The proposed Anti-Terrorism law is patterned after the laws of European countries, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
“The framers of the law, the authors of the law, in fact looked at the European legislation as models in drafting this law,” he said during an interview on CNN Philippines on Wednesday.
Roque pointed this out after United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday urged President Duterte to refrain from signing the bill into law.
“I think the view of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has to be taken in the context of other existing anti-terror legislation and I am sure that the studies would confirm that we are at par with the rest of the developed world in fact and not just with the developing countries,” the spokesman said.
Roque also believes that the Philippine government has also adequately responded to alleged human rights abuses that have taken place in the country.
“I think we have adequately responded to that,” Roque said.
“No country can claim a perfect record as far as human rights is concerned,” he added.
Roque said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra already informed the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday that the Philippines has already formed an inter-agency panel which is now reviewing 5,655 anti-illegal drugs operations which resulted in deaths.
“As part of the police manual of the PNP (Philippine National Police), they are duty bound in fact to investigate when there is a loss of life,” Roque said.
“But nonetheless, the inter-agency response is necessary to assure the country and the international community of the impartiality of the investigation of these deaths arising from police operations,” he said.
Bachelet made the appeal to Duterte during the 44th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council.
“So, I would urge the President to refrain from signing the law and to initiate the broad-based consultation process to draft legislation that can effectively prevent and counter violent extremism, but which contains some safeguards to prevent this misuse against people engaged in peaceful criticism and advocacy,” she said.
“And of course, my office is ready to assist in such a review,” she added.