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Anti-Terror Law castrates judicial process—NUPL chair

“Nakalagay sa batas na you can file a writ of habeas corpus or a writ of amparo petition for unlawful acts or omission. Ang problema, ginawang lawful ng Anti-Terror Law,” Colmenares said in a webinar on Saturday, July 17. 

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National Union of Peoples' Lawyers Chairperson Neri Colmenares explains the inconsistencies of the Anti-Terror Law towards the Bill of Rights | Screengrabbed from Rappler's webinar

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) Chairperson Neri Colmenares emphasized how the Anti-Terror Law (ATL) completely eradicates judicial processes through focusing more on the prior intention to commit a crime and penalizing probable cause. 

“Nakalagay sa batas na you can file a writ of habeas corpus or a writ of amparo petition for unlawful acts or omission. Ang problema, ginawang lawful ng Anti-Terror Law,” Colmenares said in a webinar on Saturday, July 17. 

Citing Section 25 of the ATL, Colmenares recalled his statements during the oral arguments of the law, explaining how the appointed Anti-Terror Council (ATC) have the liberty to designate any entity as a terrorist. 

He expounded that consequently, Section 26 of the ATL of filing for a proscription, or a request to delist from the law, seemed ineffective as Section 25 counterattacks it.

Moreover, both mentioned sections of the ATL go against both the Bill of Rights, as Section 15 would allow red-tagged groups to condemn any criminal charges against them, and the Human Security Act of 2007, as Sections 17 and 18 limit the power to arrest and detain. 

READ  Human rights lawyers pan anti-terror bill’s ‘vague’ definition

“Which part of the law did not function for you? Mayroon ‘bang terorista na di natin nakasuhan dahil sa weakness ng Human Security Act?’ Wala silang mabanggit […] talagang gusto lang nila mag-overreach,” he said.

The Human Security Act of 2007 is a counterterrorism law repealed by the ATL and passed under the administration of former president Gloria Arroyo. It also faced  heavy criticism among the public due to its vagueness and risk of misuse.

Continuous oppression of the indigenous 

Panelists, human rights lawyer Algamar Lapith and National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Chairperson Jonathan de Santos, evoked the injustices experienced by the indigenous people both before and after the law’s approval.

Latiph retold several incidents wherein Muslims were taken into court for profiling because they were identified as Moros, such as seen in the Bicutan siege.

“[M]ay isang PNP direktor doon na sinabi niya sa mga eskwelahan at unibersidad […] na i-update ang mga Muslim na nag-aaral diyan in the drive for violent extremism,” he said.

Latiph also mentioned that with the inaccessible legal system and the numerous checkpoints across Mindanao, any Muslim could get detained for up to 24 days without criminal charges as long as they are part of that religion.

He referred to the Section 29 of the Anti-Terrorism Law which authorizes the ATC (Anti-Terrorism Council) to arrest and detain suspected terrorists for 24 days, even without a warrant from the court.

Jonathan de Santos continued this narrative through the Lumads’ experiences of displacement and destruction of property.

He explained that in Lumad schools, alongside lessons about their tradition and culture, they discussed socialism and fighting against the government.

READ  Don’t allow red-tagging to cower us into silence—solon

“Yung resistance nila to, let’s say, efforts na pumasok ang mining and logging companies, makikita siya as anti-development in a way, therefore, anti-government and also therefore, terrorist,” he said.

From May 2017 to July 2019, Save Our Schools Network recorded over 500 cases of violence towards Lumad schools; the latest attack happened last February 2021 wherein the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested and took into custody 21 students and several teachers and Lumad elders of the University of San Carlos – Talamban.

37 petitions were filed against the ATL with one of them coming from the Moros, claiming that they would experience further discrimination under the law.

Last February 2021, two indigenous people’s organizations produced a joint statement urging the Supreme Court to junk the ATL following the arrest of Aeta evacuees.

Both Colmenares and Latiph were part of the chosen lawyers to speak in the oral arguments for the terror law, covering the unconstitutionality of the law and the human rights of the indigenous people respectively.

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UST perfects August 2021 architecture boards

The University produced eight new Thomasian architects amid the cancellation of testing in Metro Manila due to the Delta variant surge.

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UST Beato Angelico Building (Marc Valmoria/TomasinoWeb)

Eight Thomasians qualified in the August 2021 architecture licensure examinations (ALE), registering a 100 percent passing rate, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Previously, in the January 2020 ALE, the University was hailed as the top-performing school after it posted a passing rate of 85.18 percent, with 92 out of 108 takers passing the exam.

