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Lawyers’ Group Reacts On Using Anti-Terrorism Law To Regulate Social Media

ANTI-TERRORISM LAW – A lawyers’ group said that everyone would be fair game if the Anti-Terrorism Law is used to regulate social media.

Image from: The Drum

This statement came after new AFP Chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay wanted to add provisions to the said law, among them include using it to regulate social media.

VISIT: New AFP Chief Wants Provisions for Anti Terrorism Law

According to ABS-CBN News, National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre Olalia said that the Implementing Rules and Regulations or IRR, which was one of the things to be modified by the AFP chief, cannot rise above its source.

“Everybody’s fair game. Who do you know that doesn’t use social media right now? Even abroad where there are a 10th of a billion Filipinos who are also covered by the law by the way,” 

Olalia said that this sends a chilling effect since this restrains, discourages or penalizes; and sums up to prior restraint or subsequent punishment of freedom of speech and expression.

“It sends a chilling effect because it restrains, discourages or even penalizes and amounts to either prior restraint or subsequent punishment of freedom of speech and expression which is unconstitutional and in violation of international law.”

Olalia cited that the government has already enough tools in countering recruitment of terrorists and radicalization.

“Even without going to this overreach step of monitoring social media, if they just do the intelligence work properly intelligently, scientifically and competently, you don’t need to spend so much time and effort monitoring millions of posts, likes, shares,”

Based on the report, the lawyer’s group president said that authorities can ask courts for permission to wiretap and survey if there is a basis to monitor suspected terrorists.

Earlier, the Malacañang Palace said that the law cannot be used to regulate social media since it was not among the law’s provisions.

What do you think of this report? How will you react to this? Let us know more about it in the comments below.

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