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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

President Duterte signs Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

President Duterte signs Republic Act No. 11479 known as Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11479 known as the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 today.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Roque said in a statement released a few minutes ago that “the President, together with his Legal Team, took time to study this piece of legislation weighing the concerns of different stakeholders.

“Terrorism, as we often said, strikes anytime and anywhere. It is a crime against the people and humanity; thus, the fight against terrorism requires a comprehensive approach to contain terrorist threat,” Secretary Roque said.

He added the signing of what has been considered controversial measure by different groups, “demonstrates our serious commitment to stamp out terrorism, which has long plagued the country and has caused unimaginable grief and horror to many of our people.”

He called on the people to defeat terrorism and make communities safe and secure under the rule of law.

Earlier, media outlets in Manila received information from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which said the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament suspended its session yesterday by adopting Proposed Resolution 239 appealing to president Rodrigo Duterte to veto the Anti-Terrorism Bill for legislative review and curative amendments to address the issues of the vagueness of terms among others before the bill lapses into law.

Presidential Spokesperson Roque said the concern from the Bangsamoro leaders has reached the Office of the President.

“We consider the concern that the bill would lead to abuse especially to our Muslim brothers and sisters, unfounded. They may have prejudged the proposed law,” he said. He added the legislation is against terrorists and terrorism and not against particular regional or ethnic group.

Meanwhile, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre Olalia said “It ain’t over yet.”

In a statement sent to media outlets, Atty. Olalia said they will not cease to exhaust any and all legitimate steps and platforms to challenge this draconian law.

“This without doubt is the most unpopular and perilous piece of legislation that could ever be pushed by a government that is fixated with the potion of power,” he said. He further described this day as a “day of infamy” but expressed optimism “the government will always bend and retreat eventually when the people push back hard enough.”

The NUPL is expected to file a petition before the Supreme Court of the Philippines questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Law within the next few days. (Melo M. Acuña)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (Albert Alcain/Presidential File Photo)

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