provisions of Republic
Act No. 4200, otherwise known as the “Anti-Wire Tapping
Law” or the contrary notwithstanding, a law enforcement
agent or military personnel may, upon a written order of the
Court of Appeals secretly wiretap, overhear and listen to,
intercept, screen, read, surveil, record or collect, with the use
of any mode, form, kind or type of electronic, mechanical or
other equipment or device or technology now known or may
hereafter be known to science or with the use of any other
suitable ways and means for the above purposes, any private
communications, conversation, discussion/s, data,
information, messages in whatever form, kind or nature,
spoken or written words (a) between members of a judicially
declared and outlawed terrorist organization, as provided in
Section 26 of this Act; (b) between members of a designated
person as defined in Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 10168; or
(c) any person charged with or suspected of committing any
of the crimes defined and penalized under the provisions of
this Act: Provided, That, surveillance, interception and
recording of communications between lawyers and clients,
doctors and patients, journalists and their sources and
confidential business correspondence shall not be authorized.

The law enforcement agent or military personnel shall

90
likewise be obligated to (1) file an ex-parte application with the
Court of Appeals for the issuance of an order, to compel
telecommunications service providers (TSP) and internet
service providers (ISP) to produce all customer information
and identification records as well as call and text data records,
content and other cellular or internet metadata of any person
suspected of any of the crimes defined and penalized under
the provisions of this Act; and (2) furnish the National
Telecommunications Commission (NTC) a copy of said
application. The NTC shall likewise be notified upon the
issuance of the order for the purpose of ensuring immediate
compliance.

264) A written order of surveillance is authorized through the


process defined in Section 17, which provides, as follows:

Sec. 17. Judicial Authorization, Requisites. – The


authorizing division of the Court of Appeals shall issue a
written order to conduct the acts mentioned in Section 18 of
this Act upon:

(a) Filing of an ex parte written application by a law


enforcement agent or military personnel, who has been
duly authorized in writing by the Anti-Terrorism
Council (ATC); and

(b) After examination under oath or affirmation of the


applicant and the witnesses he/she may produce, the
issuing court determines:

(1) that there is probable cause to believe based on


personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the
crimes defined and penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
10, 11 and 12 of this Act has been committed, or is being
committed, or is about to be committed; and

(2 )that there is probable cause to believe based on


personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that evidence,
which is essential to the conviction of any charged or
suspected person for, or to the solution or prevention of,
any such crimes, will be obtained.

91
265) An ordinary reading of the foregoing provisions
immediately reveals glaring violations of the Constitution’s Bill of
Rights, as discussed below.

i. AT THE OUTSET, SECTION 16 OF THE ATA


VIOLATES ARTICLE III, SECTION 2 OF THE
CONSTITUTION, AS SURVEILLANCE
THEREIN CONSTITUTES AN UNREASONABLE
SEARCH, CIRCUMVENTING THE
REQUIREMENT OF A VALID SEARCH
WARRANT.

266) Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution protects the privacy


of individuals against arbitrary intrusions by State agents. It states, as
follows:

Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their


persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or
warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause
to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant
and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly
describing the place to be searched and the persons or
things to be seized.

267) The acts of surveillance outlined in Section 16 of the ATA


constitute a search contemplated by Article III, Section 2 of the
Constitution. They are arbitrary because of the unbridled discretion
given to the officers carrying them out, both in terms of mode (i.e.,
to surveil, record, and collect, among others) and target (i.e., “any
private communications, conversation, discussion/s, data, information,
messages in whatever form, kind or nature, spoken or written words”).

268) In accordance with the basic reasonableness standard


defined in Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board,78 the
arbitrariness of the conditions set out in Section 16 is evident in the
choice of terms used therein such as “any” and “in whatever form.”
This is reinforced by its scope (i.e., “any private communications,
conversation, discussion/s, data, information, messages in whatever form,
kind or nature, spoken or written words”), which is broad enough to
78
G.R. No. 157870, November 3, 2008.

92
cover not only the interception and recording of conversations or
communications, but also of data, information, or messages, in
whatever form, kind, or nature. It then presumes to cover all kinds of
papers, documents, or effects that normally would require a search
warrant issued by a judge in accordance with Article III, Section 2 of
the Constitution.

269) In allowing state agents to perform acts that normally need


the additional layer of protection afforded by a valid search warrant,
the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and
seizures is rendered nugatory. Specifically, the particularity of
description requirement laid down by the Supreme Court in
Stonehill v. Diokno79 is violated, as evidenced by the following
excerpts from the decision in said case:

The grave violation of the Constitution made in the


application for the contested search warrants was
compounded by the description therein made of the effects
to be searched for and seized, to wit:

Books of accounts, financial records, vouchers,


journals, correspondence, receipts, ledgers,
portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other
documents and/or papers showing all business
transactions including disbursement receipts,
balance sheets and related profit and loss
statements.

Thus, the warrants authorized the search for and seizure of


records pertaining to all business transactions of petitioners
herein, regardless of whether the transactions were legal or
illegal. The warrants sanctioned the seizure of all records of
the petitioners and the aforementioned corporations,
whatever their nature, thus openly contravening the
explicit command of our Bill of Rights — that the things to
be seized be particularly described — as well as tending to
defeat its major objective: the elimination of general
warrants.80

270) In Burgos v. Chief of Staff, AFP,81 the following “sweeping


tenor of a description” in a prohibited general warrant was also
struck down:

79
G.R. No. L-19550, June 19, 1967.
80
Id.
81
133 SCRA 800, Dec. 26, 1984.

93
Another factor which makes the search warrants under
consideration constitutionally objectionable is that they are
in the nature of general warrants. The search warrants
describe the articles sought to be seized in this wise:

1] All printing equipment, paraphernalia, paper, ink,


photo (equipment, typewriters, cabinets, tables,
communications/recording equipment, tape recorders,
ictaphone and the like used and/or connected in the
printing of the “WE FORUM” newspaper and any and all
documents communication, letters and facsimile of prints
related to the “WE FORUM” newspaper.

2] Subversive documents, pamphlets, leaflets, books, and


other publication to promote the objectives and purposes
of the subversive organization known as Movement for
Free Philippines, Light-a-Fire Movement and April 6
Movement,

In Stanford v. State of Texas, the search warrant which
authorized the search for “books, records, pamphlets,
cards, receipts, lists, memoranda, pictures, recordings and
other written instruments concerning the Communist
Party in Texas,” was declared void by the U.S. Supreme
Court for being too general. In like manner, directions to
“seize any evidence in connection with the violation of SDC
13-3703 or otherwise” have been held too general, and
that portion of a search warrant which authorized the seizure of
any “paraphernalia which could be used to violate Sec. 54-197
of the Connecticut General Statutes [the statute dealing with
the crime of conspiracy]” was held to be a general warrant, and
therefore invalid. The description of the articles sought to
be seized under the search warrants in question cannot be
characterized differently.82 (Footnotes omitted, emphasis
supplied)

271) What constitutes particularity is a description as specific


as the circumstances will ordinarily allow and which may guide the
warrant officer in making the search and seizure.83 The particularity
of description requirement prevents abuse by officers enforcing a
warrant, which leaves him with no discretion as to who or what to
seize. Such protection is absent here, as the wording of Section 16, as
discussed, is too general as to allow virtually not only any kind of
surveillance, but also any unreasonable search.

82
Id.
83
Bache & Co. v. Ruiz, 37 SCRA 823, 825 (1971).

94
272) It is also worth noting that the discretion granted by
Section 16 of the ATA to state agents limits the power of the Court
of Appeals to delineate the scope and subject matter of the
surveillance, since Section 16 already provides for an unlimited
scope by law (i.e., “any private communications, conversation,
discussion/s, data, information, messages in whatever form, kind or nature,
spoken or written words”). This is contrary to the present powers of the
courts to define the contents, scope, and subject matter of a warrant,
including search warrants, arrest warrants, or cybercrime warrants.

