SC to rule on merit, not number of anti-terror lawsuits: DOJ

SC to rule on merit, not number of anti-terror lawsuits: DOJ

MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday expressed hope that the Supreme Court (SC) would resolve the legal challenges on the validity of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (ATA) on the merits of the suits and not the personalities behind the petitions.

“All these petitions, no matter how many they are, will boil down to a common set of constitutional issues. The Supreme Court will resolve these issues on the merits of the arguments advanced by the parties concerned, and not on the basis of their number or personal or professional stature,” Guevarra told reporters.

Petitioners are expected to file the 20th petition questioning the constitutionality of the law, which came into effect this month.

On Thursday, Solicitor General Jose Calida said the law is in effect even if the government has yet to craft its implementing rules and regulations.

Citing precedent cases previously decided on by the high court, Calida said laws are not contingent on the implementing rules.

He also noted that the law has already complied with the requirement of publication, having been posted on the Official Gazette’s website on July 3 and published on the printed Official Gazette on July 6.

“All these things considered, the ATA shall take effect after the lapse of 15 days from (July 6, 2020) the complete publication on the Official Gazette, that is 22 July 2020,” Calida said.

He added that the law is “self-executing”, except for provisions delegating functions to the Anti-Terrorism Council and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Corrections to craft purely administrative rules for the effective implementation of policies. (PNA)

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