An alliance of Moro and indigenous peoples groups filed a petition before the Philippine Supreme Court on Friday, August 9, to seek the nullification of the country’s new anti-terrorism law.
“We file this petition to signify our faith in the rule of law, no matter how cruel it has been to us national minorities throughout the centuries,” read a statement from the group Sandugo.
“We believe it is never too late for the law to be reclaimed and used for good,” it added, saying that “the night may seem long and unbearable, but nobody, not even [President Rodrigo] Duterte, cannot stop the dawn from rising.”
In a statement, the alliance Sandugo said the new law is “merely a cog in the gigantic machinery of greed which, while rooted in regimes past” and “has expanded rapidly” under the Duterte administration.
“We continue to assert our right to determine our futures,” said the tribal and Moro groups.
“We stand for a future where our ancestral lands remain verdant in our collective guardianship, where our communities do not live in constant fear of bombing or strafing, where our children freely cultivate the wisdom of our indigenous knowledge,” they added.
The said the future they envision “will not emerge as long as the anti-terror law remains in place.” The group said the anti-terror law “is recognized even by experts of jurisprudence as blatantly unconstitutional.”
The new law, which replaces the Human Security Act of 2007, aims to prevent, prohibit, and penalize terrorism in the country.
It was signed by President Duterte last month.
Human rights groups, however, said the law can be used by the government to target human rights activists and government critics.
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