Duterte’s anti-terrorism law challenged in Philippines’ top court Jul 07, 2020 0 321 12345 AFPManilaCritics of a new anti-terrorism law in the Philippines called on the country’s highest court Monday to suspend the legislation, arguing it threatens human rights and freedom of speech. The law approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday gives the security forces sweeping powers to go after terrorists, but critics fear it could be used to stifle dissent and target government opponents.Rights groups had called on Duterte to veto the law, which allows for a special council comprised of members of his cabinet to order the warrantless arrest of anyone they deem a terrorist.It also allows for suspects to be detained for up to 24 days without charge and scraps heavy fines for law enforcers for wrongful detention. The government argues the law, which was approved by Congress last month, is needed to combat terrorism in the country’s south where communist and Islamist groups have waged long-running insurgencies. In at least four separate filings to the Supreme Court on Monday, lawyers, professors and members of Congress called for the legislation to be halted before it takes effect later this month to allow for a judicial review and the removal of what they say are unconstitutional provisions. “In a democratic society, security must never be attained nor maintained at the expense of human rights and civil liberties,” opposition lawmaker Edcel Lagman said in his petition.The Supreme Court confirmed the filings. Other groups have expressed plans to challenge the law.“The definition of terrorism... is so vague and broad such that it can be read to include legitimate and lawful gatherings and demonstrations where people assemble to exercise their freedom of speech,” a petition filed by a group of law professors said. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES With 700,000 virus cases, India is 3rd worst-hit in world Jul 07, 2020 0 436 World must support Hong Kong, says activist Wong at court hearing Jul 07, 2020 0 33 Over one million told to evacuate in Japan after heavy rain kills 44 Jul 07, 2020 0 31 Philippines raises alarm over spike after COVID-19 lockdown easing DPA Manila Philippine authorities on Monday expressed alarm over a spike in the number of coronavirus infections in the country and urged the public to strictly follow preventive protocols. “We are alarmed because the .. Nepal makes wearing a face mask mandatory in public places DPA Kathmandu Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) made wearing face masks in public places mandatory on Monday, with provisions for legal action against those defying the public health and safety rules. Umakanta .. Hundreds of drones light up Seoul sky with virus messages Seoul Hundreds of drones lit up the night sky in Seoul for a spectacular showcase of motivational and awareness messages as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic. Three hundred unmanned aerial vehicles were .. India, China agree to ‘complete disengagement’ from deadly border flashpoint AFP New Delhi Chinese troops were seen removing structures from a Himalayan valley where they fought a deadly battle with Indian soldiers last month, Indian army sources said Monday, after high-level talks between the .. Border closure as Melbourne sees sharp spike in virus cases DPA Canberra The internal border between Australia’s two most populous states, Victoria and New South Wales (NSW), will close after Covid-19 cases have spiked in Victorian capital city Melbourne, state Premiers .. China says US has ‘ulterior motives’ in South China Sea Beijing China said the United States had “ulterior motives” for dispatching two aircraft carriers to the South China Sea, in the latest show of military might between the two countries. Chinese Foreign Ministry ..