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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

NATIONAL CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION


Regional Trial Court
Quezon City
Branch _____

ROQUE, Atty. Herminio Harry;


MORO CHRISTIAN PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE;
DIZON, Fr. Joe; SORIANO, Rodinie;
ABIERA, Stephanie; ALCAIN, Maria Lourdes;
ALFEREZ, Voltaire; ALTEZ, Czarina May;
BALOT, Sheryl; BATACAN, Renizza;
CAÑETE, Edan Marri; CARAMOAN, Leana;
CAMANCE, Aldwin; DELORINO, Rene;
DUMAN, Paulyn May; FAJARDO, Rodrigo III;
GO, Anna Marie; JIMENEZ, Anna Arminda;
LEE, Mary Ann; MANALAYSAY, Luisa;
MUSNGI, Miguel; OCAMPO, Michael;
OCANA, Norman Roland III; RAGAMAT, William;
RAMOS, Maricar; REYES, Cherry Lou;
SICAT, Melissa Ann; TABING, Cristine Mae;
and TORNO, Vanessa,
Petitioners,

SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION NO.


_____________________
For: Declaratory Relief (Sections
- versus - 3, 7, 18, 26 and 27 of Republic
Act 9372, otherwise known as the
Human Security Act of 2007)

ERMITA, Eduardo, in his capacity as Executive Secretary


and Chairman of the Anti-Terror Council (ATC);
GONZALEZ, Raul,in his capacity as Secretary of
the Department of Justice and Vice Chairman of the ATC;
ROMULO, Alberto, in his capacity as Secretary of the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Member of the ATC;
PUNO, Ronaldo, in his capacityas Secretary of the
Department of Interior and Local Government and
Member of the ATC; TEVES, Margarito, in his capacity
as Secretary of the Department of Finance and Member of the
ATC; GONZALES, Norberto, in his capacity as
National Security Adviser, and as Director-General
of the National Security Council, Officer-in-Charge

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of the Department of National Defense, and Member of
the ATC; ANDAYA, Rolando, in his capacity
as Secretary of the Department of Budget and
Management; TAN, Roberto, as Officer-in-Charge
of the Bureau of Treasury; ESPERON, Gen. Hermogenes,
in his capacity as Chief of Staff of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines; CALDERON,
Gen. Oscar, in his capacity as Director General
of the Philippine National Police;
Respondents.

x-----------------------------------------------------------------------x

PETITION

COME NOW THE PETITIONERS by the undersigned attorney, and unto

this Honorable Court, respectfully allege:

1. Petitioner Prof. Herminio Harry Roque Jr., of legal age, Filipino citizen,

married, taxpayer, is an active law practitioner and professor of

constitutional and public international law at the University of the

Philippines College of Law. He may be served with pertinent papers and

processes through his undersigned counsel, the Roque and Butuyan Law

Offices, at Unit 1904 Antel 2000 Corporate Centre, 121 Valero Street,

Salcedo Village, Makati City.

2. Petitioner Moro Christian People’s Alliance, is a people’s organization

existing under the laws of the Philippines. It may be served with

pertinent papers and processes through its undersigned counsel, the

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Roque and Butuyan Law Offices, at Unit 1904, Antel Corporate Centre,

121 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.

3. Petitioner Fr. Joe Dizon, of legal age, Filipino citizen, single, taxpayer, is

a long time activist-priest and an advocate against abuses of the

government. He may be served with pertinent papers and processes

through his undersigned counsel, the Roque and Butuyan Law Offices, at

Unit 1904 Antel Corporate Centre, 121 Valero Street, Salcedo Village,

Makati City.

4. Petitioner Rodinie Soriano, of legal age, single, Filipino citizen,

taxpayer, is a student of the University of the Philippines and a member

the League of Filipino citizens. He may be served with pertinent papers

and processes through his undersigned counsel, the Roque and Butuyan

Law Offices, at Unit 1904 Antel Corporate Centre, 121 Valero Street,

Salcedo Village, Makati City.

5. Petitioners Alcain to Torno, are all of legal age, Filipino citizens,

taxpayers, and students of the evening class of the University of the

Philippines College of Law, Diliman, Quezon City. They may be served

with pertinent papers and processes through their undersigned counsel,

the Roque and Butuyan Law Offices, at Unit 1904 Antel Corporate

Centre, 121 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.

6. The Respondents are officials of the National Government, thus;

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7. Sec. Eduardo Ermita is Executive Secretary and Chairman of the Anti-

Terrorism Council (ATC), he may be served with summons and other

papers and processes at the Office of the Executive Secretary,

Malacañang Palace, Manila;

8. Sec. Raul Gonzalez, is Secretary of the Department of Justice and Vice

Chairman of the ATC. He may be served with summons and other papers

and processes at the Department of Justice, Padre Faura, Manila;

9. Sec. Alberto Romulo is Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs

and Member of the ATC. He may be served with summons and other

papers and processes at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Roxas

Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila;

10.Sec. Ronaldo Puno is Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local

Government and Member of the ATC. He may be served with summons

and other papers and processes at the Department of Interior and Local

Government, Kamias cor. EDSA, Quezon City, Metro Manila;

11.Sec. Margarito Teves is Secretary of the Department of Finance and

Member of the ATC. He may be served with summons and other papers

and processes at the Department of Finance, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay

City, Metro Manila;

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12.Sec. Rolando Andaya is the Secretary of the Department of Budget and

Management. He may be served with summons and other papers and

processes at the Department of Budget and Management, Gen. Solano

St., San Miguel, Manila;

13.Hon. Roberto Tan is the Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of Treasury. He

may be served with summons and other papers and processes at the

Bureau of Treasury, Palacio del Gobernador Bldg., Intramuros, Manila;

14.Sec. Norberto Gonzales is National Security Adviser and concurrent

Officer-in-Charge of the Department of National Defense and Member

of the ATC. He may be served with summons and other papers and

processes at Department of National Defense, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon

City, Metro Manila;

15.Gen. Hermogenes Esperon is Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the

Philippines. He may be served with summons and other papers and

processes at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Metro Manila;

16.Police Gen. Oscar Calderon is Director General of the Philippine

National Police. He may be served with summons and other papers and

processes at the Philippine National Police, Camp Crame, Quezon City,

Metro Manila;

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17.The Public Respondents may also be served with summons and other

processes through the Solicitor-General, Office of the Solicitor General,

134 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila.

18.Petitioners hold that sections 3, 7, 18, 26 and 27 of Republic Act 9372, or

the Human Security Act of 2007, need judicial determination in relation

to the petitioners’ rights as provided by the Bill of Rights, Article III of

the 1987 Constitution. Petitioners further hold that due to the ambiguity

or the need for judicial determination of the aforesaid sections, any

disbursement of public funds for purposes provided for in the law are

illegal.

PREFATORY STATEMENT

19.A citizen of the Republic of the Philippines is granted rights and

privileges as well as duties by the 1987 Constitution as embodied in

Article III thereof, also known as the Bill of Rights.

20.As provided for in the 1987 Constitution and as a signatory of the United

Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the Philippine government is

duty-bound to uphold these rights and to ensure that any action of any

entity, private or public, does not infringe upon these rights.

21.The construction of the 1987 Constitution regarding the relationship

between the government and the citizens of the Republic ensures that the

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latter’s rights are respected above all else. Sec. 5 of the Declaration of

Principles and State Policies, Article II of the 1987 Constitution states

that:

“Sec. 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of


life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare
are essential for the enjoyment of all the people of the blessings of
democracy.”

22.This is reinforced by Sec. 1 of the Bill of Rights, Article III of the 1987

Constitution, to wit:

“ Sec. 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property


without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal
protection of laws.”

23.To ensure this, any omission or excessiveness of actions of any of the

three branches of government are checked and balanced by other

branches of the government. This is an important process in the

safeguarding of the rights of its citizens.

24.Particularly, the actions of the legislative as repository of police power of

the state, and the executive as wielder of the same, are prone to question,

especially when they infringe upon the rights and privileges of the

individual which are protected by the Constitution.

25.And the final arbiter of questions regarding this nature is the Judiciary,

particularly the Supreme Court, as it is part of its expanded certiorari

jurisdiction to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of

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discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any

branch or instrumentality of the government. The Supreme Court in

Francisco v. House of Representatives1 emphasized that judicial review

is “not just a power but also a duty” under the 1987 Constitution .

26.On this aspect, the Supreme Court, in a line of decisions, has always

upheld the rights of the citizens as sacrosanct in any working democracy.

Even in times of crises and national emergencies, the roles of the

branches of government and government as a whole, has been limited

due to the rights of its citizens. This was what the Court, in a recent

decision, David vs. Arroyo2, through Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez meant

when it declared that:

“xxx

“During emergency, governmental action may vary in breadth


and intensity from normal times, yet they should not be arbitrary as to
unduly restrain our people’s liberty.

“Perhaps, the vital lesson that we must learn from the theorists
who studied the various competing political philosophies is that, it is
possible to grant government the authority to cope with crises without
surrendering the two vital principles of constitutionalism: the
maintenance of legal limits to arbitrary power, and political
responsibility of the government to the governed.”

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

27.At present, a silent threat exists, one that has haunted the world since the

September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

1
Francisco v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 160261, November 10, 2003.
2
David vs. Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396.

8
28.Terrorism or acts of terrorism have become bywords because of one

event that changed the world’s socio- and geopolitical landscape, the

September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City

and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., U.S.A. To the shock of millions

worldwide, terrorists, hijacking and commanding two airplanes, crashed

the said aircrafts into the buildings in New York City and Washington,

D.C.

29.The group Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, was blamed and later

claimed responsibility for the attacks.3

30.In response to the September 11 attacks, US President George W. Bush,

addressed a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress and called for a “War on

Terror”. He called on all its allies to join the United States in this war.

In his speech, he stated:

“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end
there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has
been found, stopped and defeated.”4

31.The first salvo in this war was directed on Afghanistan, where the

Taliban, a regime that is closely allied with Al Qaeda, was in control.

When the Taliban refused to negotiate with the U.S. and its allies, war

3
“September 11attacks,” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11,_2001_attacks.html>.
4
“War in Afghanistan (2001-present),” http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/20/gen.bush.transcript.html>.

9
was commenced. On October 7, 2001, American and British forces

began aerial attacks on Afghanistan, particularly Kabul.

32.On November 12, 2001, Kabul fell. What followed soon was the

establishment of a democratic government through a nationwide election

which put the first post-Taliban president, Hamid Karzai, in power.

33.In the meantime, as the “War on Terror” was being waged, Presidents

and Prime Ministers of governments around the world threw their

support to the US campaign. The Philippine President, Gloria

Macapagal-Arroyo, threw in her support. According to Time Asia

website:

“President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was the first Asian leader


to back the U.S. in its war on terror after 9/11—and she has pledged
her "general support" for a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.”5

34. After Afghanistan, the “War on Terror” turned towards Iraq then being

ruled by dictator Saddam Hussein. The rationale for the Iraq War was

that the country under Hussein is developing weapons of mass

destruction. This was offered by Pres. Bush and Prime Minister Blair to

their allies.

35.On 2 March 2003, the US led the coalition forces in the war in Iraq.

Despite the eventual ouster of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and the

5
“For or against the War on Iraq,” <http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/501030324/poe/13.html>.

10
election of a democratic Iraqi government, Iraq currently remains a

volatile country still under U.S. military occupation.

36.Six (6) years into the “War on Terror,” Osama bin Laden remains at large

and Al Qaeda, with its ideological allies like Jemaah Islamiyah and the

Philippines’ Abu Sayyaf, still threatens world security.

37.In response to Bush’s call to global war on terror, the US Congress

passed The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing

Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of

2001 or the USA Patriot Act of 2001. Similarly, other nations followed,

such as Great Britain, whose Houses of Parliament passed the Prevention

of Terrorism Act 2005 and Australia, which passed the Anti-Terrorism

Bill into law in the year 2005. Other countries also passed their own

anti-terror laws.

38.In response to the developments worldwide on anti-terror legislation, the

Houses of Congress initiated two different bills towards an anti-terror

law.

39.On 30 June 2004, Sen. Manuel Villar initially filed Senate Bill No. 735,

An Act to Define and Penalize Acts of Terrorism and For Other

Purposes. This was later on substituted along with other Senate Bills

with Senate Bill No. 2137 on 12 October 2007. Senator(s) Manuel B.

