The proposed “Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020” is symptomatic positive for repression.
Draconian features infect the “terror bill” from a 24-day warrantless arrest, a six-month ransacking of bank accounts, and a 90-day surveillance and wire-tapping, to vague provisions allowing law enforcers, the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to perpetrate abusive interpretations of the law and unlawful apprehensions.
While the clarification issued by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that the President will not automatically approve the bill before a review is conducted on constitutional issues is welcome, it is an admission of culpable neglect in certifying the immediate enactment of House Bill No. 6875 without a prior assessment of its constitutionality and its derogation of human rights and civil liberties.
Roque cannot take the moral high ground for defending the projected “Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020” after he assailed before the Supreme Court in Republic vs. Harry Roque, et al. (G.R. No. 204603, September 24, 2013) the constitutionality of some questionable provisions of the Human Security Act of 2007, which is less repressive and contains adequate safeguards compared to the present repealing measure.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN