Anti-terror law takes effect July 18 — DOJ

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on July 17, 2020, the Republic Act 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, will take effect on Saturday, July 18, 2020.

In a message to reporters, Guevarra said the effectivity clause of the law states that it shall take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two newspapers of general circulation.

“Considering that the law was published on July 3, it will take effect on July 18, which is the 15th day. This is in accordance with the ruling of the Supreme Court in ‘People vs Nicolas’, among others. We rectify our earlier statement that the law will take effect after the 15th day, or on July 19,” he said.

RA 11479, which seeks to give the country more teeth in curbing terrorism, amends RA 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007.

The Supreme Court (SC) earlier consolidated the petitions challenging the constitutionality of the law.

Cases were filed by the former head of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel Rudolph Philip B. Jurado, Christian S. Monsod, Felicitas A. Aquino, and the Ateneo Human Rights Center, two labor groups represented by the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) and the Pro-Labor Legal Assistance Center (PLACE), and the Sanlakas party-list.

The first four cases were filed by the group of lawyers Howard Calleja and former education secretary Armin Luistro, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the group of law dean Mel Sta. Maria and several professors of the Far Eastern University (FEU), and the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives led by Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.

The SC earlier required the Office of the President, several agencies under the executive department, and both houses of Congress to comment on the last four petitions seeking to stop the enforcement of the law starting July 19.

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) which will file the comments for the Office of the President and the agencies under the executive department has reportedly received the SC resolution requiring comment on the first four cases.

However, it is not known yet whether the OSG would file a motion for extension of time to file the comment because of the filing of the four other petitions. (Benjamin Pulta, PNA)