PNP wants to amend human security act amid case of Pinoy suicide bomber in Sulu

Published July 15, 2019, 6:34 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Aaron Recuenco

The Philippine National Police (PNP) wants to amend some provisions of the Human Security Act in order to strengthen the government’s fight against terrorism amid the case of a Filipino suicide bomber who blew himself up inside a military camp in Sulu last month.

Philippine National Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine National Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde
(Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde specifically cited the surveillance for case build-up and in holding terror suspects longer as some of the provisions which they want to amend.

“There are some provisions of the Human Security Act (Republic Act 9872) that are really disadvantageous to law enforcers and we want to amend some of these provisions for our counterterrorism efforts,” said Albayalde.

For instance, he said there is a provision in the law that requires law enforcers to inform the subject of the surveillance that he or she is being investigated.

Another one, Albayalde said is the provision that fines law enforcement units with P500,000 a day if the detention would go beyond the 72 hours holding of a terror suspects if there is no case leveled against them.

These provisions, according to Albayalde, sometimes led to unsuccessful case build-up and investigations against any terror suspects.

In the case of the PNP, Albayalde said he wants the police to have longer custody of any terror suspects.

He cited some laws in other countries wherein authorities have the right to detain terror suspects for 30 days, and that this period is extendable depending on the result of the investigation.

“Hopefully, this would be approved and will serve as one of the priority bills of the Congress,” said Albayalde.

This early, he said the proposal appears to be gaining ground in the Senate. In fact, he said a session was already held by a senator regarding the possible amendment.

This could be buoyed by comments even by security experts of foreign countries who see the Philippine version of the Human Security Act as pro-criminal, according to Albayalde.

But Albayalde was quick to clarify that the move to amend the Human Security Act was already being pushed long before the case of a Filipino suicide bomber in Sulu was confirmed.

“This was already being proposed even before based on the experience of our law enforcers in the past,” said Albayalde.

Three soldiers and three civilians died in the suicide bombing in Indanan, Sulu, perpetrated by two suicide bombers, one of them was confirmed to be a Filipino.