As controversy continues to grow regarding the proposed anti-terrorism law, President Rodrigo Duterte is set to run the ‘final review’ of the bill. In an article by ABS CBN News, it was reported that Duterte asked Congress for a ‘swift passage’ of the bill amid the coronavirus crisis.
“That is still subject to a final review by the President to ensure that it is compliant with our Constitution,” states Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque. It can be recalled that the House of Representatives passed the bill on its third and final reading. Moreover, a similar version was passed by the Senate earlier this year.
However, the proposed bill has drawn attention from citizens, stating that the anti-terror law violates basic rights due to the broad definition of ‘terrorism’. Moreover, in the bill, suspected terrorists can be wiretapped, arrested without a warrant, detained for up to 24 days, to mention a few. To add, several groups have launched signature campaigns to scrap the bill. Read more: Duterte to run ‘final review on anti-terror bill as opposition grows, an article by ABS CBN News.
Moreover, the government is quick to defend the intentions of the bill.
“The intention of the Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2020 is to preserve our sovereignty, promote peace, and ensure the safety of our people. Once the bill is passed into law, our government will become more capable and more earnest in seeking out individuals and groups that threaten our peaceful way of life, and put them all to justice,” states Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, in an article by the Philippine News Agency.
“We witnessed how acts of terrorism cultivated oppression and birthed injustices throughout the archipelago. We saw how it caused indefinite delays in the development of infrastructures that should have stimulated the local economy, and disrupted programs which were intended to provide for the basic needs of peace-loving Filipinos,” he adds. Read more: Anti-terror bill to protect PH peace, an article by the Philippine News Agency.