What is the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020? 

Republic Act No. 11479

Salient Features:

Any person who shall threaten to commit any of the following acts shall suffer the penalty of 12 years imprisonment.'

1. Engages in acts intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a person or endangers a person's life.

2. Engages in acts intended to cause damage or destruction to a government/public facility, public place or public property.

3. Engages in acts intended to cause damage or destruction to critical infrastructure.

4. Develops, manufactures, processes, acquires, transports, supplies, or uses weapons, explosives, or of biological, nuclear, and radiological or chemical; weapons.

5. Release of dangerous substances.

6. Proposal to commit terrorist acts

7. Inciting to commit Terrorism.

8. Voluntarily and knowingly join any terrorist organization, proscribed or designated by United Nations Security Council.

9. Being an accessory to a terrorist act.

Any person found guilty of these provisions shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefit of Republic Act No. 10592.

1. Planning, training, preparing and facilitating the commission of a terrorist act.

2. Attempt or conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.

3. Recruitment to and membership in a terrorist organization.

4. Providing material support to terrorists.

Terrorism shall not include advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and political rights, which are not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, to endanger a person's life, and to create a serious risk to public safety.

Penalty for public official if found guilty of aforesaid acts
1. Shall be charged with administrative offense or grave misconduct/loyalty.
2. Dismissal from service.
3. Cancellation of Civil Service Eligibility.
4. Deprived of retirement benefits.
5. Disqualification from running for any elective or public  office.

Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (RA 11479)

Frequent Ask Questions Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (RA 11479)

Q: What is terrorism?
   What acts constitute terrorism?

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 or R.A. 11479 defines terrorism and acts that constitute as terrorism to wit: (Sec. 4 to Sec. 12)
1. The engagement to the acts which intends to cause:
a. death or serious bodily injury to any person, or endangers a person's life;
b. extensive damage or destruction to a government or public facility, public place or private property;
c. extensive interference with, damage or destruction to critical infrastructure;

2. Development, manufacturing, possession, acquisition, transportation of supplies or use weapons, explosives or of biological, nuclear, radiological or chemical weapons;

3. The release of substances that causes fire, floods, or explosions;

4. Purpose of such acts' nature and context is to:
a. intimidate the general public or a segment thereof;
b. create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear, to provoke or influence by intimidation the government or any international organization;
c. create a public emergency or seriously undermine public safety.

Other acts or ways considered as committing terrorism (Sec. 5 to Sec.12)
1. Threat to commit terrorism
2. Planning, training, preparing, and facilitating the commission of terrorism
3. Conspiracy to commit terrorism
4. Proposal to commit terrorism
5. Inciting to commit terrorism (e.g. speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners, or other similar manner with the same effect)
6. Recruitment or membership to a terrorist organization
7. Any person who travels to a state other than their state of residence or nationality, or arranges the travels of these individuals knowing their unlawful purpose, for the preparation, planning, participation in terrorism or to provide/receive terrorist training
8. Providing material support to a terrorist individual, group, organization, and/or association

Acts that are not defined as terrorism:
1. Advocacy
2. Protest
3. Dissent
4. Stoppage of Work
5. Industrial or Mass Action
6. Other similar exercises of civil and political rights

Provided that these acts do not intend to cause deathm serious physical harm, endanger a person's life, or puts public safety at risk.

How is one identified as a terrorist?
According to Section 25 of ATA 2020, terrorists are designated/identified by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) through the following conditions:

- Those who fall under the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) No. 1373 list of terrorists, terrorist groups, and those financing terrorists;

- Individuals, groups or organizations that are idenfified by ATC or other jurisdictions as terrorists following the criteria of the UNSCR No. 1373;

- Those designated by ATC upon the finding of probable cause that such individual/group/organization is committing, or attempting to commit or conspiring in the commission of terrorism.

What are the effects of being suspected or identified as a terrorist?

The following can happen to an individual/group designated by the ATC as terrorist/s:

- Sec. 24 par. 4: Assets of identified terrorists will be frozen by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC)

- Sec. 16: Law enforcement agents may secretly wiretap, overhear and listen to, intercept or record any private communications in whatever form, kind or nature. Moreover, all information relating to the identified terrorist may be demanded from the telecommunications service provider.

- Sec. 29: Law enforcers may take a person suspected of committing terrorism into custody even without judicial warrant of arrest, and detain said person within fourteen (14) days from actual arrest date, extendible up to ten (10) days.

- Sec. 39: Restriction on the Right to Travel

--- If evidence of guilt is not strong, the person in question is entitled to bail with his/her travel capacity limited only within the city/municipality where he/she resides or where the case is pending

--- If evidence of guilt is strong, the Court shall immediately issue an HDO and direct DFA to cancel the passport of the accused.

What are the rights of a person detained as provided under the ATA?

Rights of a person under custodial detention (Sec. 30)

Upon apprehension or arrest of a person charged or suspected of committing terrorism, the following rights are ensured:

a. he/she should be informed of the nature and cause of his/her arrest and to be read his Miranda Rights, to wit:

To remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his/her choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel of his/her choice, the law enforcement agent or military personnel concerned shall immediately contact the free legal assistance unit of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

b. should be informed of the cause or causes of his/her detention in the presence of his legal counsel;

c. allowed to communicate freely, at any time, and without restrictions with his/her legal counsel;

d. allowed to communicate freely and privately without restrictions with, and to be visited by, the members of his/her family or nearest relatives; and 

e. allowed freely to avail of the service of a physician or physician of choice.

Protection of Most Vulnerable Groups (Sec. 51)

There shall be due regard for the welfare of the following suspects while under investigation, interrogation or detention:
a. Elderly
b. Pregnant
c. Persons with disability
d. Women and Children

What are the penalties provided under R.A. 11479 or Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020?
Life Imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits of R.A. 10592 (e.g. conditional pardon, good conduct allowance etc.)
- Terrorism (Sec. 4)
- Planning, Training, Preparing and Facilitating the Commission of Terrorism (Sec. 6)
- Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism (Sec. 7)
- Recruitment to a Terrorist Organization (Sec. 10 par. 1)
- Traveling, or arranging the travels of these persons knowing their unlawful purpose, outside their state of residence or nationality for the purpose of perpetrating, planning, training, or preparing for or participating in terrorism, or providing or receiving terrorist training (Sec. 11)

Imprisonment of twelve (12) years
- Threat to Commit Terrorism (Sec. 4)
- Proposal to Commit Terrorism (Sec. 8)
- Inciting to Commit Terrorism (Sec. 9)
- Membership to a Terrorist Organization (Sec. 10 par. 3)
- Any person having knowledge and without having direct participation, having participated after the commission of terrorism by: (Sec. 14)
a. Profiting or assisting the offender to profit from the crime committed;
b. Concealing or destroying the body or effects or instrument of the crime;
c. Harboring, concealing or assisting in the escape of the principal or conspirator of the crime.

Liable as a principal to any and all terrorist  activities committed
- Providing material support to terrorist groups (Sec. 12)

What are the penalties provided under R.A. 11479 or Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020?

Imprisonment of ten (10) years
- Deleting, Removing or Destroying intercepted or Recorded Communication (Sec. 20)
- Unauthorized revelation of classified materials under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (Sec. 4)

Imprisonment of six (6) years
- Furnishing false evidence, forged document,or spurious evidence in any investigation or hearing related to any violations under this act (Sec. 43)

Imprisonment of four (4) years
- Any bank official or bank employee who refuses to allow a court-ordered examination of assets of terrorist individuals or groups or organizations (Sec. 39)

Source: Integrated Bar of the Philippines | @IntegratedBarPH