273) Finally, it must be emphasized that no presumption of


regularity attaches to search cases. The Constitution presumes all
searches and seizures are unreasonable by default, and only when a
validly issued search warrant is presented is such presumption
overcome. As provided in Sony Music v. Judge Espanol,84 to wit:

To prevent stealthy encroachment upon, or gradual


depreciation of the right to privacy, a liberal construction
in search and seizure cases is given in favor of the
individual. Consistent with this postulate, the presumption
of regularity is unavailing in aid of the search process
when an officer undertakes to justify it. For, the
presumption juris tantum of regularity cannot, by itself,
prevail against the constitutionally protected rights of an
individual because zeal in the pursuit of criminals
cannot ennoble the use of arbitrary methods that the
Constitution itself detests.85 (Footnotes omitted, emphasis
supplied)

ii. SECTION 16 ILLEGALLY COMPELS


TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE PROVIDERS
(TSPS) AND INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS
(ISPS) TO DISCLOSE COMPUTER DATA,
BLATANTLY IGNORING THE RULING OF THIS
COURT IN DISINI V. SEC. OF JUSTICE.

84
G.R. No. 156804, March 14, 2005.
85
Id.

95
274) In Disini v. Secretary of Justice,86 the Honorable Court in
no uncertain terms declared as void and unconstitutional Section 12
of the Anti-Cybercrime Law, which then provided as follows:

Sec. 12. Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data. — Law


enforcement authorities, with due cause, shall be authorized to
collect or record by technical or electronic means traffic data in
real-time associated with specified communications transmitted
by means of a computer system.

Traffic data refer only to the communication’s origin,


destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of
underlying service, but not content, nor identities.

All other data to be collected or seized or disclosed will require a


court warrant.

Service providers are required to cooperate and assist


law enforcement authorities in the collection or recording
of the above-stated information. (Emphasis ours)

275) The Honorable Court in Disini struck down the above


Section 12 because of the nature of data collected – traffic data – when
taken in bulk, may be used to “reveal patterns of activities which can
then be used to create profiles of the persons under surveillance.”
Even considering the laudable goal of preventing cybercrimes, the
Court ruled in favor of privacy rights, because it saw the exercise of
restraint by officers, even if seemingly tempered in Section 12,
nothing “but an illusion.” The High Court said, as follows:

The authority that Section 12 gives law enforcement


agencies is too sweeping and lacks restraint. While it says
that traffic data collection should not disclose identities or
content data, such restraint is but an illusion. Admittedly,
nothing can prevent law enforcement agencies holding
these data in their hands from looking into the identity of
their sender or receiver and what the data contains. This
will unnecessarily expose the citizenry to leaked
information or, worse, to extortion from certain bad
elements in these agencies.

Section 12, of course, limits the collection of traffic data to


those ‘associated with specified communications.’ But this
supposed limitation is no limitation at all since, evidently,

86
G.R. No. 203335, Feb. 11, 2014.

96
it is the law enforcement agencies that would specify the
target communications. The power is virtually limitless,
enabling law enforcement authorities to engage in ‘fishing
expedition,’ choosing whatever specified communication
they want. This evidently threatens the right of individuals
to privacy.

276) In Section 16 of the ATA, there is no effort to render even


an illusory restraint, as the authority given to officers is sweeping at
the outset. The provisions of Section 16 are quoted below:

The law enforcement agent or military personnel shall


likewise be obligated to (1) file an ex-parte application with
the Court of Appeals for the issuance of an order, to
compel telecommunications service providers (TSP) and
internet service providers (ISP) to produce all customer
information and identification records as well as call and
text data records, content and other cellular or internet
metadata of any person suspected of any of the crimes
defined and penalized under the provisions of this Act;
and (2) furnish the National Telecommunications
Commission (NTC) a copy of said application. The NTC
shall likewise be notified upon the issuance of the order for
the purpose of ensuring immediate compliance. (Emphasis
supplied)

277) Section 16 of the ATA does not even put up a pretense of


respecting privacy rights. It directly provides, as with other
provisions of Section 16, for an all-encompassing authority for
service providers to turn over all customer information and
identification records, call and text data records, including
metadata, without providing for narrow limitations or adequate
safeguards as required in Ople v. Torres, or without even
considering this High Court’s reasoning in Disini. In the above
provision, the harm sought by Section 12 is resurrected, as the scope
of data that service providers are compelled to produce is virtually
also limitless, justifying intrusion even in those matters unrelated to
terrorism.

278) In addition, as discussed above, this Honorable Court


should also note that the unlimited scope of the data above takes
away from the would-be judge of the Court of Appeals the power to
define for himself or herself what kind of data is appropriate for
production. Verily, as with search warrants, arrest warrants, or
cybercrime warrants, the definition of the subject matter and scope of

97
such orders should be left to the determination of the courts, and not
predetermined via an all-encompassing provision of the law.

VII. RIGHT TO PRIVACY

279) The ATA is repugnant to the Constitution for violating the


fundamental right to privacy.

SECTION 16—SURVEILLANCE OF SUSPECTS AND


INTERCEPTION AND RECORDING OF COMMUNICATIONS

SECTION 17—JUDICIAL AUTHORIZATION, REQUISITES

UNDER A STRICT SCRUTINY STANDARD, SECTIONS 16


AND 17 VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO
PRIVACY BY BEING OVERBROAD AND FAILING TO
PROVIDE ADEQUATE SAFEGUARDS.

280) Sections 16 and 17 of the ATA violate the constitutional


right to privacy enshrined in Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution,
by allowing authorities to conduct “surveillance” with unbridled
discretion, amounting to an unreasonable search without a warrant,
and based merely on bare suspicion and a written order issued via
an ex-parte application.

281) The right to privacy has come into its own in the Philippine
Constitution.87 Intrusions into this right have been held by this Court
to be unconstitutional, unless it is (a) narrowly focused; (b) justified
by a compelling state interest; and (c) accompanied by proper
safeguards and well-defined standards. Invasions of this right, as in
Section 16 of the ATA, are subject to strict scrutiny by the Courts.

282) These standards are summarized in the seminal case of


Ople v. Torres,88 which find application in this case, given the
capabilities of the surveillance technologies allowed by Section 16.

283) In Ople, the Honorable Court comprehensively discussed


and noted, among others, the dangers of a national ID system
87
Morfe v. Mutuc,  G.R. No. L-20387, Jan. 31, 1968.
88
G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998.

98
technology that would assign a Population Reference Number (PRN)
through the use of “biometrics technology” and “computer
application designs.” Even then, the Supreme Court ruled cautiously
and struck down the measure because it “was so widely drawn that
a minimum standard for a reasonable expectation of privacy,
regardless of technology used, cannot be inferred from its
provisions.”89

284) Similarly, Section 16 of the ATA authorizes acts of


surveillance committed by the following means: “with the use of any
mode, form, kind or type of electronic, mechanical or other equipment or
device or technology now known or may hereafter be known to science or
with the use of any other suitable ways and means for the above purposes.”
This provision, akin to the provisions cited above, are likewise
arbitrary, all-encompassing and permit officers to employ any and
all kinds of methods, including methods yet to be discovered in the
future—notwithstanding their possible consequences—to intrude
into the privacy and sanctity of persons, in violation of the
Constitution.

285) In Ople v. Torres, this Supreme Court already found


offensive to the Constitution a wording that mentioned at least a
general class of technology (“biometrics technology” and “computer
application designs”) in relation to a measure that would intrude into
the privacy of persons and authorize collection of data for purposes
other than as provided in the proposed national ID measure.

286) What more, then, a wording that allows “surveillance” by


“any mode, form, kind or type of electronic, mechanical or other equipment
or device or technology,” that not only contemplates present
technology, but even future unknown technology (“now known or
may hereafter be known to science”), used for “any other suitable ways and
means for the above purposes”?

287) By this argument alone, the repugnance of Section 16 of the


ATA to Constitutional protections is obvious, and should be
immediately struck down by this Court. The scope, subject matter,
and manner of “surveillance” in Section 16 are all clearly too
sweeping and without restraint, not to mention that the
requirement of “adequate safeguards” is also absent.

288) Also lacking adequate safeguards is Section 17 of the


ATA.

89
Ople v. Torres, G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998.

99
289) A critical factor in determining whether a policy
authorizing government intrusion into the individual right to privacy
is narrowly drawn—and is therefore a permissible limitation on such
right—is the extent it adopts the principle of proportionality in its
provisions. This means it only introduces measures that are
appropriate to achieve its purpose, are the least intrusive among all
available options, and are proportionate to the interest sought to be
protected.

290) Other Philippine laws that sanction the interception and


recording of communications have consistently adopted the
proportionality principle by explicitly requiring applicants to prove
that no other means for collecting information are available before
a court order authorizing communication surveillance is issued.