Villar, Jr., Panfilo M. Lacson, Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy P. Ejercito-

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Estrada, Ramon B. Magsaysay, Jr. and Alfredo S. Lim sponsored the bill

in substitution.

40.On 11 October 2005, Rep. Imee Marcos, with several Congressmen and

women as co-sponsors, introduced House Bill No. 4839.

41.On 12 October 2005, these bills were certified by the President of the

Philippines for immediate enactment.

42.The two bills were submitted to Joint Conference Committee where the

Senate members of the Conference Committee approved it on 08

February 2007, while the House of Representatives members of the

Conference Committee approved it on 19 February 2007. The approved

bill was transmitted to the President on 27 February 2007.

43.On 06 March 2007, the President acted on the submitted bill and

approved and signed it into law which became Republic Act No. 9372.

44.The effectivity of RA 9372 was scheduled two (2) months after the May

14, 2007 elections as contained in Sec. 63 of the law thereof. It states:

Sec. 62. Special Effectivity Clause. –

“xxx

After the publication required above shall have been done, the
Act shall take effect two months after the elections are held in May
2007.

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Thereafter, the provisions of this Act shall be automatically
suspended one month before and two months after the holding of any
election.”

45.However, a month before the scheduled effectivity, the Secretary of

Justice, Raul Gonzalez, issued statements that sent chilling effects to the

populace. In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, stated that

the interviews and sources of media practitioners are “sacred”. However,

he further stated:

“Of course, unless there is sufficient basis or if they are being


suspected of co-mingling with terror suspects.”6

46.On 05 July 2007, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

(NUJP) called on the 14th Congress “to act posthaste on this potential

threat not just to press freedom but to democracy itself by reviewing or,

better still, repeal altogether this law that is worse than the disease it

purports to cure.”7

They were particularly concerned with Sec. Gonzalez’s statement quoted

above, to which chairman Jose Torres Jr. and secretary general Rowena Paraan, on

behalf of NUJP, issued a statement stating thus:

“This is a statement as vague and as fraught with danger as


many of the anti-terror law's provisions, especially those that
supposedly define what terrorism is and who terrorists are, provisions
so open-ended they could actually lead to anyone and everyone who
government deems fit being tagged a terrorist.”8

6
DoJ can recommend wiretap on alleged terrorists – Gonzalez,” by Tetch Torres,
INQUIRER.net, July 04, 2007, < http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=74741>.
7 “
Gonzalez ‘wiretap media’ statement slammed ,” by Nonoy Expina, INQUIRER.net, July 05,
2007, < http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=74992>.
8
Ibid.

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47.On the other hand, Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, head of delegation

of the European Commission to the Philippines said in Bacolod City,

“The anti-terrorism law is not an excuse to go out and shoot people… to

target people for matters not provided in the law.”9

48.In relation to the aforementioned, a phenomenon has arisen in the recent

history of our country that is reminiscent of the Martial Law days when

people simply disappear and probably summarily killed. In addition,

there is a growing number of persons, supposedly or suspected to be

allied with the Left, who are killed in a pattern that is not unique to our

country: motorcycle-riding and bonnet-wearing hitmen shooting their

target even in broad daylight in the presence of a lot of people.

49.Sec. Eduardo Ermita, in an interview with The Daily Tribune said that

concerned agencies of the government and the anti-terrorism council are

now preparing the implementing rules and regulations, as well as the

publication of the law for public awareness.10

50.On 15 July 2007, as scheduled, Republic Act 9372 became effective.

9
“Anti-terror law not a license for killings -- EU envoy,” by Carla Gomez, INQUIRER.net,
July 05, 2007, < http://archive.inquirer.net/view.php?db=1&story_id=74986>.
10
“Wiretap on journalists possible under anti-terror law — DoJ chief,” by Benjamin B. Pulta,
The Daily Tribune, July 5, 2007, < http://www.tribune.net.ph/headlines/20070705hed3.html>.

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51.As with any law, RA 9372 requires that Implementing Rules and

Regulations be developed. Executive Secretary Ermita has said that

concerned agencies of the government and the Anti-Terrorism Council

have begun the preparation of the law’s IRR, as well as the publication of

the law’s implementation for public awareness. Ermita likewise parried

the possible postponement of the implementation of the law despite the

absence of the IRR.

52.However, due to the ambiguity of some of its provisions and given the

present state of our system of investigation and custodial procedure,

there is an imminent possibility of misinterpretation thereby opening the

identification of “terrorists” to any and all citizens who commit acts

within the supposed purview of the definition.

53.Moreover, several provisions of the said law pose a grave threat to the

life, liberty and property of Filipinos which are held sacrosanct in the

Bill of Rights enshrined in our present Constitution. Hence, this petition.

NATURE OF THE PETITION

54.This is a Petition for Declaratory Relief under Rule 63 of the Revised

Rules of Court seeking the declaration of the validity of construction of

Republic Act 9372 particularly sections 3, 7, 18, 26 and 27 in relation to

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the petitioners’ rights as provided for in Article III of the 1987

Constitution.

LOCUS STANDI

55.Petitioners, lawyer and students, are suing as citizens of the Philippines

and, being a professor and students of law, aver that it is their

responsibility, nay duty, to assert their public rights when there is a clear

and present danger of these rights being unconstitutionally restrained by

the political branches of government in the promulgation and execution

of the Human Security Act of 2007.

56.Petitioner Fr. Dizon is suing as a member of clergy, stating that the law

infringes on the right of the people to freely exercise their religion, that

by not including confessions made by a person to a priest or minister as

included among the privileged information not subject to

unconstitutional surveillance, the law itself does not recognize the right

of the people to practice their religion, of which such confession is an

integral part.

57.Petitioner Moro Christian People’s Alliance is an organization that seeks

to promote harmonious and just relationship between the Bangsa Moro

people and the Christian. They allege that due to the vagueness of

definition of terrorism and unless the enforcement of the statute is

16
restrained, their organization and members may be classified as a

terrorist organization.

58.Petitioner Rodinie Soriano is suing in his personal capacity and on behalf

of the League of Filipino Students (LFS), an association of activist-

students which represents the Filipino studentry in the fight for their

rights. He alleges that due to the vagueness of the definition, he and

other members of the LFS stand the immediate danger of prosecution

under the assailed statute.

