Military thanks Senate for passing Anti-Terrrorism Act
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expressed gratitude to Senate for the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
"The AFP is grateful to the Senate that they heeded our call for a more stringent law that confronts and defines terrorism and what constitutes it, among other new and amendatory provisions it contains," said Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, on Thursday.
"By passing Senate Bill No. 1083 sponsored by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, the lawmakers have better empowered and capacitated the AFP and other government security forces in their campaigns to protect and secure our people against the global menace of terrorism," he said.
"We assure our countrymen that aside from sufficient safeguards already enshrined in the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act and the Bill of Rights embedded in the 1987 Constitution, the AFP recommits fidelity to the promotion of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law," he added.
Arsenio Andolong Department of National Defense spokesman expressed support on the passage of the bill.
"The DND fully supports the passage of a law that will empower our defenders to protect our people against those who wish to do them harm," said Andolong.
"It is the Defense Department's position that a stronger legislative measure against terrorism will enhance our defenders' capacity to make our communities safer and more secured," he said.
"We thank the Senate for recognizing the need to strengthen the institutions that are tasked to safeguard our nation," he added.
With a vote of 12-9, the Senate on Wednesday has approved on third and final reading the Anti-Terror Act of 2020.
Senate Bill 1083 introduced provisions imposing life imprisonment without parole on those who will propose, incite, conspire, and participate in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit anyone to be a member of a terrorist organization.
The bill also removed the provision on payment of P500,000 damages per day of detention of any person acquitted of terrorism charges. But the number of days a suspected person can be detained without a warrant of arrest is 14 calendar days, extendible by 10 days. Robina Asido/DMS