Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has urged critics of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 to give the law a chance and view it as one that would save humanity.
Dela Rosa, in a recent virtual interview, said the law should not be considered as one that brings about “human disaster” but should be viewed as a means to protect and ensure peace and order in the country.
“Paano maging human disaster yan (how can the law be considered a human disaster)? That’s a saving act of humanity,” Dela Rosa said.
“Humanity saving act yan dahil pine prevent niyan ang terrorism at pino-prohibit ang terrorism at pine-penalize ang terrorism, (It’s a humanity saving act because it seeks to prevent terrorism, prohibit terrorism and penalizes terroristic acts),” the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief added.
“Bakit naman ganun ang pagtingin natin sa batas na yun? Mali po yun na pagtingin, maling-mali (Why do they view the law that way? Their views are so wrong; it’s very very wrong),” he pointed out.
Dela Rosa said those who violate the provisions enumerated under the Anti-Terrorism Law are the ones qualified to be considered as terrorists.
As such, he believes that the Communist Party of the Philippines/New Peoples Army (CPP/NPA) are qualified to be considered terrorist groups due to the number of killings and terrorist acts they launched against government troops and policemen.
“Ano pa ba ginagawa nila? Ginawa lang nila pumatay na naman ng sundalo at pulis, at magsunog ng mga facilities…(What else are they doing? All they do is kill soldiers and policemen and set major facilities on fire),” he stressed.
“Sa tagal ko naging pulis, ngayon, senador na ako, may nakita ka bang magandang ginawa ng NPA? Terrorism ang ginagawa nila. Kawawa din yung mga batang ni-recruit nila, nangamatay na sa bundok kung saan dinala nila at nauto nila (I’ve been a policeman, now a senator, have you seen the NPA do anything good? What they are doing is terrorism. I pity the youth they recruited, died in the mountains where they led them on),” he said.
Still, the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chief said it is still the courts that will designate the CPP/NPA as a terrorist organization.
“Prescribing of CPP/NPA as a terrorist group is up to our judicial process. It’s the court that will say that,” he said.
“Naglolokohan lang tayo sa peacetalks na yan, wala naman ginagawa ang NPA na yan, ginagamit lang ang peacetalks para magpalakas ng kanilang pwersa (We are just being fooled with their continuous call for peacetalks, those NPA are doing nothing but strengthening their forces). They are not sincere,” Dela Rosa reiterated.