59.The causes of action for this complaint, as outlined below, assail the

encroachment of the law on the individual’s zone of privacy, the lack of

due process in the taking of liberty and property, and the violation of the

privacy of communication and correspondence without due process.

These violations of the rights enshrined in Article III of our Constitution

are, without a doubt, of transcendental importance which need to be

acted upon early.

60.The Court has recently sustained the direct injury test in determining

locus standi in our jurisdiction. Citing People vs. Vera, Justice

Sandoval-Gutierrez stated in David vs. Macapagal-Arroyo that “the

person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and

substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain

direct injury as a result”11. However, the Court went on to say that it has
11
David vs Macapagal-Arroyo. G.R. No. 171396. May 3 2006.

17
“adopted a rule that even when the petitioners have failed to show direct

injury, they have been allowed to sue under the principle of

transcendental importance”12. Thus, a citizen may be given locus standi

in public suits provided that “there must be a showing the issues raised

are of transcendental importance which must be settled early”.13

61.Petitioners are likewise suing as taxpayers, stating that any funding

provided to operationalize the law, being unconstitutional, is unlawful

and is a waste of public funds. Moreover, the law does not speak where

the funding for day-to-day operations of the Anti-Terrorism Council will

come from, and petitioners assert that it is their right under Section 7 of

the Bill of Rights and as a taxpayer to know how the ATC and the so-

called War against terror will be funded. Nevertheless, as the law is

unconstitutional, such funds will likewise be illegally disbursed.

RIPENESS FOR ADJUDICATION

62.Justice Regalado, in his book, Remedial Law Compendium, enumerates

the following requisites for an action for declaratory relief, to wit:

“(a) The subject matter of the controversy must be a deed,


will, contract or other written instrument, statute, executive order or
regulation, or ordinance;

“(b) The terms of said documents and the validity thereof are
doubtful and require judicial construction;

12
Ibid.
13
Ibid

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“(c) There must have been no breach of the documents in
question;

“(d) There must be an actual justiciable controversy or the


“ripening seeds” of one between persons whose interests are adverse;

“(e) The issue must be ripe for judicial determination; and

“(f) Adequate relief is not available through other means or


other forms of action or proceeding.”

63.Paragraph (a) points to the subject matter of the action. The present

petition’s subject matter is Republic Act 9372, otherwise known as the

Human Security Act of 2007, especially sections 3, 7, 18, 26 and 27.

64.Paragraph (b) provides for the issue or cause of the action. In this

petition, the provisions of the aforesaid sections, read in their pure form,

are of doubtful constitutionality, and their implementation may lead to

arbitrariness; hence, they require judicial construction.

65.Paragraph (c) requires that no damage has yet been done to the one suing

for declaratory relief, since such occurrence already gives way to an

ordinary civil action.

66.Paragraph (d) requires ripeness for judicial determination. As RA 9372

is now in full effect, albeit awaiting its implementing rules and

regulations, this criterion is met. In this regard, the Court declared in

Ople vs. Torres, to wit:

“xxx [t]he ripeness for adjudication of the petition at bar is


not affected by the fact that the implementing rules of A.O. No.
308 have yet to be promulgated. Petitioner Ople assails A.O. No.

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308 as invalid per se and as infirmed on its face. His action is not
premature for the rules yet to be promulgated cannot cure its fatal
defects. Moreover, the respondents themselves have started the
implementation of A.O. No. 308 without waiting for the rules.”
(emphasis supplied)

67.Paragraphs (e) and (f) point to the exhaustion of any and all available

remedies for adequate relief. In the case when a statute is involved, the

principle of presumption of constitutionality stands; hence, the only

remedy for any questions concerning the constitutionality of the law lies

in the Judiciary.

68.Section 2 of Rule 63 of the Revised Rules of Court states, to wit:

“All persons who have or claim any interest which would be


affected by the declaration shall be made parties xxx”

69.The determination of the fitness of the issues for judicial decision, the

hardship to the parties of withholding court consideration, and even the

immediate and substantial impact upon the respondents of the

implementation of the Human Security Act of 2007 have bases as well on

jurisprudence.

70.Consistent with the controlling doctrine espoused in Gonzales v

COMELEC,14 this instant petition is filed after the effectivity date of 15

July 2007. In the aforementioned case, the petitioners therein waited for

14
Gonzales v COMELEC, 9 SCRA 230 (1963).

20
the assailed law to become effective before filing the suit; to avoid the

vice of prematurity in their suit, petitioners herein similarly adopt the

same approach.

71.In another decision, the Supreme Court, in Bayantel vs. Republic, which

was a petition for declaratory relief, stated that “[a]n issue is ripe for

judicial determination when litigation is inevitable or when

administrative remedies have been exhausted.”

72.Due to the national scope of the law and its application dependent on the

authorities implementing it, any ambiguity of the definition or concern

on the procedural aspect of the law could lead to breach of rights of any

Filipino citizen suspected as a terrorist.

73.The US Supreme Court in Poe vs. Ullman,15 declared that “for the Court

to adjudicate petitions for declaratory judgments on state or federal laws,

there must exist a ‘realistic fear of prosecution’” must be met. In this

instant petition, this requirement is highly met. The petitioners, citizens

of the country, are indeed susceptible to prosecution for the effect of the

law extends to any citizen, regardless of affiliation. All could well be

under the definition of terrorist as provided by the law and be subjected

to prosecution. This could have serious repercussions on the civil

liberties of the people of the Philippines.

15
Poe vs. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497 (1961).

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74.Subsequently, the Philippines, a staunch ally of the US global war on

terror in Southeast Asia, has manifested its support of the classification of

certain groups as terrorists. No less than the President herself proclaimed

at the three-day Mindanao Peace and Security Summit at the Pryce Hotel

in Cagayan de Oro that “[i]f you are a communist terrorist, we will

stop you. If you are a religious terrorist, we will stop you. If you are a

rogue element of our own police or military, we will stop you.”16 And

yet, due to the still undefined word, “terrorism,” there is still confusion as

to who the President is addressing such remarks.

