By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) will proceed with their review of the Anti-Terrorism bill to determine if it is in accordance with the Constitution, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday (June 6).
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)
At the moment, he said, President Duterte has not yet sought the DOJ’s comment over the provisions of the bill.
“Nonetheless, the DOJ will already start its own review of the bill,” Guevarra said. “The DOJ's task is not to interfere with governmental policy but to determine if the provisions of any enrolled bill are in accordance with the constitution.”
The justice secretary noted that “the Congress has not sent the enrolled bill for the President's signature.”
“So our comments have not yet been requested by the Office of the President,” he said.
Earlier, Guevarra explained that before bills are signed into law the President refers these “to the concerned government agencies for comments.”
After which, Guevarra said “the executive secretary studies and consolidates all comments, and makes the proper recommendation to the President.”
The Senate version of the bill has already been approved at third and final reading at the House of Representatives,which voted 173-31 with 29 abstentions.
The bill, which has been certified as urgent by the President, has drawn numerous criticisms as it has been seen as part of efforts to silence government critics.