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Now Reading: FIFTH PETITION | Former Duterte counsel asks SC to declare anti-terror law unconstitutional
FIFTH PETITION | Former Duterte counsel asks SC to declare anti-terror law unconstitutional
July 8, 2020 , 03:49 PM

(July 08, 2020) – President Rodrigo Duterte’s former government corporate counsel became the fifth petitioner to ask the Supreme Court to declare the newly signed anti-terrorism law as unconstitutional.

Atty. Rudolf Philip Jurado filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with ancillary prayers for the issurance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

“We are questioning the procedural aspect of the terror law,” Jurado told reporters.

The lawyer, who was appointed by Duterte in 2017 and fired in 2018, said the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 violated Section 26(2), Article VI of the Constitution which states:

“No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.”

Lawmakers in the lower chamber of Congress skipped the three-day window between the second and third readings, after Malacañang certified Republic Act No. 11479 as urgent.

It was also passed and transmitted with relative speed despite several congressmen voicing their withdrawal of votes for the bill.

Duterte signed the controversial bill into law on July 3.

Jurado also raised similar issues of legality with sections 4 and 29 of the law, which tackles the broad definition of terrorism and the lengthy period for warrantless arrest.

Section 29 of the anti-terror law allows law enforcers to detain a suspect without arrest warrant for 14 days. This could be extended for ten more days.

Jurado insists this violates Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes law enforcers who fail to detain a suspect on legal grounds and deliver them to judicial authorities within 12 to 36 hours.

“In effect it is the ATC who is waiving the right of the detainee,” Jurado said.

The Supreme Court already asked the executive department to comment on the earlier petitions against the anti-terrorism law.

Jurado’s petition is expected to be consolidated with the four other pleas questioning the law. (Katrina Elaine Alba/AGD)

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