75.Even before the effectivity of RA 9372, critics and the political

opposition, as well as those who simply earned the ire of those in power,

have been prosecuted or have been threatened with prosecution as a result

of their criticisms and political leanings. If petitioners have been

subjected to prosecution or threats of prosecution prior to the effectivity

of RA 9372, then the said law now in effect—with all its attendant

unconstitutional provisions as alleged in the discussion that follows—

raises the possibility of inevitable litigation or prosecution to new heights.

76.Therefore, as stated, a petition for declaratory relief is the proper and only

remedy available to petitioners in this case.

DISCUSSION
16
“1st targets: Rogue AFP, red terrorists,” Paolo Romero, The Philippine Star, Vol. XXI, No.
346, Wednesday, July 11, 2007, p. 1.

22
Section 3 of Republic Act No.
9372 is void for being vague
since it does not provide for a
definition of “terrorism”.

77.Sec. 3 of Republic Act 9372, or the Human Security Act of 2007, states:

“Sec. 3. Terrorism. – Any person who commits an act


punishable under any of the following provisions of the Revised
Penal Code:

a. Article 122 (Piracy in General and Mutiny in the High Seas


or in the Philippine Waters);

b. Article 134 (Rebellion or Insurrection);

c. Article 134-a (Coup d’Etat), including acts committed by


private persons;

d. Article 248 (Murder);

e. Article 267 (Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention);

f. Article 324 (Crimes Involving Destruction);

or under

(1) Presidential Decree No. 1613 (The Law on Arson);

(2) Republic Act No. 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous


and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990);

(3) Republic Act No. 5207 (Atomic Energy Regulatory and


Liability Act of 1968);

(4) Republic Act No. 6235 (Anti-Highjacking Law);

(5) Presidential Decree No. 532 (Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway


Robbery Law of 1974); and,

(6) Presidential Decree No. 1866, as amended (Decree


codifying the Law on Illegal and Unlawful Possession, Manufacture,
Dealing in, Acquisition or Disposition of Firearms, Ammunitions or
Explosives);

23
thereby sowing and creating a condition of widespread and
extraordinary fear and panic among the populace, in order to coerce
the government to give in to an unlawful demand shall be guilty of
the crime of terrorism and shall suffer the penalty of forty (40) years
of imprisonment, without the benefit of parole as provided for under
Act No. 4103, otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law,
as amended.”

78.The attempt at defining the word “terrorism” proceeds from an

enumeration of crimes and felonies provided for by the Revised Penal

Code or special laws and qualified by “thereby sowing and creating a

condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the

populace, in order to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful

demand”.

79.It is a well-settled principle that a law “must be sufficiently explicit to

inform those who are subject to it what conduct on their part will render

them liable to its penalties is a well- recognized requirement, consonant

alike with ordinary notions of fair play and the settled rules of law; and a

statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so

vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its

meaning and differ as to its application violates the first essential of due

process of law.”17

80.The test of whether or not a law is vague is that men of common

intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its

application.18 Applying once again the doctrine set in the recent case of

17
Connally v General Construction Co., 269 U.S. 385.
18
Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association v City Mayor. 20 SCRA 849.

24
David vs Macapagal-Arroyo19, a litigant may challenge a statute if it is

vague in all its applications.

81.Even though terrorism has been a common term in the past several years,

no definition has been put forth to which majority of the authorities have

agreed. In the language used by the Court in David vs. Macapagal-

Arroyo, the phrase “acts of terrorism” is still an amorphous and vague

concept. The extent of this vagueness can be gleaned from the comment

in the same decision, which deserves to be quoted in full:

“In fact, this “definitional predicament” or the “absence of an


agreed definition of terrorism” confronts not only our country, but the
international community as well. The following observations are
quite apropos:

“In the actual unipolar context of international


relations, the “fight against terrorism” has become one of the
basic slogans when it comes to the justification of the use of
force against certain states and against groups operating
internationally. Lists of states “sponsoring terrorism” and of
terrorist organizations are set up and constantly being
updated according to criteria that are not always known to the
public, but are clearly determined by strategic interests.

“The basic problem underlying all these military


actions – or threats of the use of force as the most recent by
the United States against Iraq – consists in the absence of an
agreed definition of terrorism.

“Remarkable confusion persists in regard to the legal


categorization of acts of violence either by states, by armed
groups such as liberation movements, or by individuals.

“The dilemma can by summarized in the saying “One


country’s terrorist is another country’s freedom fighter.” The
apparent contradiction or lack of consistency in the use of the
term “terrorism” may further be demonstrated by the
historical fact that leaders of national liberation movements
such as Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Habib Bourgouiba
in Tunisia, or Ahmed Ben Bella in Algeria, to mention only a
few, were originally labeled as terrorists by those who

19
David vs. Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396

25
controlled the territory at the time, but later became
internationally respected statesmen.

“What, then, is the defining criterion for terrorist acts


– the differentia specifica distinguishing those acts from
eventually legitimate acts of national resistance or self-
defense?

“Since the times of the Cold War the United Nations


Organization has been trying in vain to reach a consensus on
the basic issue of definition. The organization has intensified
its efforts recently, but has been unable to bridge the gap
between those who associate “terrorism” with any violent act
by non-state groups against civilians, state functionaries or
infrastructure or military installations, and those who believe
in the concept of the legitimate use of force when resistance
against foreign occupation or against systematic oppression
of ethnic and/or religious groups within a state is concerned.

“The dilemma facing the international community can


best be illustrated by reference to the contradicting
categorization of organizations and movements such as
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – which is a terrorist
group for Israel and a liberation movement for Arabs and
Muslims – the Kashmiri resistance groups – who are
terrorists in the perception of India, liberation fighters in that
of Pakistan – the earlier Contras in Nicaragua – freedom
fighters for the United States, terrorists for the Socialist camp
– or, most drastically, the Afghani Mujahedeen (later to
become the Taliban movement): during the Cold War period
they were a group of freedom fighters for the West, nurtured
by the United States, and a terrorist gang for the Soviet
Union. One could go on and on in enumerating examples of
conflicting categorizations that cannot be reconciled in any
way – because of opposing political interests that are at the
roots of those perceptions.

“How, then, can those contradicting definitions and


conflicting perceptions and evaluations of one and the same
group and its actions be explained? In our analysis, the basic
reason for these striking inconsistencies lies in the divergent
interest of states. Depending on whether a state is in the
position of an occupying power or in that of a rival, or
adversary, of an occupying power in a given territory, the
definition of terrorism will “fluctuate” accordingly. A state
may eventually see itself as protector of the rights of a certain
ethnic group outside its territory and will therefore speak of a
“liberation struggle,” not of “terrorism” when acts of
violence by this group are concerned, and vice-versa.