291) For instance, under Section 3 of the Ant-Wiretapping Law


(R.A. 4200), a written order authorizing wiretapping shall only be
issued or granted if there is a showing that: “(1) that there are
reasonable grounds to believe that any of the crimes enumerated
hereinabove has been committed or is being committed or is about to
be committed… (2) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that
evidence will be obtained essential to the conviction of any person
for, or to the solution of, or to the prevention of, any of such crimes;
and (3) that there are no other means readily available for obtaining
such evidence.” (Underscoring supplied)

292) Similarly, under Section 8 of the Human Security Act of


2007 (R.A. 9372)—the precursor to the ATA—a formal application for
judicial authorization must also be able to establish: “(a) that there is
probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances that the said crime of terrorism or conspiracy to
commit terrorism has been committed, or is being committed, or is
about to be committed; (b) that there is probable cause to believe
based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that evidence,
which is essential to the conviction of any charged or suspected
person for, or to the solution or prevention of, any such crimes, will
be obtained; and, (c) that there is no other effective means readily
available for acquiring such evidence.” (Underscoring supplied)

293) This critical safeguard has been omitted from the requisites
of a judicial authorization to conduct surveillance under the
ATA.

294) The omission also runs counter to Article 17 of the


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which

100
lays down the right to privacy of every individual. Article 17
provides, as follows:

Article 17
1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful
interference with his privacy, family, home or
correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour
and reputation.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law
against such interference or attacks. (Underscoring
supplied)

295) The framework for this provision enables necessary,


legitimate, and proportionate restrictions on the right to privacy by
means of permissible limitations. According to the UN Special
Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom
of opinion and expression, the test for such limitations should be the
same as that observed for the right of freedom of movement.90 Thus:

1. Any restrictions must be provided by the law


2. The essence of a human right is not subject to
restrictions
3. Restrictions must be necessary in a democratic society
4. Any discretion exercised when implementing the
restrictions must not be unfettered
5. For a restriction to be permissible, it is not enough that
it serves one of the enumerated aims. It must be
necessary for reaching the legitimate aim.
6. Restrictive measures must conform to the principle of
proportionality, they must be appropriate to achieve their
protective function, they must be the least intrusive
instrument amongst those which might achieve the
desired result, and they must be proportionate to the
interest to be protected91 (Underscoring supplied)

296) Likewise, the omission is inconsistent with Article 15 of the


Budapest Convention on Cybercrime92 which provides for conditions
and safeguards against abuses that may be committed by
government in the exercise of its powers in the investigation of
cybercrimes:

Each Party shall ensure that the establishment,


implementation and application of the powers and
procedures provided for in this Section are subject to
90
UN Human Rights Council, ‘Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection
of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue’ (17 April 2013) A/HRC/23/40
91
Id.
92
Council of Europe, Convention on Cybercrime, 23 November 2001.

101
conditions and safeguards provided for under its domestic
law, which shall provide for the adequate protection of
human rights and liberties, including rights arising
pursuant to obligations it has undertaken under the 1950
Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the 1966
United Nations International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, and other applicable international human
rights instruments, and which shall incorporate the
principle of proportionality. (Underscoring supplied)

297) The rules and standards laid down in the ICCPR and the
Budapest Convention are valid and effective because they were
transformed by the concurrence to both instruments by the
Philippine Senate as required by Article VII Section 21 of the
Constitution.

298) Furthermore, for the Honorable Court to give its stamp of


validity to the questioned provisions of the ATA will go against this
very Court’s recognition of the helplessness of an individual when
faced with the government’s power of surveillance “in ways that
have previously been impractical or even impossible,” as it stated in
Disini v. Secretary of Justice.93

299) There in Disini, and as now, “[t]he Court must ensure that
laws seeking to take advantage of these technologies be written with
specificity and definiteness in order to ensure respect for the rights
that the Constitution guarantees.”94 Such “specificity and
definiteness” are glaringly non-existent here.

VIII. RIGHT TO BAIL

300) Article III, Section 13 of the Constitution guarantees a


person’s right to bail:

Section 13. All persons, except those charged with


offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when
evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction,
be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on
recognizance as may be provided by law. The right
to bail shall not be impaired even when the

93
G.R. No. 203335, February 11, 2014.
94
Id.

102
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended.
Excessive bail shall not be required.95

301) The right to bail is based on the cardinal rule of one’s


presumption of innocence.96 The Honorable Court in the case of
People v. Escobar97 stated that the right to bail is cognate to the
fundamental right to be presumed innocent.
302) The rule that every person is presumed innocent until
proven guilty is a basic and fundamental principle of any civilized
society.

SECTION 29—DETENTION WITHOUT JUDICIAL WARRANT OF


ARREST

303) Section 29 of the ATA is unconstitutional for violating the


right to bail in Article III, Section 13 of the Constitution for effectively
impairing this right during the maximum 24-day detention period of
a mere suspect.

304) Article III, Section 13 of the Constitution expressly requires


that the right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus is suspended, as reflected in its provisions
as follows:

SECTION 13. All persons, except those charged with


offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence
of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by
sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may
be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be
impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.98
(emphasis supplied)

305) However, given that under Section 29 of the ATA law


enforcement agents or military personnel have the authority to detain
a mere suspect for a total of twenty-four (24) days, without bringing
such person to judicial authorities, the suspect’s right to bail is utterly
rendered nugatory.

95
PHIL. CONST., art. III, § 13
96
Paderanga v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 115407, August 28, 1995.
97
G.R. No. 214300, 26 July 2017.
98
PHIL. CONST., art. III, § 13.

103
306) The Honorable Court held in Nava v. Hon. Gatmaitan99
that the right to bail and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus are
separate and co-equal. The reasoning of the High Court is quoted
below, thus:

…The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the right


to bail guaranteed under the Bill of Rights are separate
and co-equal. If the intention of the framers of the
Constitution was that the suspension of the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus carries or implies the suspension of the
right to bail, they would have very easily provided that all
persons shall before conviction be bailable by sufficient
sureties, except those charged with capital offenses when
evidence of guilt is strong and except when the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. As stated in the case
of Ex parte Miligan, 4 Wall. 2, 18 Law Ed. 297, the
Constitution limited the suspension to only one great right,
leaving the rest to remain forever inviolable.

It is essential to the safety of every government that, in


a great crisis, like the one we have just passed through,
there should be a power somewhere of suspending the
writ of habeas corpus. In every war, there are men of
previously good character, wicked enough to counsel
their fellow citizens to resist the measures deemed
necessary by a good government to sustain its just
authority and overthrow its enemies; and their
influence may lead to dangerous combinations. In the
emergency of the times, an immediate public
investigation according to law may not be possible;
and yet, the peril to the country may be too imminent
to suffer such persons to go at large. Unquestionably,
there is then an exigency which demands that the
government, if it should see fit, in the exercise of a
proper discretion, to make arrests, should not be
required to produce the person arrested in answer to a
writ of habeas corpus. The constitution goes no further.
It does not say after a writ of habeas corpus is denied a
citizen, that he shall be tried otherwise than by the
course of common law. If it had intended this result, it
was easy by the use of direct words to have
accomplished it. The illustrious men who framed that
instrument were guarding the foundations of civil
liberty against the abuses of unlimited power; they
were full of wisdom, and the lessons of history
99
G.R. No. L-4855, Oct. 11, 1951.

104
informed them that a trial by an established court,
assisted by an impartial jury, was the only sure way of
protecting the citizen against oppression and wrong.
Knowing this, they limited the suspension of one great
right, and left the rest to remain forever inviolable.
(emphasis supplied)

307) The effect of Section 29 of the ATA is that, even if the


privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is not suspended, a suspect’s
right to bail is rendered nugatory during his/her 24-day maximum
period of detention. Thus, Section 29 of the ATA is clearly repugnant
to Article III, Section 13 of the Constitution.

SECTION 34—RESTRICTION ON THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL

308) Section 34 of the ATA provides as follows:


In cases where evidence of guilt is not strong, and


the person charged is entitled to bail and is granted the
same, the court, upon application by the prosecutor, shall
limit the right of travel of the accused to within the
municipality or city where he/she resides or where the
case is pending, in the interest of national security and
public safety, consistent with Article III, Section 6 of the
Constitution. The court shall immediately furnish the DOJ
and the Bureau of Immigration with the copy of said
order. Travel outside of said municipality or city, without
the authorization of the court, shall be deemed a violation
of the terms and conditions of his/her bail, which shall be
forfeited as provided under the Rules of Court.

