By Marjaleen Ramos
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday appealed to critics of the anti-terrorism bill to read the entire proposed measure to understand it clearly.
“Ang gusto nga natin sana basahin nila ang buong anti-terrorism bill kasi lahat ng mga pinoprotesta nila, unang-una wala naman doon sa anti-terrorism bill at pangalawa, lahat naman ng safeguard ay nandoon sa anti-terrorism bill,” Año said in an interview on Unang Balita.
He also assured the public that the rights of every Filipino would be protected once the bill is already enforced.
“Kahit isa isahin natin ‘yon, naniniwala ako na protektado ang karapatan ng ating mamamayan.”
The public can expect that President Duterte will review the Anti-Terrorism Bill even closer following the overwhelming opposition to the measure for provisions that supposedly violate human rights, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III confirmed to reporters on Tuesday that final copy of the bill has been transmitted to Malacañang for the President’s approval.
The Anti-Terror Bill sought to strengthen the government’s measures against terrorism and effectively repeal the Human Security Act of 2007.
Concerns have been raised about possible human rights abuses of the vague provision of the measure.
Under the bill, terrorism is committed by a person who engages in acts intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to any person, or endangers a person’s life; extensive damage or destruction to a government or public facility, public place or private property; extensive interference with, damage or destruction to critical infrastructure; revelops, manufactures, possesses, acquires, transports, supplies or uses weapons, explosives or of biological, nuclear, radiological or chemical weapons; and release of dangerous substances, or causing fire, floods or explosions.