“The United Nations Organization has been unable to


reach a decision on the definition of terrorism exactly

26
because of these conflicting interests of sovereign states that
determine in each and every instance how a particular armed
movement (i.e. a non-state actor) is labeled in regard to the
terrorists-freedom fighter dichotomy. A “policy of double
standards” on this vital issue of international affairs has been
the unavoidable consequence.

“This “definitional predicament” of an organization


consisting of sovereign states – and not of peoples, in spite of
the emphasis in the Preamble to the United Nations Charter!
– has become even more serious in the present global power
constellation: one superpower exercises the decisive role in
the Security Council, former great powers of the Cold War
era as well as medium powers are increasingly being
marginalized; and the problem has become even more acute
since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 I the United
States.

“The absence of a law defining “acts of terrorism” may result in


abuse and oppression on the part of the police or military. An
illustration is when a group of persons are merely engaged in a
drinking spree. Yet the military or the police may consider the act as
an act of terrorism and immediately arrest them x x x . Obviously,
this is abuse and oppression on their part. It must be remembered that
an act can only be considered a crime if there is a law defining the
same as such and imposing the corresponding penalty thereon.”20
(citation omitted)

82.In a half-hearted attempt at defining “terrorism”, the legislature merely

enumerated acts already punishable under the Revised Penal Code, and

merely added the phrase “thereby sowing and creating a condition of

widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace, in

order to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand”. This

attempt at defining the already vague term of terrorism only added

confusion with vague words and phrases like “widespread”,

“extraordinary”, “fear”, “panic”, and “unlawful demand”. Petitioners

contend that this feeble attempt at defining terrorism only gives the

military, police, and other branches of the executive unbridled discretion

20
David vs. Macapagal Arroyo, ibid.

27
in describing certain acts as “acts of terrorism” without giving the people

the faintest idea of what acts should be avoided in order to evade

persecution for terrorism.

83.Sec. 3 does not provide complete and sufficient standards to guide the

authorities in dealing with an accused alleged to have committed the

offense. In Estrada v. Sandiganbayan21 citing People v. Nazario, the

Supreme Court said:

“A statute or act may be said to be vague when it lacks


comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence must
necessarily guess at its meaning and differ in its application. In such
instance, the statute is repugnant to the Constitution in two respects:

a) it violates due process for failure to accord persons,


especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what conduct to
avoid; and

b) it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying


out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the
Government muscle.” (emphasis supplied)

84.Due to this, there exists a danger of prosecution to petitioners and to any

citizen of the country who may be branded as a terrorist. The

arbitrariness which unfortunately rocks our bureaucracy poses a real

threat to all citizens.

Section 7 of RA 9372 violates


the Right to Privacy of
Communication and Due
Process
85.Sec. 7 of Ra 9372 provides:
21
Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148560, November 19, 2001

28
“Sec. 7. Surveillance of Suspects and Interception and Recording of
Communications. – The provisions of Republic Act No. 4200 (Anti-wire Tapping
Law) to the contrary notwithstanding, a police or law enforcement official and the
members of his team may, upon a written order of the Court of Appeals, listen to,
intercept and record, with the use of any mode, form, kind or type of electronic or
other surveillance equipment or intercepting and tracking devices, or with the use
of any other suitable ways and means for that purpose, any communication,
message, conversation, discussion, or spoken or written words between members
of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization, association, or group
of persons or of any person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or
conspiracy to commit terrorism.

“Provided, That surveillance, interception and recording of


communications between lawyers and clients, doctors and patients, journalists
and their sources and confidential business correspondence shall not be
authorized.”

This is clearly violative of the constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy of

communication:

“Sec. 3. The privacy of communication and correspondence


shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when
public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.

“Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding


section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.”

86.Moreover, petitioner Fr. Joe Dizon avers that his rights as a priest as well

as those of his penitents stand to be violated since priest-penitent

relationships are not included in the exclusions, making confessions

made to priests unconditionally susceptible to Section 7 of the Human

Security Act of 2007.

87.The abovementioned section also violates due process. It is clear that

intrusion is allowable upon an order of the court or when public safety or

order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. But if the intrusion is to

be done through wiretaps “for any communication, message,

29
conversation, discussion, or spoken or written words between members

of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization, association,

or group of persons or of any person charged with or suspected of the

crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism” when a definition

of terrorism is wanting, it makes the provision applicable to just any

person.

88.Moreover, this provision allows violations of the privacy of

communication of people on mere suspicion of conspiracy to commit

terrorism. Not once in the history of world jurisprudence has there been a

penalty for mere suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime. The reason

is very clear: conspiracy, as a state of mind, can only be proven when

there was an agreement between two or more persons to commit a

certain crime and thereafter decide to commit it. Being a mental act that

would only become manifest. Being a state of mind, the burden to prove

that there was conspiracy lies heavily in the prosecution. Sec. 7 of RA

9372 attempts to remove this heavy burden by including persons

“suspected of x x x conspiracy to commit terrorism” together with

persons charged with terrorism. The inclusion of such persons suspected

of conspiracy to commit terrorism in several provisions of RA 9372 is

violative of due process and therefore, unconstitutional.

Section 18 of RA 9372 is
violative of the Due Process
Clause

30
89.The whole Sec. 18 of RA 9372 smacks of violations to the Bill of Rights.

The first paragraph thereof states, to wit:

“Sec. 18. Period of Detention Without Judicial Warrant of


Arrest. – The provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code to
the contrary notwithstanding, any police or law enforcement
personnel, who having been duly authorized in writing by the Anti-
Terrorism Council has taken custody of a person charged with or
suspected of the crime of terrorism or the crime of conspiracy to
commit terrorism shall, without incurring any criminal liability for
delay in the delivery of charged or suspected person to the proper
judicial authority within a period of three days counted from the
moment the said charged or suspected person has been apprehended or
arrested, detained, and taken into custody by the said police, or law
enforcement personnel: Provided, That the arrest of those suspected of
the crime of terrorism or conspiracy must result from the surveillance
xxx.”

