Philippine court asked to annul Duterte-backed anti-terror law

in Philippines

Legal experts warn that the anti-terror law’s overly broad articles will allow discriminatory enforcement, privacy infringements and suppression of peaceful dissent [Aaron Favila/AP]

Philippine lawyer groups and a top congressman asked the Supreme Court on Monday to strike down the president’s controversial new anti-terrorism law, or parts of it, calling it unconstitutional for infringing on civil liberties.

Three petitions filed by opposition Congress member Edcel Lagman and two lawyer groups also sought a temporary restraining order against use of the law, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Friday after fast-tracking it through the legislature.

Local and international human rights groups said that while the Philippines does have clear security threats, the legislation could be abused to target administration opponents, with a presidentially appointed anti-terrorism council able to designate who is a suspected “terrorist”.

It grants security forces sweeping powers to go after targets, some without judicial approval, and

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