Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dissecting the Anti-Terrorism Bill

after almost a month of no updates, here's some local matter for a change.

Dissecting the Anti-Terrorism Bill

from a local blogger no less! It gives pretty useful insights on what the Anti-Terrorism bill does and what exactly is wrong with it. An excerpt:

No anti-terrorism law can be Constitutional because, in any form, it will be a bill of attainder, something that the Constitution says the Congress shall never pass.

What is a bill of attainder? It is a law that punishes a person for a status or association rather than for the commission of any criminal act. A similar law outlawing the Communist Party of the Philippines was passed decades ago and was attacked exactly on that ground. Believing in communism is not a crime. Communism is a political ideology in the same way that parliamentarism, republicanism and federalism are. When, however, a communist commits an act that violates an existing law--rebellion, insurrection, sedition--then, the commission of the act is punishable. But that is because of the act, not because of his status as a believer in communism.

It is the same thing with the anti-terrorism law.