90.Sec.18. Period of detention without judicial warrant of arrest violates

Sec. 22 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution which provides, to wit:

“No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted”


(emphasis supplied)

91.Joaquin Bernas, S.J., in his book, The 1987 Consitution of the Republic

of the Philippines: A Commentary, mentions that Sec. 22 of the Bill of

Rights can be applied to criminal procedural law prejudicial to the

accused.22 Clearly, by changing the duration of custody, the law has

prejudiced the accused. This will allow the police or the military

22
Joaquin Bernas, S.J., The 1987 Consitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary,
(Quezon City: Rex Printing Compnay, Inc., 2003), p. 600 citing Mekin v. Wolfe, 2 Phil. 74, 78 (1903);
US v. Jueves, 23 Phil. 100, 105 (1912); Roman Cath. Bishop of Lipa v. Municipality of Taal, 38 Phil. 367
(1918); Province of Camarines Sur v. Director of Lands, 64 Phil. 600(1937); Ongsiako v. Gamboa, 86
Phil. 50, 54 (1950); Tolentino v. Angeles, 99 Phil. 309, 318 (1956); Phil. National Bank v. Ruperto , G.R.
No. L-13777, June 30, 1960; Snatos v. Secretary of Public Works and Communications, G.R. No. L-
16049, March 18, 1967.

31
unwarranted access to the suspects thereby increasing their exposure to

torture and intimidation during the course of the investigation.

92.The acts of terrorism as enumerated under Sec. 3 of RA 9372 are acts

punishable under the existing RPC. It has repealed, in effect, Art. 125 of

the RPC in relation to the felonies described as terrorism as the provision

would not be made to apply to detained persons under this Act.

93.Under Art 125, for crimes or offenses punishable by capital penalties, the

public officer or employee who detains, on legal ground, an accused for

more than 36 hours would be liable for a felony. Under RA 9372, the

police or law enforcement officer is allowed to detain for a maximum

number of three days, a person he has previously arrested without a

warrant. The maximum length of warrantless arrest and detention is also

made applicable to a person suspected for committing a conspiracy to

commit any of the acts of terrorism, which is not originally punished

under the RPC. The said article states, to wit:

“Art. 125. Delay in the delivery of detained persons to the


proper judicial authorities. — The penalties provided in the next
preceding article shall be imposed upon the public officer or
employee who shall detain any person for some legal ground and
shall fail to deliver such person to the proper judicial authorities
within the period of; twelve (12) hours, for crimes or offenses
punishable by light penalties, or their equivalent; eighteen (18)
hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by correctional penalties, or
their equivalent and thirty-six (36) hours, for crimes, or offenses
punishable by afflictive or capital penalties, or their equivalent. In
every case, the person detained shall be informed of the cause of his
detention and shall be allowed upon his request, to communicate and
confer at any time with his attorney or counsel. (As amended by E.O.
Nos. 59 and 272, Nov. 7, 1986 and July 25, 1987, respectively).”

32
94.It also violates Sec. 2, Article II of the 1987 Constitution which states:

“Sec. 2. x x x adopts the generally accepted principles of


international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the
policy of peace, equality, justice, fredom x x x.” (emphasis supplied)

95.As a signatory of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human

Rights which was approved by the General Assembly of the United

Nations of which the Philippines is a member at its plenary meeting on

December 10, 1948 where “the right to life and liberty and all other

fundamental rights as applied to all human beings” were proclaimed,

the Philippines has a duty to uphold these principles for they are, after

all, “adopted as part of the law of the land.”

96.Furhtermore, the UDHR provides that:

“Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in degree
and rights;

“Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom


set forth in this Declaration without distinction of any kind, such as
race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion,
nationality or social origin, property, birth, or other status;

xxx xxx xxx

“Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by


the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental
rights granted him by the Constitution or by law;

“Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest,


detention or exile” (emphasis supplied)

33
97.Sec. 18 of RA 9372 also violates Sec. 1, Article III of the 1987

Constitution stating:

“No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without


due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection
of laws”

98.In view of Sec. 2, Article III of the Constitution, the rule is that no arrest

may be made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge after

examining the complainant and the witnesses he may produce and after

finding probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has

committed the crime. The exceptions when an arrest may be made even

without a warrant are provided in Rule 113, Sec. 5 of the Rules of

Criminal Procedure which reads:

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed,


is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has
personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person to be
arrested has committed it;

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped


from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final
judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or
has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to
another.

99.However, in RA 9372, no probable cause is needed to be determined by

the judge. The judicial determination by the police or law enforcement

officers who will make the arrests is based on or must result from the

surveillance under Sec 7 (recording of communications) and Sec 27 of

34
the Act (examination of bank deposits). Court authorization is needed

for the conduct of surveillance but not for the arrests to be made.

100.Moreover, RA 9372 violates the International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights (hereinafter cited as ICCPR). The UN General

Assembly adopted the ICCPR on December 16, 1966. The Philippines

signed the convention on December 19, 1966 but ratified it only on

October 23, 1986. International Covenant for Civil and Political

Rights (ICCPR) contains the protection of a citizen(s) from

illegal/arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention, torture and court delay. The

Philippine government is a state party to the ICCPR. It is provided in

Article 9 therein, to wit:

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.


No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall
be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance
with such procedures as are established by law.

2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of


arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly
informed of any charges against him;

3. Anyone arrested or detained in a criminal charge shall be


brought promptly before a judge or other officer
authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be
entitled to trial within reasonable time or to release.

4. Anyone who was deprived of his liberty by arrest or


detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a
court, in order that such court may decide without delay
on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if
the detention is not lawful.

5. Anyone who has been a victim of unlawful arrest or


detention shall have an enforceable right to
compensation.

35
101.In relation to this, in the case, Roger Posadas et. al., vs The Hon.

