With the recent Supreme Court decision dismissing all six petitions assailing the 2007 Human Security Act, it’s important we go back and review our opposition to this draconian measure. Below is the link to a powerpoint presentation we prepared in 2007.
It is unfortunate that the SC was waiting for an actual injury from the anti-terror law before it decided on the merits of the petition. The petitioners have been on the receiving end of many repressive policies of the previous regime, including illegal arrests, surveillance, torture and other abuses. The track record of repression against the petitioners was there. It was under this repressive context that the terror law was passed.
The SC’s failure to rule on the merits of the petitions may embolden the human rights violators among the state security forces to carry out more abuses using the anti-terror law. We have seen both the deliberate acts of repression and the sheer incompetence of many state security forces.
Our apprehension over the anti-terror law has not changed even under the new administration of Benigno Aquino III.
The political climate has not really changed dramatically. Repression still exists in many parts of the country. There have been 16 cases of extrajudicial killings, 2 enforced disappearances and at least 3 cases of illegal arrests under the new regime. Under this climate of impunity, the HSA will be a very dangerous tool for repression.
Just imagine PNP officials like Supt.Binayug who is adept at torture being given so much leeway to commit abuses.