The national passing rate for this year was at 65.96 percent or 560 passers out of 849. This is an improvement from the previous year’s rate of 55.72 percent with 1,242 making the cut out of 2,229 takers.

The PRC did not declare any top-performing schools for this year’s architecture boards cycle, as no universities qualified with 20 or more takers.

The low turnout of examinees was due to the implementation of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila due to the surge of the contagious Delta variant.

The examination was held last August 27 and 29 at testing centers in Baguio, Cebu, Koronadal, Iloilo, Legaspi, Lucena, Pampanga, Tacloban, and Zamboanga.

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UST, pumangalawa sa mechanical engineering boards ngayong taon

Nakapagtala ang Unibersidad ng 83.33 porsiyentong passing rate kung saan lima sa anim na Tomasinong kumuha ng pagsusulit ang nakapasa.

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Litrato ni Christel Maliksi/TomasinoWeb

Pumangalawa ang Unibersidad sa mechanical engineering board exams ngayong Agosto matapos itong makapagtala ng 83.33 porsyentong passing rate.

Ito ay mas mataas kumpara resulta ng nakaraang taon na 12.50 porsyento o dalawa sa 14 na Tomasinong kumuha ng pagsusulit ang pumasa.

READ  UST declines in February 2020 mechanical eng'g boards

Inanunsyo ng Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) noong Martes, ika-24 ng Agosto, ang mga pumasa sa pagsusulit kung saan lima sa anim na Tomasinong kumuha ng pagsusulit ang nakapasa. 

Nakakita rin ngayong taon ng 39.77 porsyentong passing rate kung saan 247 sa 621 indibidwal na kumuha ng pagsusulit ang nakapasa. Mas mataas ito kumpara sa nakaraang taon na may ​​38.45 porsyentong passing rate o 1,334 sa 3,469 na kumuha ng pagsusulit.

Ang mababang turn-out ng mga kumuha ng pagsusulit ay dulot ng pagkansela ng PRC sa pagsasagawa ng pagsusulit sa Metro Manila, Cebu, at Cagayan de Oro dala ng banta ng Delta variant. Sa halip, ito ay isinagawa lamang sa Baguio, Davao, Lucena, Rosales, Tacloban, at Zamboanga.

Ipinroklama rin ng PRC ang tanging mga institusyong nakakuha ng mas mataas sa 80 porsyento at may higit sa limang kalahok sa pagsusulit. 

Pitong bagong rehistradong mechanical engineer naman mula sa Saint Louis University sa Baguio City ang nanguna sa pagsusulit. 

Ang Unibersidad ay pumapangalawa sa Ateneo de Davao University at University of Mindanao – Davao City na parehong nakakuha ng 100 porsyentong passing rate.

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UST mamamahagi ng 1,000 libreng pocket Wi-Fi para sa online class

Ang “Connectivity Assistance Program” ay naglalayong tulungan ang mga mag-aaral ng pamantasan na makalahok sa kanilang online classes.

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LIBRENG WI-FI. Ipagpapatuloy ng Unibersidad ang kanilang Connectivity Assistance Program na sinimulan noong nakaraang taon sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng karagdagang pocket Wi-Fi sa mga Tomasino. Larawan mula sa UST Facebook page.

Isang libong pocket Wi-Fi ang balak ipamahagi ng Unibersidad para sa mga Tomasinong mag-aaral na wala nakararanas ng mabagal na koneksyon sa internet para sa online classes.

Inilabas ng UST Central Student Council (CSC) noong Martes, ika-10 ng Agosto, ang survey para sa mga nais kumuha ng pocket wifi. Ang “Connectivity Assistance Program” ay naglalayong tulungan ang mga mag-aaral ng pamantasan na makalahok sa kanilang online classes.

Ang mga nais maging benepisyaryo ng programa ay kailangan lamang magbayad ng P300 bilang “reconnection fee.” Libre ang magiging buwanang subscription na may kasama ng 8GB na data na maaaring magamit sa loob ng lima hanggang pitong buwan o isang semestre.

Matatandaan noong simula ng lockdown at ng ikalawang semestre ng pagsasakatuparan ng “Enhanced Virtual Mode” (EVM) sa Unibersidad, unang inilunsad ng UST ang programa sa tulong ng mga telecommunications company na PLDT at Smart Communications. 

Higit 5,000 pocket Wi-Fi device ang ipinamahagi ng programa noon para sa mga estudyante at guro.

READ  UST partners with Smart telco, distributes free pocket wifi

Sa pagpapatuloy ng panuruang taon 2021-2022 at patuloy na pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19, napagpasyahan ng UST na ipagpaliban muna ang mga “face-to-face” na klase at sa halip ay ipagpatuloy ang EVM

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