Ombudsman,23 the Court declared, to wit:

“The determination of the existence of probable cause that the


persons to be arrested committed the crime was for the judge to make.
The law authorizes a police officer or even an ordinary citizen to
arrest criminal offenders only if the latter are committing or have just
committed a crime. Otherwise, we cannot leave to the police officers
the determination of whom to apprehend if we are to protect our civil
liberties. This is evident from a consideration of the requirements
before a judge can order the arrest of suspects. Art. III, §2 of the
Constitution provides:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,


papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of
whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search
warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to
be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or
things to be seized.”24

Section 26 of RA 9372 violates


the Right of the People to
Travel

102.Section 26 of RA 9372 provides:

Sec. 26. Restriction on Travel – In cases where evidence of


guilt is not strong, and the person charged with the crime of
terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism is entitled to bail and
granted the same, the court, upon application by the prosecutor, shall
limit the right of travel of the accused to within the municipality or
city where he resides or where the case is pending, in the interest of
national security and public safety, consistent with Article III, Section
6 of the Constitution. Travel outside of said municipality or city,
without the authorization of the court, shall be deemed a violation of
the terms and conditions of his bail, which shall then be forfeited as
provided under the Rules of Court.

He/she may also be placed under house arrest, by order of the


court at his or her usual place of residence.
23
Roger Posadas et. al., vs The Hon. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 131492 September 29, 2000.
24
Ibid.

36
x x x (emphasis supplied)

103.This provision clearly violates Section 6, Article III of the Constitution,

which provides for an inviolable right of the people to travel shall not be

impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or

public health, as may be provided by law. Imposing a restriction on

people charged with terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism when

evidence of guilt is not strong does not fall under the exception provided

for in the Bill of Rights. The inclusion of the phrase “in the interest of

national security and public safety, consistent with Article III, Section 6

of the Constitution” in Sec. 26 is but a mere superfluity, invoking the

exception provided in said Constitutional provision without stating the

reason why such persons charged, when evidence of guilt is NOT strong,

fall under the exception. In any case, it is beyond logic and reason to say

that a person whose evidence of guilt is not strong can be the subject of

the State’s interest of national security, public safety, or public health.

104.This grave violation of Sec. 6 Art. III of the Constitution must not

escape the scrutiny of the Courts. The issue is of transcendental

importance and petitioners invoke their right as citizens in seeking the

nullity of the said Section 26 of RA 9372.

37
Section 27 of RA 9372 is
violative of Section 2, Article
III of the Constitution

105.Section 27 is in violation of right to property and the right against

unreasonable search and seizure inasmuch as it did not specify the

transactions and the period the deposits, accounts and records to be

viewed. It is a blanket authority to open said accounts. It states, to wit:

Sec. 27. Judicial Authorization Required to Examine Bank


Deposits, Accounts, and Records. – The provisions of Republic Act
No. 1405 as amended, to the contrary notwithstanding, the justices of
the Court of Appeals designated as a special court to handle anti-
terrorism cases after satisfying themselves of the existence of probable
cause in a hearing called for that purpose that (1) a person charged
with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to
commit terrorism, (2) of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist
organization, association, or group of persons, and (3) of a member of
such judicially declared and outlawed organization, association, or
group of persons, may authorize in writing any police or law
enforcement officer and the members of his/her team duly
authorized in writing by the anti-terrorism council to: (a)
examine, or cause the examination of, the deposits, placements,
trust accounts, assets and records in a bank or financial
institution; and (b) gather or cause the gathering of any relevant
information about such deposits, placements, trust accounts,
assets, and records from a bank or financial institution. The bank
or financial institution concerned shall not refuse to allow such
examination or to provide the desired information, when so
ordered by and served with the written order of the Court of
Appeals. (emphasis supplied)

106.While no mention of the words “search and seizure” can be read from

the above section, such examination and gathering, of deposits,

placements, trust accounts, assets, and records of persons charged or

suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism

38
still fall under the term “search and seizure” mentioned in the

Constitution.

107.This provision violates Sec. 2 Art III of the Constitution, which strictly

provides for procedures to follow in cases of search and seizure.

Relevant to the preceding section of RA 9372, the Constitution provides

that “x x x no search warrant shall issue except upon probable cause x x x

and specifically describing the x x x things x x x to be seized.”

108.By virtue of Section 27 of RA 9372, the legislature has amended Sec. 2

Art III of the Constitution since it provides for a different method of

obtaining search warrants as described above.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court to exercise

its power to:

a.) declare the unconstitutionality of Secs. 3, 7, 18, 26 and 27 of

Republic Act 9372 ;otherwise known as the Human Security Act

of 2007;

b.) restrain public respondents, members of the ATC, from

discharging their functions under the statute;

c.) restrain the Departments of Budget and Management, and

Finance, and the Bureau of Treasury from disbursing any funds for

the purpose of implementing such statute;

39
d.) restrain the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines

National Police from enforcing the statute.

Quezon City.

17 July 2007.

ROQUE BUTUYAN LAW OFFFICE


Counsel for the Petitioners
Unit 1904, Antel Corporate Centre,
121 Valero Street, Salcedo Village,
Makati City, Philippines

By:

H. HARRY ROQUE, JR.


PTR No. 0310306/10 Jan 2007/Makati City
IBP Lifetime Member
Roll No. 36976

EXPLANATION

Due to distance and lack of messengers at the Law Office to effect personal
service, the foregoing PETITION was sent through registered mail.

H. HARRY ROQUE, JR.


Counsel for the Petitioners

Copy Furnished:

Sec. Eduardo Ermita


Executive Secretary
Office of the Executive Secretary

40
Malacañang Palace, Manila

Sec. Raul Gonzalez


Secretary
Department of Justice
Padre Faura, Manila

Sec. Alberto Romulo


Secretary
Department of Foreign Affairs
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City

Sec. Ronaldo Puno


Secretary
Department of Interior and Local Government
Kamias cor. EDSA,
Quezon City

Sec. Margarito Teves


Secretary
Department of Finance
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City

Sec. Rolando Andaya


Secretary
Department of Budget and Management
Gen. Solano St., San Miguel, Manila

Hon. Roberto Tan


Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of Treasury
Palacio del Gobernador Bldg.,
Intramuros, Manila

Sec. Norberto Gonzales


National Security Adviser and concurrent Officer-in-Charge
Department of National Defense
Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City

41
Gen. Hermogenes Esperon
Chief of Staff
Armed Forces of the Philippines
Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City

Dir./Gen. Oscar Calderon


Director General
Philippine National Police
Camp Crame, Quezon City

Hon. Agnes Devanadera


Solicitor-General
Office of the Solicitor General
134 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village,
Makati City, Metro Manila.

42