Senator Ronald Dela Rosa, chairman of the chairs the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, called on law-abiding citizens not to fear the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 as it contains sufficient safeguards against possible abuse.
He said that the newly-signed law excludes from the concept of terrorism advocacy, dissent, and protests, and other citizens’ rights under a democratic form of government.
“Terrorism, as part of this act, does not include civil and political rights. Why do they have to impute vagueness?” Dela Rosa pointed out in an interview on Wednesday over ANC Headstart.
He urged critics to read its provisions carefully and look into the law positively.
“Pero please, hindi pa naman iyan naii-implement. Bibigyan niyo na agad ng malice yung mga pulis at kasundaluhan natin na aabusuhin iyan. (It has yet to be implemented. They are already imputing malice on the part of our police and military that they will abuse it). Give them a chance,” the senator further appealed.
Dela Rosa further said that soldiers and policemen themselves are afraid to lose their jobs if they violate the new law because of the stringent safeguards under the law.
“Ang mga pulis naman at sundalo ay takot din yang mawalan ng trabaho dahil mayroong mga safeguards na nakalagay sa batas na ito. Mas mabigat ang safeguards na nilagay dito ngayon (Our policemen and military are also afraid to lose their jobs because there are already safeguards here in this law. The safeguards provided here are stricter),” he said, comparing it to the Human Security Act which the Anti-Terrorism Law repealed following its enactment.
At least four petitions have called on the Supreme Court to junk the Anti-Terrorism law for its alleged unconstitutional provisions.