Tell the Truth: Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 Part 2

Other’s Vantage Point

The Daily Tribune (TDT) took its side of the argument bit by bit. It highlighted that the Anti-Terrorism Bills (Senate Bill 1083 and House Bill 6875) underwent “tremendous deliberations in the Senate.” If this statement was the case, then there should be no loopholes of the Bill. If the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was a correction for the Human Security Act of 2007, then, there should be no problems with this Act.

Firstly, the broad definition of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 would asphyxiate, reduce, and securitize civic space and rights of individuals at work. It meant that they would place workers, trade union activists, and other human rights players and protectors under dangerous situations. They would agonize from baseless attacks, harassment, undiscerning and groundless rounds of capture, intimidation, and killings at the hands of the law enforcement agents, the military officers, and security agencies.

Secondly, the broad definition of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 highlighted many provisions of the bills that seriously contradicted international law. Under the international labor standards, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 could only dwindle or destabilize the implementation of the right to establish, including the right to strike, interrupt the principles of freedom of association.

The Ever-Changing Labels of Threats

Thirdly, in Section 9 of both the Senate Bill 1083 and House Bill 6875, readers should know that these Bills would outlaw individuals who expressed an opinion or other forms of expression in support of the unproven terrorists. Even if these people did not take part in the commission of a terrorism act, police officials would charge them and seize them by expressing their opinions and views. Considering the broad definition of terrorism in the Bills, any individuals who expressed their sentiments or embrace paraphernalia encouraging a demonstration or mass action would be at risk of the provision.

Fourthly, there have been plenty of drawbacks or pitfalls of the Act. Government leaders should know it instead of passing it urgently. This time when COVID-19 pandemic strikes, what place on Earth did these people have space and time working on this Act. How on Earth did these Bills or Act of 2020 come to realize when pandemic produced panic in all of us.

My Perspective

If the government of the Philippines knows what it is doing, then it does or will not allow any harm to the public. The government leaders should not devour the last shadow of democracy that left in us. The government officials should serve as role models of the people and citizens. The people are watching despite the horror and tension. Intelligent people, not the trolls on Facebook and YouTube, are listening. They are not blind, deaf, and mute. Oh, gosh! I am scared. If things do not seem right, who else is fixing this hullabaloo?

For further details, please continue reading here and there.


    • The Daily Tribune. (2020). ABS-CBN fuels misinformation on legislation. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from
    • Burrow, S., & Yoshida, S. (2020). Anti-Terror Bills (Senate Bill 1083 and House Bill 6875) violate international labor standards. A letter to President Duterte. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from

Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

On July 3, 2020, the President of the Philippines Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 known as the Republic Act No. 11479. This Act intends to inhibit, outlaw, and punish terrorism in the Philippines (1). In other words, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, in general, would curtail any actions and measures that promote terrorism.

What Covers the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

The definition of terrorism as prescribed by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 would mean the following (1):

    • Developing, manufacturing, possessing, acquiring, transporting, supplying, or using weapons; and
    • Engaging in acts intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to any person or endangers a person’s life;
    • Engaging in acts intended to cause extensive damage or destruction to a government or public facility, public place, or private property;
    • Engaging in acts intended to cause extensive interference with, damage, or destruction to critical infrastructure;
    • Releasing dangerous substances or causing fire, floods or explosions when the purpose is to intimidate the general public, create an atmosphere to spread a message of fear, provoke or influence by intimidation the government or any international organization, seriously destabilize or destroy the fundamental political, economic, or social structures in the country, or create a public emergency or seriously undermine public safety

Exclusion of Safety Measure against Illegal Arrest

This Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 eliminates a section under the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007. It removes the duty to safeguard against the wrongful charge and detention of the accused. Under HSA, any person would receive compensation for wrongful detention. The police agency or the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) that brought the sanctions would provide financial obligations.”(2)

The Establishment of the Anti-Terrorism Council

Under this Act, the law can form appoint an organized body by the president, the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC). This ATC would designate the persons to arrest targets “terrorists.” These arrested persons would stay up to 24 days without any compensation for wrongful imprisonment. In contrast, the accused persons could file a case against those who wrongfully charged them.

Protesters in the Philippines during the Independence Day

Warrantless Arrest

Based on this law, ATC and its associates could arrest their targets without a judicial warrant of arrest. The law, as well, could allow ATC and its associates to detain their targets for 14 days plus an extension for 10 more days under surveillance for 60 days. Moreover, this law can detain targets when usual criminal charges require further technical considerations. Lastly, the law does not have any obligation to provide the remuneration of the targets for the inconvenience they caused.

In conclusion, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Act on July 3, 2020, to replace the Human Security Act of 2007. Howard Calleja, the De La Salle brothers led by former education secretary Brother Armin Luistro and other civic groups stood to challenge the law in the Supreme Court.