He/she may also be placed under house arrest by


order of the court at his/her usual place of residence.

While under house arrest, he/she may not use


telephones, cellphones, e-mails, computers, the internet, or
other means of communications with people outside the
residence until otherwise ordered by the court.

105
309) It is clear that the right to bail is rendered nugatory by the
above-quoted provisions of the ATA. An accused even when the
evidence of guilt against him/her is not strong is effectively
prevented from being free. He or she can only travel within a single
city or municipality.

310) To make it worse, he/she can be placed under house arrest


notwithstanding his/her constitutional right to bail. He/she is also
prevented in using cellphones, computers, the internet among others.

311) A bail is intended to secure one's provisional liberty. 100


Liberty is defined as freedom from arbitrary or undue external
restraint, especially by a government.101 The ATA unduly restrains an
individual even after his/her right to bail has been established,
effectively negating the purpose of bail.

312) In our law, the concept of house arrest is only present


through Article 88 of the Revised Penal Code 102 as penalty of arresto
menor where the penalty is served in the house of the defendant
under the surveillance of an officer of the law.

313) House arrest will only be applied after a conviction since it


is a penalty by itself. However in the context of the ATA, house arrest
is used even before conviction and even when one’s right to bail has
been established.

314) Section 34 of the ATA effectively restrains one’s right to


liberty even after being granted the right to bail. It restrains the right
to communicate and to travel even without conviction and even by
mere probable cause.

315) A liberty curtailed is no liberty at all. A right rendered


nugatory is no right at all. Thus, Section 34 of the ATA is
unconstitutional for violating one’s right to bail.

IX. RIGHT TO TRAVEL

316) The ATA is unconstitutional for violating the right to


travel.
100
Santiago v. Vasquez, etc., et al., G.R. Nos. 99289-90, January 27, 1993.
101
Black’s Law Dictionary, Eight Ed., p. 2688).
102
REVISED PENAL CODE, art. 88.

106
SECTIONS 34—RESTRICTION ON THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL

317) Section 34 of the ATA is unconstitutional for violating the


right to travel. It provides as follows:
Sec. 34. Restriction on the Right to Travel. – Prior to
the filing of an information for any violation of Sections 4, 5, 6,
7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of this Act, the investigating prosecutor
shall apply for the issuance of a precautionary hold departure
order (PHDO) against the respondent upon a preliminary
determination of probable cause in the proper Regional Trial
Court.

Upon the filing of the information regarding the


commission of any acts defined and penalized under the
provisions of this Act, the prosecutor shall apply with the
court having jurisdiction for the issuance of a hold departure
order (HDO) against the accused. The said application shall
be accompanied by the complaint-affidavit and its
attachments, personal details, passport number, and a
photograph of the accused, if available.

In cases where evidence of guilt is not strong, and the


person charged is entitled to bail and is granted the same, the
court, upon application by the prosecutor, shall limit the right
of travel of the accused to within the municipality or city
where he/she resides or where the case is pending, in the
interest of national security and public safety, consistent with
Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution. The court shall
immediately furnish the DOJ and the Bureau of Immigration
(BI) with the copy of said order. Travel outside of said
municipality or city, without the authorization of the court,
shall be deemed a violation of the terms and conditions of
his/her bail, which shall be forfeited as provided under the
Rules of Court.

He/she may also be placed under house arrest by order


of the court at his/her usual place of residence.

While under house arrest, he/she may not use


telephones, cellphones, e-mails, computers, the internet, or
other means of communications with people outside the
residence until otherwise ordered by the court.

107
If the evidence of guilt is strong the court shall
immediately issue an HDO and direct the DFA to initiate the
procedure for the cancellation of the passport of the accused.

The restrictions above-mentioned shall be terminated


upon the acquittal of the accused or of the dismissal of the
case filed against him/her or earlier upon the discretion of the
court on motion of the prosecutor or of the accused.
318) The right to travel is provided for in Article III, Section 6 of
the Constitution, to wit:

SECTION 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same


within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired
except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the
right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national
security, public safety, or public health, as may be
provided by law.103

319) Section 34 of the ATA impairs the right to travel, since a


person may be placed under house arrest and may not use
telephones, cellphones, emails, computers, the internet, or other
means of communication with people outside of his/her residence
until otherwise ordered by the court.

320) Further, under Section 34 of the ATA, upon mere


application by the prosecutor, it will be mandatory for the court to
limit the person's right to travel within the municipality or city
where he/she resides or where the case is pending, despite the grant
of bail. The judge does not have discretion and he/she is bound to
follow the prosecutor.  

321) This reading is based on Paragraph 3 of Section 34 of the


ATA which uses the phrase "shall limit the right of travel" where the
use of the word "shall" makes it mandatory for the court to limit the
right of travel of the accused, upon the application by the prosecutor
and despite the grant of bail to the accused.

322) Thus, aside from Section 34 of the ATA being


unconstitutional for violating a person’s right to travel, it also takes
away the discretion of the courts to determine whether or not to
limit that right, making it mandatory to limit a person’s exercise of
that right based on the mere application by the prosecutor.

103
PHIL. CONST., art. III, § 6.

108
X. RIGHT AGAINST INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE

323) Section 46(m) of the ATA is unconstitutional for violating


the right against involuntary servitude.

324) It must be remembered that Article III, Section 18 of the


Constitution expressly prohibits involuntary servitude.104 Involuntary
servitude is defined as “every condition of enforced or compulsory
service of one to another no matter under what form such servitude
may be disguised.”105

325) Section 46(m) of the ATA “require[s] other government


agencies, offices and entities and officers and employees and non-
government organizations, private entities and individuals to render
assistance to the ATC in the performance of its mandate.” The use of the
word “require” connotes that at all times without exceptions, all
entities and persons are required to render assistance to the ATC.

326) The law in itself does not even provide safeguards on the
ATC’s powers. Everyone is compelled to extend assistance to the
ATC in any manner at any time the ATC requires them to do so.

XI. THE PRESUMPTION OF CONSTITUTIONALITY


DOES NOT APPLY TO “THE ANTI-TERRORISM
ACT OF 2020” SINCE IT VIOLATES
FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

327) The presumption of constitutionality does not apply to the


ATA since it violates constitutionally-protected fundamental rights,
namely the right to freedom of speech, of expression, and of the
press.

328) The Honorable Court held in Social Weather Station, Inc.


v. COMELEC106 that due to the preferred status of the constitutional
rights of speech, expression, and of the press, a law that imposes a
prior restraint on said rights is vitiated by a weighty presumption of
invalidity. The High Court said, as follows:
104
PHIL. CONST., art. III, § 18
105
JOAQUIN G. BERNAS, S.J., 1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES: A
COMPREHENSIVE REVIEWER 152 (2011 ed.).
106
G.R. No. 147571, May 5, 2001.

109
….Because of the preferred status of the
constitutional rights of speech, expression, and the press,
such a measure is vitiated by a weighty presumption of
invalidity. Indeed, “any system of prior restraints of
expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy
presumption against its constitutional validity. . . . The
Government ‘thus carries a heavy burden of showing
justification for the enforcement of such restraint.’” There
is thus a reversal of the normal presumption of validity
that inheres in every legislation.107 (Emphasis supplied,
internal citations omitted)

329) The Honorable Court has even held in Ople v. Torres108 that
when the integrity of a  fundamental right is at stake, it will give the
challenged law a stricter scrutiny, and that in case of doubt, the Court
will lean towards a stance that will not put in danger the rights
protected by the Constitution. The words of the Court in this regard
are quoted below:

….And we now hold that when the integrity of a 


fundamental right is at stake, this court will give the
challenged law, administrative order, rule or regulation a
stricter scrutiny. .. This approach is demanded by the 1987
Constitution whose entire matrix is designed to protect
human rights and to prevent authoritarianism.  In case of
doubt, the least we can do is to lean towards the stance that
will not put in danger the rights protected by the
Constitution.109 (Emphasis by the Honorable Court, italics
supplied)

330) Also, the Honorable Court has stated as far back as


Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. v. City
Mayor,110 that the standard for the validity of governmental acts is
‘much more rigorous’ if the liberty involved were freedom of the
mind or the person. The Court is quoted below:

….What may be stressed sufficiently is that if the


liberty involved were freedom of the mind or the person,
the standard for the validity of governmental acts is much
more rigorous and exacting, but where the liberty curtailed

107
Id.
108
G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998.
109
G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998.
110
G.R. No. L-24693, July 31, 1967.

