Philippines: Kabataan Partylist – Supreme Court affirmation of Terror Law cements state terror for future generations beyond Duterte regime (26.04.2022)

Kabataan Partylist condemns the Supreme Court’s denial with finality of the motions for reconsideration of its December 7, 2021 decision affirming the constitutionality of most parts of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

The high court cites that there is no substantial issues and arguments raised by petitioners. This is a disappointment given observable intensifying redtagging and terrorist-labelling that has led to more human rights violations and even massacres in the past months including the Bloody Sunday massacre in 2021 and the New Bataan 5 massacre in 2022 nearly one year apart from each other.

Worse, among victims of attacks were actual petitioners against the Terror Law including Atty. Angelo Karl ‘AK’ Guillen who was stabbed by a screwdriver and Chad Booc, a volunteer Lumad teacher and Computer Science graduate of UP Diliman killed along with his companions while in a community visit in Mindanao. Are not mounting dead bodies a substantial issue?

Even amid the 2022 electoral campaign period, opposition candidates, supporters and bystanders alike are deprived of free speech with threats of actual violence from redtagging and terrorist-labelling by state forces. Clearly, voiding some provisions of the Terror Law is not enough. A revised Terror Law does not mean that the rabid and bloody track record of state forces attacking innocent civilians in the name of counterinsurgency or on behalf of the sitting regime will suddenly change for the better.

President Duterte may step down but what is definite is that the Supreme Court in this decision is set to prolong his bloody legacy of brutal rule far into the future. The Terror Law needs to be scrapped altogether as we pursue a peace based on human rights and social justice. The youth fight will back for the freedom of newer generations and our nation until this draconian law and all political remnants of fascist dictatorship are striken down into the trash bin of history.

Kabataan Partylist

April 26, 2022

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