[In the news] Diokno: Even social media posts could be considered terrorism under anti-terror law -GMAnews

#HumanRights #ScrapTerrorLaw

Diokno: Even social media posts could be considered terrorism under anti-terror law

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that even Filipinos who exercise their basic rights on social media may be considered as committing terrorism crimes under the assailed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Diokno, one of a handful of lawyers representing 37 sets of petitioners in oral arguments, said the law is worded in a way that gives law enforcers the power to infer the “intent” behind protests, work stoppages, and other exercises of civil and political rights.

The law exempts these activities from the definition of terrorism, but only as long as they are “not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s life, or to create a serious risk to public safety.”

Diokno said this places the petitioners, many of whom are activists, at the risk of being arrested and prosecuted based on the “subjective impression” of law enforcers of what their intent was.

He claimed that ordinary citizens exercising their basic rights are also in peril.

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