110
affects at the most rights of property, the permissible scope
of regulatory measure is wider.111

331) Finally, on the same issue, "[a]ny system of prior restraints


of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption
against its constitutional validity."112  The Government "thus
carries a heavy burden of showing justification for the imposition
of such a restraint."113 

GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION

332) The enactment of the ATA was done with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction as its numerous
provisions are repugnant to the Constitution. It violates the principle
of separation of powers by encroaching upon the powers of the
Judicial Department. It renders nugatory the guarantee of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. It encroaches upon the calling
out power of the Executive Department regarding the military.

I. SEPARATION OF POWERS

A. JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE

333) The inclusion of Section 29 in the ATA is imbued with


grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
as this provision is repugnant to the Constitution for encroaching
upon the judicial department’s power.

334) Section 29 of the ATA allocates to the Anti-Terrorism


Council (ATC) what is essentially a judicial power by authorizing the
ATC to arrest and detain mere suspects even without a judicial
warrant. Section 29 also usurps the Honorable Supreme Court’s rule-
making power.

335) It must be pointed out in this connection that Article III,


Section 2 of the Constitution expressly states, as follows:

111
G.R. No. L-24693, July 31, 1967.
112
Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U. S. 58, 372 U. S. 70 (1963); see also Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.
S. 697 (1931).
113
Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U. S. 415, 402 U. S. 419 (1971).

111
SECTION 2. The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or
warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause
to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the
persons or things to be seized. (emphasis and underscoring
supplied)

336) The import of this provision is that only judges may issue
warrants of arrest and search.114 It is clearly within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the judiciary to authorize - by virtue of a warrant
issued under the minimum requirement of probable cause - the
deprivation of an individual’s precious liberty.

337) Section 29 allows ATC to usurp this particular power or


authority which belongs to the judiciary.

338) The ATC can simply authorize in writing a law


enforcement agent or military to take custody of a person merely
suspected of committing any of the penalized acts.

339) Any “written authorization” supplants the requirement of


a judicial warrant that is constitutionally required for an arrest to be
valid.

340) The ATC is not a judicial body – not even a quasi-judicial


body as admitted in the law itself115 – which can authorize the arrest
of a person.

341) Thus, any written “authorization” by the ATC is repugnant


to the constitutional requirement of a warrant of arrest that can be
issued only by a judge.

342) In addition to this, it must be recalled that only in the


following cases can a warrantless arrest be made:

A peace officer or private person may, without a warrant,


arrest a person:

114
Salazar v Achacoso, G.R. No. 81510, Mar. 14, 1990.
115
Anti-Terror Act, Section 45, last paragraph, which states that: “Nothing herein shall be
interpreted to empower the ATC to exercise any judicial or quasi-judicial power or authority.”

112
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has


probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge
of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested
has committed it; and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has


escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is
serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his
case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred
from one confinement to another.116

343) These exceptional circumstances are provided for by no


less than the Rules of Criminal Procedure, as issued by the Supreme
Court pursuant to its constitutionally-mandated powers as provided
below:

Promulgate rules concerning the protection and


enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice,
and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice
of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the
underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and
inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases,
shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall
not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. […]117

344) By legislating another instance of a warrantless arrest,


therefore, Congress brazenly encroached upon the Supreme Court’s
rule-making power, contrary to the Constitution. Congress
committed grave abuse of discretion in encroaching upon the
judiciary’s powers and jurisdiction.

345) Furthermore, the High Court is invited to consider the


recent pronouncement by the President that the New People’s
Army(NPA) is a terrorist organization because “I finally declared
them to be one.” 118 After the NPA, what will prevent the President
from declaring other organizations and individuals as terrorists or
terrorists organizations, thereby placing them within the ambit of the
recklessly conceived ATA? The President’s pronouncement
illustrates how the fatally-defective ATA can be recklessly misused to
116
RULES ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, rule 113, § 5
117
PHIL. CONST., art. III, § 5.
118
Gabriel Pabico Lalu ‘They are terrorists,‘ Duterte says of communist rebels, Philippine Daily
Inquirer, August 2, 2020, available at https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1303499/i-finally-declare-
communist-rebels-as-terrorists

113
the damnation of the people and to the destruction of hallowed
institutions that serve as our country’s safeguards against
government abuses.

346) In fact, this is not the first time that the President has
actually done so, as he made the same declaration for the first time in
December 2017 through Proclamation 374 dated December 5, 2017.119
Proclamation 374 has not been repealed by the President.

347) Note that all the members of the ATC are alter egos of the
President under the established judicial doctrine of qualified political
agency.120 This most recent “speech” of the President on the NPA is
presidential policy binding on his subalterns, whether or not reduced
to writing.

348) In Chavez v. Gonzales, where the proscribed verbal


pronouncements came from the Secretary of Justice, this Honorable
Court said, as follows:

Any act done, such as a speech uttered, for and on


behalf of the government in an official capacity is
covered by the rule on prior restraint. The concept of
an "act" does not limit itself to acts already converted to
a formal order or official circular. Otherwise, the non
formalization of an act into an official order or circular
will result in the easy circumvention of the prohibition
on prior restraint. The press statements at bar are acts
that should be struck down as they constitute
impermissible forms of prior restraints on the right to
free speech and press.121

349) The President’s propensity to make loose talk with untold


consequences to the lives of ordinary citizen, under the terms of the
central holding of this Honorable Court in Chavez, is a matter of
judicial notice.

350) As the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human


Rights stated in its 29 June 2020 report to the UN Human Rights
Council:

77. In recent years, harmful rhetoric from the highest levels


of the Government has been pervasive and deeply

119
Available at https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2017/12dec/20171205-PROC-
374-RRD.pdf
120
Villena v Secretary of Interior. G.R. No. L-46570,April 21, 1939.
121
G.R. No. 168338, February 15, 2008

114
damaging. Some statements have risen to the level of
incitement to violence.

78. The rhetoric has ranged from degrading and sexually


charged comments against women human rights
defenders, politicians and combatants – including rape
“jokes” – to statements making light of torture, calling for
bombing of indigenous peoples, encouraging extreme
violence against drug users and peddlers – even offering
bounties, calling for beheadings of civil society actors, and
warning that journalists are not immune from
“assassination”. Days after the imposition of COVID-19-
related restrictions on movement, the President declared in
an address to the nation that police, military and barangay
officials were to shoot those disobeying orders, creating
trouble or fighting.109 Responding to criticism about the
distribution of relief supplies, he also threatened to detain
“the left” until the COVID-19 crisis was over. The
Commission on Human Rights commented that the
President’s statement “is dangerous as it may be construed
as an official policy from the Government.” The Chief of
the Philippine National Police subsequently stated that the
police would “exercise maximum tolerance” and act
“within the bounds of the law”.

79. Other high-level officials have also used incendiary


language inciting violence against critics of the
Government. On 5 March 2020, reacting to a media
comment by a non-governmental organization, a
government minister tweeted as follows: “These are f--- ing
Communists. You shoot them. You don’t listen to them.”
The tweet was later removed and the minister’s Twitter
account temporarily blocked.

80. While numerous statements by the President, Mr.


Duterte, are subsequently clarified by his spokesperson
and other officials as not to be taken literally, the
widespread killings, detentions, red-tagging and score-
settling by State actors, including in the campaign against
illegal drugs, suggest that his public comments may have
incited violence and may have had the effect of
encouraging, backing or even ordering human rights
violations, with impunity. The use of such language could
amount to a violation of the prohibition against arbitrary

115
deprivation of life in article 6 of the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights. 122

351) Considering the many problematic provisions of the


Anti-Terror Act, all that the President needs to do is to label all his
political critics as supporters, sympathizers or members of the NPA,
and they could be proscribed as such by the ATC, and prosecuted
under any number of permutations or combinations of imagined
offenses under the provisions of the fatally-defective law.

352) Of course, the ATC by itself can do the same thing. At a


time of intense political polarization, in which government officials –
including those who would be sitting in the ATC and officials of
agencies that would be taking orders from the former – have shown
no qualms about labelling groups and individuals as enemies of the
State, abuse of the law and the dangers of its abuse are nothing to
trifle with.

353) Not too long ago, it was a death warrant to be included in


the Order of Battle targeting leftist groups and human rights
defenders;123 in the past four years, it was being part of a drug list,
and; now with the assailed ATA, being tagged as a supporter,
sympathizer, aid or abettor of terrorists and terror groups.

