Palace: Certification of anti-terror bill urgency does not assure approval

Published June 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos 

Malacañang assured the public that the certification of the Anti-Terrorism Bill as urgent does not guarantee that President Duterte will automatically sign the legislative enactment as it still has to be evaluated and ascertained to be compliant with the Constitution.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque speaks during a press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang, Friday. (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the measure by a vote of 173-31, with 29 abstentions.

In his Thursday press briefing, Roque said President Duterte will still review the measure that will be submitted to his office.

“Dadaan pa rin po yan sa isang final review para titignan kung merong mga probisyon na labag sa Saligang Batas bago po pirmahan ng Presidente. (That is still subject to final review by the President to ensure that all provisions are compliant with our Constitution before the President signs it),” he added.

Roque earlier explained that Duterte certified the controversial bill as urgent because the country’s Human Security Act (HSA) looked timid compared to the anti-terror legislation of other countries.

He likewise tried to quell the fears of the public that they can be arrested if they spoke against the government or if they hold or join strikes and protests by explaining that the right to freedom of expression is still guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Palace official, meanwhile, advised critics of the bill to go to the court and question its constitutionality there.