Drilon ready to defend Anti-Terror Act of 2020

Published July 15, 2020, 12:54 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said he is ready to defend the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 even though he is the only minority senator who voted in favor of the law.

Senator Franklin Drilon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I signed it on the basis of my best judgment that this strikes a balance between protecting our people against abuses by the State and protecting the State itself,” Drilon said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum.

“I have done my best, I have no political agenda in this. It’s an application of my best knowledge, the best of my ability to craft legislation. I don’t think anyone can say that I was motivated by other consideration other than what I perceive to be for the good of the country,” the minority chief added.

“If I’m proven wrong then, I am an elected official, I can be punished in the next election. That’s the nature of our system,” he added.

Drilon said he made the effort to strike a balance between protecting human rights of individuals and the need for the State to successfully prevent terrorism.

“I can face anyone and say I tried to do my best in order to make a balance,” he said.

He also said the 14 amendments he introduced in the measure were designed to balance the bill and to protect the rights of the people from any possible abuses by the State.

“I have no ulterior motive, no political agenda insofar as this bill is concerned,” he said.

Nevertheless, Drilon said it is up to the Supreme Court to determine if the controversial law, which is currently facing several petitions, is constitutional.

President Duterte’s signing of the Anti-Terrorism Act has led several groups to question the law before the SC, expressing concern that some of its provisions could be used by law enforcement agencies to crackdown on dissent.