354) And this is precisely the problem with the ATC being
granted by the law with so much unrestricted and unlimited powers,
including those that properly belong to the judicial branch. Since its
members cannot rise above the President, they are beholden to him,
they are bound to his policy pronouncements, which remain valid
until recalled, as in the case of the President’s Proclamation 374.

355) Law could, and very well, becomes a twisted tool of


twisted politics, under the assailed piece of rushed legislation.

122
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Situation of Human
Rights in the Philippines A/HRC/44/22, (29 June 2020) available at
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/PH/Philippines-HRC44-AEV.pdf
123
See the follow up of the UN Human Rights Council to the recommendations of the then Special
Rapporteur on Summary Executions and Extrajudicial Killings, Philip Alston, on the Philippines
from his 2009 visit to the country, A/HRC/11/2/Add.8 29 April 2009available at
https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/B677F4FDAA1A0443492575CA0023F3
46-Full_Report.pdf

116
B. JUDICIAL FUNCTION OF DETERMINING AND
ADJUDICATING THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF
PERSONS

356) The enactment of the ATA is also imbued with grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction because its
provisions encroach upon the Judicial department’s power of
determining and adjudicating the rights and obligations of persons.

357) Sections 25 and 36 of the ATA violate the constitutional


principle of separation of powers because they bestow to the
Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) and to the Anti-Money Laundering
Council (AMLC) powers that are judicial in nature.

358) Section 25 provides for the power of the ATC to make


“designations,” as follows:

Sec. 25. Designation of Terrorist Individual, Groups of


Persons, Organizations or Associations. – Pursuant to our
obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution
(UNSCR) No. 1373, the ATC shall automatically adopt the
United Nations Security Council Consolidated List of
designated individuals, group of persons, organizations, or
associations designated and/or identified as a terrorist, one
who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization or group.

Request for designations by other jurisdictions or


supranational jurisdictions may be adopted by the ATC after
determination that the proposed designee meets the criteria
for designation of UNSCR No. 1373.

The ATC may designate an individual, groups of


persons, organization, or association, whether domestic or
foreign, upon a finding of probable cause that the individual,
groups of persons, organization, or association commit, or
attempt to commit, or conspire in the commission of the acts
defined and penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and
12 of this Act.

The assets of the designated individual, groups of


persons, organization or association above-mentioned shall
be subject to authority of the Anti-Money Laundering Council

117
(AMLC) to freeze pursuant to Section 11 of Republic Act No.
10168.

The designation shall be without prejudice to the


proscription of terrorist organizations, associations, or groups
of persons under Section 26 of this Act.

359) The power of the ATC under Section 25 to append the


“terrorist” designation upon an individual, group of persons,
organization, or association, whether domestic or foreign, is
essentially an exercise of judicial power as such power to designate
adjudicates rights and obligations of persons.

360) The power of the AMLC under Section 25 and Section 36 to


order the freezing of assets is an exercise of judicial power. It is a
legal paradox that though the courts, under Section 36, are rightly
allocated the power to issue a preliminary order of proscription,
however, such court-issued preliminary order of proscription (as well
as the mere designation by the ATC under Section 25) subsequently
authorizes the AMLC124 to issue an ex parte order to freeze any
property or funds of any person when there is probable cause.

361) The power that Section 36 allocates to the AMLC to issue


an ex parte order to freeze is a power that is judicial in nature and
should have been, consequently, allocated to the courts as it affects
the property rights and obligations of persons.

362) Furthermore, due process considerations upon property


rights of affected persons necessitates the allocation to the courts,
instead of to the AMLC, of such power to issue an an ex parte order to
freeze.

II. GUARANTEE OF THE PRIVILEGE OF HABEAS CORPUS

SECTION 29—DETENTION WITHOUT JUDICIAL WARRANT OF


ARREST

A. VIOLATES THE GUARANTEE ON THE AVAILABILITY OF


THE PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

124
Under Section 36 of the ATA.

118
363) Section 29 of the ATA is void because it violates the
constitutional guarantee of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
The relevant provisions of the Constitution are quoted below:

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be


suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when
the public safety requires it.125

364) Under the ATA, the ATC can simply justify the 24-day
detention based on its own suspicion and based on “standards” or
circumstances to be solely determined by the ATC. With the arrest on
mere suspicion being considered as a valid ground for continued
detention of the arrestee for a maximum of 24 days, the privilege of
the writ effectively becomes unavailable and rendered nugatory
within the said period of detention.
365) The privilege of the writ is effectively suspended within
the said period without the constitutional premises necessary for the
permissible unavailability thereof, that is, the existence of invasion or
rebellion and the demands of public safety. Worse, the constitutional
safeguards on the powers of the commander-in-chief126 in relation to
the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus have all
been whimsically and unjustifiably set aside and disregarded,
including the legislature’s power of review and revocation thereof.

366) Corollarily, without any charge being presented before the


courts, the right to bail is likewise rendered unavailable and nugatory
within the period.

B. VIOLATES THE THREE-DAY MAXIMUM DETENTION


PERIOD FOR WARRANTLESS ARRESTS PROVIDED UNDER
SECTION 18, ARTICLE VII OF THE CONSTITUTION IN THE
EXTRA-ORDINARY SITUATION WHERE THE PRIVILEGE OF
HABEAS CORPUS IS SUSPENDED.

367) Section 29 of the ATA is unconstitutional for violating the


maximum three-day detention period under Article VII, Section 18
of the Constitution.

368) During any suspension of the privilege of the writ


contemplated by the Constitution, any person thus arrested and
detained, is required to be judicially charged within three days,
otherwise he must be released.127
125
PHIL. CONST., art. III, §15.
126
PHIL. CONST., art. VII. § 18.
127
PHIL. CONST, art. VII, § 18.

119
369) This maximum three-day period for law enforcers to
judicially charge an arrestee – during the most exigent circumstance
that necessitates the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus – is a limitation introduced in the 1987 Constitution to correct
the abuses during the Marcos Regime. Constitutional Commissioner
Ambrosio Padilla explained this period of limited detention as
follows:

The purpose …is to prevent a situation similar to the past


regime when innocent persons were arrested, detained,
and confined in prison sometimes for one month, one
year, or even more, without any criminal charge filed
against them who oftentimes did not even understand
why they had been arrested or detained.128

370) With the above constitutional proscription, let us revisit the


provisions of Section 29 of the ATA which state, as follows:

SEC. 29. Detention Without Judicial Warrant of Arrest. – The


provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code to the
contrary notwithstanding, any law enforcement agent or
military personnel, who, having been duly authorized in
writing by the ATC has taken custody of a person
suspected of committing any of the acts defined and
penalized under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of
this Act, shall, without incurring any liability for delay in
the delivery of detained persons to the proper judicial
authorities, deliver said suspected person to the proper
judicial authority within a period fourteen (14) calendar
days counted from the moment the said suspected
person has been apprehended or arrested, detained, and
taken into custody by the law enforcement agent or
military personnel. The period of detention may be
extended to a maximum period of ten (10) calendar days
if it is established that (1) further detention of the
person/s is necessary to preserve evidence related to
terrorism or complete the investigation; (2) further
detention of the person/s is necessary to prevent the
commission of another terrorism; and (3) the investigation
is being conducted properly and without delay.


371) Clearly, not only does Section 29 allow warrantless arrests
done based on mere suspicion alone. It also extends the maximum
JOAQUIN G. BERNAS, S.J., 1987 CONSTITUTION
128
OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES: A
COMMENTARY 555 (2009 ed.).

120
period within which suspected “terrorists” must be charged or
delivered to judicial authorities.

372) If a maximum three-day detention period is only allowed


by the Constitution in seriously exigent circumstances, then the
maximum twenty four days detention period under Section 29 is
clearly repugnant to the Constitution.

373) This assailed law attempts to resurrect the evils sought to


be curbed and eliminated by the 1987 Constitution, and to erode all
safeguards erected to protect liberty.

III. CALLING OUT POWERS


REGARDING THE MILITARY

374) Section 29 of the ATA is repugnant to the Constitution for


violating the principle of separation of powers.

375) Section 29 is unconstitutional for violating the principle of


separation of powers because Congress encroached on the calling out
powers of the Executive Department regarding the military. Congress
also violated the minimum constitutional requirements in calling out
the military.

376) Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution states, as follows:

SECTION 3. Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme


over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is
the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to
secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of
the national territory. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)

377) Such military power and duty must be differentiated from


civilian authority lodged in the police. Under Article XVI, Section 6 of
the Constitution:

SECTION 6. The State shall establish and maintain one


police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian
in character, to be administered and controlled by a
national police commission. The authority of local
executives over the police units in their jurisdiction shall be
provided by law. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)

121
378) This civilian authority encompasses the day-to-day
functions of the police such as crime investigation and control or law
enforcement. While the police as law enforcers are empowered to
effect arrests against civilians to take them to the appropriate civilian
courts, the military cannot do this as a general rule.

379) There have been instances where the police and the
military have been tasked to work together, where military assistance
in the “implementation and execution of certain traditionally ‘civil’
functions’ is sought.129 These include composite civilian-military law
enforcement activities,130 or even peace and order policy formulation
in local government units.131

380) To be able to do this, the President is given the broad


power to order the same in pursuant to the generic duty of
maintaining peace and order, or the power to “call out” the armed
forces of the Philippines, under necessary and particular
circumstances. The basis for this is Article VII, Section 18 of the
Constitution which states, as follows:

SECTION 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-


Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever
it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces
to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or
rebellion. […]

381) In the case of IBP v. Zamora,132 then President Joseph


Estrada issued a directive ordering the PNP and the Marines to
conduct joint visibility patrols for the purpose of crime prevention
and suppression.

382) While the Zamora case tells us that the President has
broad discretion or latitude of power under his “calling-out” powers
as Commander-in-Chief – including deputizing the military – these
do not come without limitations.

383) First, the same cannot violate the civilian supremacy clause
under the Constitution nor infringe on the civilian character of the
police force.133 In said case, the calling of the Marines constituted
permissible use of military assets, their participation was
circumscribed because its metes and bounds were sufficiently

129
IBP v. Zamora, G.R. No. 141284, Aug. 15, 2000.
130
Zamora case, citing several instances which involve joint military and civilian law enforcement
operations.
131
Zamora case, citing Local Government Code of 1991, Book I, Title Seven, Section 116.
132
G.R. No. 141284, Aug. 15, 2000.
133
Zamora case.

122
delineated. More importantly, “real authority” belonged to the
PNP.134

384) In the Zamora case, the Supreme Court cited and adopted
the American jurisprudence which declares that the use of military
power in civilian law enforcement is generally prohibited, except in
certain circumstances under the Posse Comitatus Act.135

385) The standard used to determine prohibited military


interference in civilian law enforcement is this: the military
involvement does not violate the Posse Comitatus Act unless it
actually regulates, forbids or compels some conduct on the part of
those claiming relief.136

386) Second, “if the military and the police must conduct
concerted campaigns to flush out and catch criminal elements, such
drives must not violate the constitutional and statutory rights of all
people affected by such actions."137

387) Lastly, the calling out powers can only be wielded in


exceptional cases and by the President alone. These exceptional
circumstances must be when there is “lawless violence,” “invasion,”
“rebellion,” and as “called out” by the President.

388) Under Section 29 of the Anti-Terror Act, the ATC – not the
President – can authorize “military personnel” to take into custody
any person suspected of violating the Anti-Terror Act.

389) Under the ATA, military personnel are on the same footing
with civilian policemen, with authority to make an arrest without a
court-issued warrant and based on mere suspicion alone.

390) The military is empowered to do so, on the basis of a


“written authorization by the ATC,” but not on the basis of the
calling-out power of the President. It is likewise empowered to do
so, even in the absence of “lawless violence,” “invasion,” or
“rebellion.”

391) Congress arrogated unto itself the power to call out the
military, blatantly disregarding the clear provisions of the
134
Id.
135
Zamora case, citing Posse Comitatus Act.
136
Zamora case, citing A power regulatory in nature is one which controls or directs. It is
proscriptive if it prohibits or condemns and compulsory if it exerts some coercive force. See US v.
Yunis, 681 F.Supp. 891 (D.D.C., 1988). See also FOURTH AMENDMENT AND POSSE
COMITATUS ACT RESTRICTIONS ON MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN CIVIL LAW
ENFORCEMENT; and HONORED IN THE BREECH: PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO
EXECUTE THE LAWS WITH MILITARY FORCE, 83 Yale Law Journal, pp. 130-152, 1973.
137
Zamora case, citing Guazon v. de Villa, G.R. No. 80508, Jan. 30, 1990

123
Constitution, and essentially legislating a brazen violation of the
constitutional and statutory rights of ordinary citizens.

APPLICATION FOR THE ISSUANCE


OF A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (TRO)
AND/OR
WRIT OF PRELIMINARY PROHIBITORY INJUNCTION

392) The expenditure of public funds to enforce the


unconstitutional provisions of the ATA will violate the Petitioners’
rights as taxpayers. The chilling effect resulting from the enactment
of the ATA violates their fundamental rights under the Constitution
as discussed extensively above. The stark possibility of the use of the
void provisions of the ATA against them, will violate their rights
under the Bill of Rights under the Constitution.

393) The acts of Public Respondents, if not immediately


restrained, will cause grave injustice and irreparable injury to
Petitioners, as Filipino citizens, taxpayers, and as human rights and
rule of law organizations, journalists, lawyers, human rights
defenders and activists, and to the Filipino people in general. Said
acts will violate the fundamental law of the Republic.

394) Thus, Petitioners respectfully pray that the Honorable


Court immediately enjoin Public Respondents from implementing
the ATA, pending the resolution of this Petition, through the issuance
of a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary
prohibitory injunction. Petitioners also pray for the exemption from
the posting of a bond in view of the transcendent nature of the instant
Petition.

CONCLUDING NOTE

124
395) The State is often conflated with government, but it is a
grievous error, were this Honorable Court to consider the bloody
purges carried out by governments in its name throughout history;
We know from international law that the State includes for its
elements both government and citizens.138 The State is a public legal
community of government and citizens within a defined territory.
396) Thus, were the State to emasculate the rights of citizens
through the very measures purported to protect itself from
dissolution, it only hurts itself; it only uses law as a means to further
weaken its very foundations. Hence, the State’s exercise of power
must be indissolubly linked with the aims of justice, else it is reduced
to nothing more than the Hobessian Leviathan’s arbitrary exercise of
the monopoly of the sword.

397) In our context, the restraints against such abuse of power


are the fundamental values enshrined in the Constitution, where, in
the words of the late German Constitutional Court judge and scholar
Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, even “the so-called enemies of freedom
do not lose their rights.”139

398) We do not dispute that terrorism is a menace that must be


slain. There is no doubt in our minds that terrorism, whether
espoused by religious or secular radicals, threatens our cherished
ideals of rational dialogue, and our robust institutions of civil society
– a vibrant and free press, churches, families, professional
associations, academic institutions, museums, sports and cultural
associations – that all contribute to the foundations of a strong
republic.

399) Our grand constitutional traditions however do not


countenance legal measures directed against such a threat, one that
only transforms government into a calculatingly cold and repressive
machine, such as the new anti-terrorism law challenged in this
Petition.

400) To challenge such law is not to trivialize terrorism, but to


direct government and citizens alike to a clearer and firmer
conviction about the very purposes of government and the State, at a
time when freedoms are denied in the name of national security or
raison d’etat. For world history is replete with the terrible lessons of
138
“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a) a
permanent population; b) a defined territory; c) government; and d) capacity to enter into
relations with the other states.” Art. 1, Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States, opened
for signature
26 December 1933, 165 LNTS 19 (entered into force 26 December 1934).
139
Dieter Gosewinkel, The Biographical Interview with Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde (2011) in
CONSTITUTIONAL AND POLITICAL THEORY: SELECTED WRITINGS 386 (Mirjam Künkler
& Tine Stein eds., 2017).

125
governmental acts and measures that cloaked their monstrous arms
of repression with promises of legality in the very name of the public
interest.

401) Our current political dilemmas arising from such a


contested national security measure is rooted in a deep spiritual
malaise, in which mere legality is mistaken for societal solidarity and
trust, and electoral victory and popular approbation, for the license to
kill, and for the weapon to repress all forms of political dissent.
402) It is not that the State may neither defend itself against
Terrorism’s terrors, nor protect freedoms taken for granted by its
citizens. But as Judge Böckenförde has argued, the State, being an
“order of freedom” itself, in enacting and enforcing protective
measures against terrorism, “must set itself apart from the order of
unfreedom also—and especially—by the methods of its defence.”140

403) At the heart of such a vigorous defense of a free civil


society and government is the view that a Constitution that heralds
itself as a normative system founded on the Rule of Law is a binding,
comprehensive, and final regulation of state organs to act in
situations of emergency. 141

404) The Constitution must be seen as having “an obligatory


limiting effect and functions also for the notion…according to which
the [C]onstitution does not constitute the state’s power to act in the
first place, but constrains and limits “ 142 what the Chief Executive can
do in such a situation.

