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Philippines lawyers & top congressman ask Supreme Court to strike down Duterte’s anti-terrorism law

Philippines lawyers & top congressman ask Supreme Court to strike down Duterte’s anti-terrorism law

Philippines lawyer groups and a top congressman asked the Supreme Court on Monday to strike down the president’s controversial new anti-terrorism law, or parts of it. They call the legislation unconstitutional for infringing on civil liberties.

Three petitions filed by minority lawmaker Edcel Lagman and two lawyer groups also sought a temporary restraining order against use of the law. President Rodrigo Duterte signed it on Friday, having fast-tracked it through the legislature.

Local and international human rights groups said that while the Philippines does have clear security threats, the legislation could be abused to target administration opponents. An anti-terrorism council appointed by the president is also able to designate who is a suspected ‘terrorist’, Reuters said.

Senator Panfilo Lacson defended the bill he co-authored, saying that “it is a good law, swift, effective and constitutional.”