Acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar (File photo)

MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to junk the appeals to reconsider its December 7, 2021 ruling upholding the constitutionality of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

“We welcome the latest decision of the Supreme Court on Republic Act No. 11479, otherwise known as the ‘Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020,’” acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a press statement.

Andanar issued the statement after the SC junked the motions for reconsideration filed by a group of petitioners questioning the legality of RA 11479.

The high tribunal denied “with finality” the appeals to reverse its decision on petitions challenging the anti-terror law because of “lack of substantial issues and arguments raised by the petitioners.”

Andanar said the SC’s latest move could be considered a “triumph” for the entire Filipinos, as he emphasized that RA 11479’s goal is to ramp up the country’s fight against terrorism.

“We consider this latest High Court ruling a triumph for all peace-loving and law-abiding Filipinos as it serves as a stern warning against malevolent elements that the Philippines is not a safe haven for terrorists,” he said.

RA 11579, inked by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on July 3, 2020, aims to protect life, liberty, and property from terrorism deemed as “inimical and dangerous to the national security of the country and to the welfare of the people.”

In December last year, the SC upheld the validity of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, except for two provisions of the law.

Under RA 11479, people who are part of the planning and training for the commission of terrorism will face life imprisonment sans the benefit of parole and the benefits provided under RA 10592 or the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law.

The anti-terror law also warns that any person who threatens to commit terror acts will suffer the penalty of 12-year imprisonment.

It also states that people who propose to commit or join terror acts will be jailed for 12 years.

Advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and political rights not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person or to create a serious risk to public safety are not considered terror acts, according to RA 11479.

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 also ensures that the use of torture and other “cruel, inhumane, and degrading” treatment or punishment against detained suspected terrorists is “absolutely prohibited.” (PNA)