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Former Philippines Supreme Court justices file petition against new anti-terrorism law
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Former Philippines Supreme Court justices file petition against new anti-terrorism law

Former Philippines Supreme Court Justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio-Morales have joined the faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Law (UP Law) in petitioning the Supreme Court to void the country’s recently passed anti-terrorism law.

The law, which took effect on July 18 after being signed by President Rodrigo Duterte July 3, expands the definition of terrorism and allows suspects to be jailed for weeks without formal charges. It is opposed by many activists who believe the broad offenses cited in the law, such as damage to property, could make it easier for the government to commit human rights violations. The faculty and students at UP Law are petitioning the Supreme Court to void the law because it “chills free speech, brazenly violates the principle of the separation of powers, and grants the Executive Branch powers beyond what the Constitution permits.”

The petition was filed Thursday by the former justices, UP Law faculty and students. They ask that the court prevent the law from going into effect until oral arguments are heard and the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law.