405) Thus, under this principle, a law such as the Anti-Terror


Act being challenged in this Petition cannot rise above the
Constitution; and to transform terrorism by legislative fiat into a
supra-legal status beyond the grasp of the fundamental law of the
land, to borrow Judge Böckenförde’s words once again, “amounts to
nothing less than the dissolution of the integrity of the [C]onstitution
based on the rule of law and the abandonment of the principle of the
[C]onstitutional [S]tate.”143

-o0o-

140
ERNST-WOLFGANG BÖCKENFÖRDE, The State as an Ethical State, in CONSTITUTIONAL
AND POLITICAL THEORY: SELECTED WRITINGS 100 (Mirjam Künkler & Tine Stein eds.,
2017).
141
ERNST-WOLFGANG BÖCKENFÖRDE, The Repressed State of Emergency: The Exercise of State
Authority in Extraordinary Circumstances, in CONSTITUTIONAL AND POLITICAL THEORY:
SELECTED WRITINGS 114 (Mirjam Künkler & Tine Stein eds., 2017).
142
Id.
143
Id.

126
PRAYER

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Petitioners


respectfully pray before the Honorable Court that:

1. Pending the resolution of this Petition, A TEMPORARY


RESTRAINING ORDER AND/OR WRIT OF PRELIMINARY
PROHIBITORY INJUNCTION BE IMMEDIATELY ISSUED,
PROHIBITING PUBLIC RESPONDENTS FROM
IMPLEMENTING THE ANTI-TERRORISM ACT OF 2020 and the
Public Respondent Secretary of the Department of Budget and
Management from releasing public funds for its implementation;

2. Upon due hearing, the instant Petition be GRANTED,


(a) DECLARING THE ANTI-TERRORISM ACT OF 2020 TO BE
UNCONSTITUTIONAL for infringing against constitutionally-
protected fundamental rights in the Bill of Rights and for being
repugnant to the various provisions of the Constitution and (b)
PERMANENTLY PROHIBITING THE PUBLIC RESPONDENTS
FROM IMPLEMENTING THE SAID LAW.

Other relief that are just and equitable under the premises are
likewise prayed for.

Makati City for the City of Manila. 4 August 2020

BY THE COUNSEL FOR THE


PETITIONERS:

127
CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW,
INC.
1105 Antel Corporate Center
121 Valero Street, Salcedo Village
Makati City 1227
Email: centerlaw@protonmail.com
Tel. Nos. 887-4445/887-3894;
Fax No: 887-3893

By:

JOEL R. BUTUYAN
Roll No. 36911
PTR No. 8126787 | Jan. 8, 2020 | Makati
IBP No. 01742 | Lifetime
MCLE Compliance No. VI-0010026 | July 4,
2018

ROGER R. RAYEL
Roll No. 44106
PTR No. 8156359|Jan. 29, 2020 |Makati
IBP No. 02159 / Lifetime
MCLE Compliance No. VI-0010071 |July 4,
2018

GILBERT T. ANDRES
Roll No. 56911
PTR No. 8126786| Jan. 8, 2020 | Makati
IBP No. 104457| Jan. 8, 2020 | Negros Occ.
MCLE Compliance No. VI-0018609|Feb. 18,
2019

CRISPIN FRANCIS M. JANDUSAY


Roll No. 68298
PTR No. 8126793 /Jan. 8, 2020/ Makati City
IBP No. 104454/ Jan. 8, 2020 / Marinduque
MCLE Compliance No. VI-0010054|July 4,
2018

128
KIMBERLY ANNE M. LORENZO
Roll No. 69087
PTR No. 8126789 / Jan. 8, 2020 / Makati City
IBP No. 104456| Jan. 8, 2020 |Bulacan
MCLE Compliance No. VI-0010058 | July 4,
2018

GELIE ERIKA P. ESTEBAN


Roll No. 64252
IBP No. 017630 | Lifetime
PTR No. 11061313 | Jan. 9, 2020 | Caloocan
MCLE Compliance for 6th cycle, in process
MCLE Compliance No. VI-0024991|Apr. 12,
2019

ELREEN JOY O. DE GUZMAN


Roll of Attorneys No. 71019
IBP No. 104460|Jan. 8, 2020|Batangas
PTR No.8126797|Jan. 8, 2020|Makati City
MCLE Compliance No. VI-0024970 |Apr. 12,
2019

NICOLENE S. ARCAINA
Roll of Attorneys No. 73826
IBP No. 104461|Jan. 8, 2020|Pampanga
PTR No. 8126795 |Jan. 8, 2020,Makati City
MCLE Compliance No. N/A
(Admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2019)

SHAWN DUSTIN B. COSCOLUELLA


Roll No. 64068
PTR No. 8156358 |Jan. 29, 2020 | Makati
IBP No. 104462| Jan. 8, 2020 | Negros Occ.
MCLE Compliance No. VI-0028704 | Sept. 10,
2019

129
BY THE CO-COUNSEL FOR PETITIONERS:

c/o 2/F Office of the College Secretary


Lyceum Philippines University
College of Law
Email: College of Law <law@lpu.edu.ph>
Landline: +632 8-893 9299

MA. SOLEDAD DERIQUITO-MAWIS


IBP No. 108412/ Jan 8, 2020
PTR 8121657/ Jan 6, 2020, Makati City
MCLE Exemption VI – 120098 | January 19,
2019

CARLO L. CRUZ
IBP Life Member Roll No. 09556
PTR No. 6443078, January 14, 2020, Pasig
City
MCLE Compliance No. VI-001302 | June 20,
2018

SENEN AGUSTIN S. DE SANTOS


IBP Lifetime Member No.00834, Makati City
PTR No. 8117424,January 03, 2020 Makati
City
MCLE Exemption No.VI-000979 | April 14.
2022

ROMEL REGALADO BAGARES


Roll No. 49518

130
PTR No. 8126792|January 8,2020|Makati
City
IBP No. 104455|January 8, 2020|So. Cotabato
MCLE Compliance No. VI-0010021|July 4,
2018

JOHN PAUL A. DELA PASION


Roll No. 63367
PTR No. 8117478; 01/03/ 2020; Makati City
IBP No. 102952; 03 January 2020; Quezon
City
MCLE Compliance No. VI-002073 |April 24,
2019
COPY FURNISHED:

SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES


GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Batasang Pambansa Complex
Batasan Hills, 1126 Quezon City

THE ANTI-TERRORISM COUNCIL


Secretariat at the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA),
V Luna Road, 1100 Quezon City

EXEC. SEC. SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA


Office of the Executive Secretary, Malacañang Palace, Manila

SEC. MENARDO I. GUEVARRA


Department of Justice
Padre Faura Street, Ermita, 1000 Manila

EXEC. DIR. MEL GEORGIE B. RACELA


Anti-Money Laundering Council
Office of the Director, 5/F EDPC Building
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex
Mabini corner Vito Cruz Streets
Malate, 1004 Manila

SEC. WENDEL E. AVISADO


Department of Budget and Management
DBM, Boncodin Hall, General Solano St.
San Miguel, Manila

131
POLICE GEN. ARCHIE FRANCISCO F. GAMBOA
Philippine National Police
Office of the PNP Chief, PNP National Headquarters
Camp B. Gen. Rafael T. Crame, 1111 Quezon City

DIRECTOR ERIC BITO-ON DISTOR


National Bureau of Investigation
NBI Building, Taft Avenue, Ermita, 1000 Manila

LIEUTENANT GENERAL GILBERT CAPAY


Armed Forces of the Philippines
Office of the Chief of Staff
AFP General Headquarters
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, EDSA, 1100 Quezon City
OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
134 Amorsolo Street, Legaspi Village,
Makati City, Metro Manila

EXPLANATION

This Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for the
Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary
Prohibitory Injunction is served to all the Public Respondents by
registered mail due to lack of personnel to effect personal service to
each and every one of them.

SHAWN DUSTIN B. COSCOLUELLA

132