EXPRESSING fear for their lives, the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives has again asked the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11479 or the “Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020.”
In a 12-page motion, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and other petitioners, said RA 11479 is being used by the government to intensify “red tagging” on members of the progressive bloc to stifle dissent.
“All these — from the issuance of the IRR (implementing rules and regulations), throwing billions of taxpayers’ funds behind the anti-terrorism program, up to the repeated invocation of the terror law as basis for the intensifying terrorist-tagging of organizations and individuals —either establish the clear doggedness of the current administration and the defense and security officials to enforce an evidently unconstitutional law, or are the very acts that constitute its implementation,” read the petition.
Furthermore, it said the implementers of the ATA have intensified the tagging as “terrorists” of progressive individuals and organizations, including petitioner lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc.
It cited the numerous statements of Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy tagging the Makabayan bloc and the individual representatives of the Makabayan as “high-ranking officials” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
“As spokesperson of one of the main implementors of the Anti-Terrorism Act she clearly stated in her Sept. 5, 2020 statement (posted on September 7) that Petitioners and the Makabayan are the targets of the law,” it said.
In the same petition, the group also cited Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command, red-tagging actress Liza Soberano after she spoke at an online discussion of militant women’s group Gabriela Youth.
It further said that aside from tagging as “terrorists” people’s organization Gabriela and party-list Gabriela Women’s Party, Parlade also linked actress Angel Locsin and her uncle Neri Colmenares to the rebel movement, adding that Locsin’s sister, Ella Colmenares, is a member of the NPA.