Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Nagkaisa Urges Duterte to Veto Anti-Terror Bill for being unconstitutional; calls Anti-Terror Protest on Independence Day!

The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition including 40 of its affiliate trade centers, federations and associations calls on President Rodrigo Duterte to use his veto power under Sec 27(1) of Article VI to prevent the enactment into law of a proposal which runs afoul with our constitution.

Comes Independence Day, the biggest labor Coalition in the country calls on every citizen to manifest protest on the assault on our fundamental rights allowed with alacrity by the newly passed Anti-Terror Bill. The bill attacks the core of the Constitution by wrecking havoc on the structure of government, particularly separation of powers. Its overbroad and vague definition of terrorist acts also terrorizes the provisions of the Bills of Rights. This is detrimental to democracy and repugnant to human rights, particularly the rights to life and liberty of our people.

The Anti-Terror Bill authorizes the executive department to usurp the power of the judiciary. Specifically, a mere administrative order, issued by the would be created Anti-Terrorism Council alone, may be used to arrest and detain people on the basis of mere suspicion alone.

This is highly scandalous and shocking to conscience in a civilized society. An executive office arrogating unto itself a judicial power (see Sec 29 of Anti Terrorist Bills ).

Such an executive act alone is clearly an illegal authorization, overreaching the province of the judicial branch which is recklessly drafted and repugnant to the 1987 Constitution!

Sec. 29 of the Bill grants authority to law enforcers to arrest any person suspected of committing any terrorist act and detain him for 24 days at the behest of the executive department alone. This is outside the plenary power of Congress and, therefore, clearly unconstitutional.

Sec. 29 is also repugnant to Article III, Section 2 of the fundamental law. Section 2, Article III of the Constitution states that a search warrant or warrant of arrest can only be issued upon showing of:

(1) a probable cause to be determined personally by the judge,

(2) after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce,

(3) and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

It is basic in Constitutional Law that it is only a judge who may issue a warrant for the arrest of any person. In the case of Salazar vs. Achacoso, 183 SCRA 145, the Supreme Court categorically stated thus –

“x x x it is only a judge who may issue warrants of search and arrest and reaffirming the following principles

“1. Under Article III Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution, it is only judges and no other, who may issue warrants of arrests and search;"

President Duterte is a lawyer and a former city prosecutor in Davao City. He knows very well the architecture of separation of powers.

Nagkaisa holds that an unconstitutional act of Congress is not a law; such act confers no rights; it imposes no duties. As enshrined in jurisprudence, such unconstitutional act affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed.

Nagakaisa and other democratic organizations and believers of human rights are calling on President Duterte to veto the proposal.

Lastly, Nagkaisa with other democratic groups call on all citizens to manifest their protest against the enactment into law of this anti-democratic bill.

Trabaho, Pagkain, Kalayaan! Hindi Terror Bill!

Ipaglaban ang Kalayaan; ibasura ang Anti-Terror Bill.

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