Philippines anti-terror law goes into force in face of protests Bernard Hibbitts at 1:19 PM ET
[JURIST] A controversial new anti-terrorism law took effect in the Philippines Sunday despite the objections of local Roman Catholic bishops [JURIST report], opposition politicians, and activists who mounted small protests across the country marking the occasion. The Human Security Act 2007 [PDF text; press release], signed [JURIST report] in March, authorizes the 72-hour detention of suspects without charge and allows for surveillance, wiretapping and seizure of assets. Critics of the legislation say it could be used by the government of President Gloria Arroyo to stifle political dissent under the cover of anti-terror operations. A petition calling for the Philippines Supreme Court to review the law is expected to be presented later this week, and rights groups are urging the government to suspend the new law until the high court rules or amendments are pushed through Congress.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.