By Mario Casayuran
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, principal author of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATB), and former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio have opposing interpretations of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATB).
“With all due respect to former Justice Antonio Carpio, who I continue to admire and respect, he is mistaken on several material points in his interpretation on the contents of the Anti-Terrorism Bill,’’ Lacson, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee, said.
Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said he already addressed many of the concerns raised by Carpio in his letter reply to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
Lacson, who once served as Chief of the Philippine National Police, is a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduate.
Carpio, who served as Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and served in the high tribunal for nearly two decades, is highly regarded as a legal titan.
“After reading the transcript of his remarks before the MAP (Management Association of the Philippines) yesterday, I think he has made up his mind on his interpretation, so in the meantime I will leave it at that,’’ he said.
Since he is scheduled to speak before the same organization during its membership meeting on June 24, Lacson said he would have ‘’the opportunity to respond point by point to the constitutional issues and concerns that former Justice Carpio raised.
The enrolled ATB has been sent to Malacanang. It awaits the President’s approval or veto. The bill automatically becomes law if unacted upon by the President 30 days after its submission to the Chief Executive.
Last Tuesday, Lacson sent a lengthy clarification on misconceptions harbored by the IBP about the controversial proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
The measure, according to Lacson, aims to combat terrorism in a “swift, effective and constitutional” manner.’’
In a letter-reply to IBP president Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa, Lacson addressed the IBP’s concerns about parts of the bill, including the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC).
“The Anti-Terrorism Bill speaks clear of our swift, effective, and constitutional policy against these acts of terror and against no one else but its perpetrators,” he said.