By Noreen Jazul
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it is “happy” with the receptiveness of the Congress with regard to amending of the Human Security Act by passing an Anti-Terrorism Law.
“We are happy in the sense that Congress is receptive with regard to this request from the defense department to amend the Human Security Act,” AFP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo told CNN Philippines.
Arevalo underscored that an “anti-terrorist law that has more teeth” is needed to be “responsive to the demands of the time.”
“At present, the law is more restrictive on security forces like you cannot detain someone for three days among others,” the AFP spokesperson said.
“You have to pay P500,000 per day of incarceration of withholding of a person if he happens to be acquitted or exonerated for the charges of terrorism,” he added.
Arevalo said such provisions of the Human Security Act “have to be changed.”
Senate Bill No. 1083, sponsored by Senate defense committee chair Senator Panfilo Lacson, is currently being discussed in plenary at the period of interpellation.
The bill clarifies the definition of terrorist acts and prolongs to 14 days, from the current three days, the detention of suspected terrorists without an arrest warrant.
The bill also proposes to penalize those who participate in the plotting of terrorist acts. (With a report from Vanne Elaine Terrazola)