Manila Bulletin

Anti-Ter­ror Coun­cil can’t or­der ar­rests – DOJ

- By JEF­FREY DAMICOG Crime · U.S. News · Society · White-collar Crime · Discrimination · Politics · Justice · Human Rights · Law · Council

The Anti-Ter­ror­ism Coun­cil (ATC) can’t or­der the ar­rest of per­sons un­der the Repub­lic Act (RA) 11479 or the Anti-Ter­ror­ism Act of 2020, the Depart­ment of Jus­tice (DOJ) as­sured Satur­day.

“What the ATC au­tho­rizes is de­ten­tion for an ex­tended pe­riod,” said Jus­tice Un­der­sec­re­tary Adrian Su­gay fol­low­ing the publi­ca­tion of the law’s Im­ple­ment­ing Rules and Reg­u­la­tions (IRR) in news­pa­pers.

The Jus­tice Un­der­sec­re­tary as­sured that the IRR was crafted tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the pe­ti­tions filed be­fore the Supreme Court (SC) ques­tion­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity and le­gal­ity of RA 11479.

Su­gay said that the IRR was re­leased not to al­lay fears of crit­ics but to “merely im­ple­ment the law.”

“We can­not go be­yond what the law says,” Su­gay said.

The Jus­tice Un­der­sec­re­tary re­it­er­ated the gov­ern­ment’s as­sur­ance that RA 11479 and its IRR do not go against the Con­sti­tu­tion and other ex­ist­ing laws.

“Sa amin ‘yang batas na’ yan joins a whole sys­tem of laws that are al­ready in place and ju­di­cial de­ci­sions, ju­rispru­dence (For us the

Anti-Ter­ror­ism Act joins a whole sys­tem of laws that are al­ready in place and along with ju­rispru­dence),” he said in re­sponse to pe­ti­tions filed be­fore the Supreme Court ques­tion­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity and le­gal­ity of RA 11479.

“So you can­not in­ter­pret the law to us as far as we are con­cerned in iso­la­tion or in a vac­uum,” he added.

The IRR states that the ATC has “purely ex­ec­u­tive func­tions.”

“Noth­ing in the Act shall be in­ter­preted to em­power the ATC to ex­er­cise a ju­di­cial or quasi-ju­di­cial author­ity,” the IRR said.

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