SC asked to intervene in continuing attacks against ATA petitioners and counsels

We, the undersigned counsel and petitioners against the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act (RA 11479 or ATA), condemn the continuing attacks against petitioners and their counsel and call on the Supreme Court to intervene and help stop these escalating attacks.

The attack against another lawyer and NUPL officer, Atty. Angelo Guillen, one of the counsel for Petitioners in Bayan v. v. Rodrigo Duterte et al. (G.R. No. 252733), was only the latest in the series of attacks against us. Petitioners former Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and former Ombudsman Conchita Morales have raised the issue of Gen. Antonio Parlade’s terrorist tagging of groups and their lawyers who question the constitutionality of the ATA in the Supreme Court. Even the media covering the terror law oral arguments were not spared, with the “terrorist tagging” of Inquirer’s Tech Torres. Atty. Raffy Aquino, who is a FLAG member and counsel in one of the 37 petitions against the ATA, was listed by government security forces as a “CPP/NPA” member. Members of the NUPL, who also serve as counsel in another petition, have also been red-tagged. Atty. Evalyn Ursua, counsel in the petition of the NUJP and others, expressed concern after repeated incidents of motorcycle-riding men taking photos of her residence and receiving suspicious phone calls from unknown callers. Atty. Angelo Guillen, was the latest victim from among the lawyers and petitioners who oppose the ATA.

These attacks are directly brought about by the continuing impunity in the country, as evidenced by the killing of at least 54 lawyers and judges and the thousands of victims of extrajudicial killings since 2016. These attacks against lawyers must stop as they threaten the practice of the legal profession and the right of the people to judicial remedies.

We express concern over the rising number of deaths resulting from the enforcement of “search warrants” issued by the courts on the ground that the subject “fought back”, no different from the claim of “nanlaban” over the deaths of drug suspects in anti-drug operations. We are alarmed that a further proliferation of search warrants will ensue under RA 11479, which does not contain clear judicially determinable standards, giving enforcement agencies a general warrant to search and arrests “suspected persons”. The killing and arrests of subjects of warrants in Rizal, Laguna and Cavite cause grave concern as these are members of groups also petitioning the Supreme Court for the invalidation of RA 11479.

We call on all members of the legal profession to condemn the continuing attacks against lawyers and judges, including attacks against petitioners and their counsel in the ATA petitions. We urge members of the legal profession and various law groups to launch a more active response to these attacks including complaints in UN mechanisms against these attacks.

We call on the Supreme Court as the constitutionally-appointed guardian of civil liberties and protector of the legal profession to take immediate measures to stop these attacks including those committed against petitioners and counsel in the ATA petitions. The issuance of a TRO on the enforcement of the ATA pending the final adjudication of the 37 petitions could help address the worsening situation.

We call on the people to demand from the Government to stop the killings and the escalating violence and impunity that have seriously eroded the rule of law and our democratic order.



Former Solicitor General Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz

Atty. Howard M. Calleja

Former Saj Antonio Carpio

Former Justice And Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay

Atty. Neri J. Colmenares

Atty. Chel I. Diokno

Cong. Edcel C. Lagman

Atty. Ephraim Cortez

Atty. Alfredo B. Molo III

Atty. Algamar A. Latiph

Atty. Evalyn G. Ursua

Dean Pacifico Agabin

Atty. Josalee Deinla

Law Dean Ada Abad

Atty. Jojo Lacanilao

Dean Tony La Viña

Rep. Carlos Zarate

Atty. Jameela Joy Reyes

Atty. Brenda Viernes

Atty. Maria Cristina Yambot

Atty. Maneeka Sarza

Atty. Ericson Dela Cruz

Atty. Teopisto Melliza

Atty. Edre Olalia

Atty. Maria Sol Taule

Atty. Bantuas Lucman

Atty. Rudolf Philip Jurado

Atty. Cristina Sevilla

Atty. Gilbert Andres

Atty. Noel R. Valerio

Atty. Mario E. Maderazo

Atty. Abraham Rey Acosta

Atty. Jay Pujanes

Atty. Karle Marie Tumulak

Atty. Amylyn B. Sato

Atty. Rachel F. Pastores

Atty. Danilo Rico II

Atty. Carlos A. Montemayor, Jr.

Atty. Ma. Kristina C. Conti

Atty. Norma Singson De Leon

Atty. Janine Karla A. Aranas

Atty. Kristopher Mercado

Atty. Dino S. De Leon

Atty. Marlon Manuel

Atty. Alnie Foja

Atty. Sheila Grace Formento

Atty. Minerva Lopez

Atty. Efenita M. Taqueban

Atty. Ryan Jay Roset

Atty. Virginia Suarez

Former Senator A.V. Saguisag

Atty. Rose-Liza Eisma-Orosio

Dean Rodel A. Taton

Atty. Joel Butuyan

Atty. Nicolene Arcaina

Atty. Romel Regalado Bagares

Atty. Carlo Cruz

Atty. Shawn Dustin Coscoluella

Atty. Juan Carlos Cuna

Dean Ma. Soledad Deriquito-Mawis

Former Up Regent Ramon Guillermo