The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), one of the petitioners against Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (together with d Pro-Labor Legal Assistance Center (PLACE) expresses appreciation to the SC who struck down as unconstitutional the Sec 4 of ATL’s overly broad and vague definition of terrorism and a portion of Sec. 25 which allows the Anti-Terrorism Council to adopt external requests for designation. It affirms our assertion that activism and unionism are not terrorism,
However, we would also like to express our great concern about the looming implications of this decision upholding the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 as a whole to civil liberties and trade union rights. Although our lawyers have to receive a copy, PLACE as well as CTUHR is are preparing for Motion for Reconsideration and we prayed that justices are more clarified about arguments why the law should be scapped.
CTUHR argues that, SC declaration of constitutionality of the other provisions of ATL including the creation of the Anti-Terrorism Council, warrantless arrest and 24-hour detention without charges, among others are very disturbing
“The ATL remains, posing great dangers to our basic rights and civil liberties. As we have feared since its passage, it may still be used against workers and unionists standing up for their rights or anyone critical of the government policies particularly under thisa dministration to arrest, detain them for long even without charges said Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director.
Arago also noted that since the ATL was enacted, attacks against workers’ rights further intensified. The law emboldened state forces to escalate its crackdown against activists, including unionists and labor rights defenders.
During the said period, CTUHR has in fact, documented countless of organizations and individuals red-tagged; at least 80 unionists visited and harassed by the NTF-ELCAC, illegal arrests and filing of trumped up charges against 14 unionists and labor organizers and 56 killings of unionists
“Our fight continues. As long as this law poses threats to our hard-won democratic rights, we will not waver until we gain full victory for the people. We joined others in the International Human Rights Day, expressed our indignation and asserted that this Terror Law must be repealed. We also thank the members of the Council of General Unions who are holding a Global Day of Action in support of workers and improvement of human rights in the Phillippines,” CTUHR ended.