#PingSays: On Proposals to Restore the Anti-Subversion Law | Aug. 13, 2019

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on reported proposals to revive the Anti-Subversion Law; as well as on the proposed Anti-Terror Law.

Quotes from the interview…

On inputs to the anti-terror law from the religious sector:

“We invited them pero ang iba hindi dumating. Even ang mga NGOs we invited them even during last year’s public hearing but they just sent their position papers, some did not even bother to submit. What can we do? We cannot also delay the passage of this measure because kailangan natin. As we know, may mga Filipino suicide bombers na nga sa Mindanao, hindi lang foreign terrorists.”

On the timeline of the passage of the anti-terror law:

“Medyo may urgency. Sayang nga ang last Congress, because walang HOR counterpart. Kaya hindi na rin namin masyado pagdating sa Senate. But this time around, we’ll see to it that we will coordinate closely with our HOR counterpart for the early passage of this measure.”

On making rebellion a continuing crime:

“Ang continuing crime, kasi ang rebellion may jurisprudence na continuing crime. Maski nga matagal nang na-commit hindi applicable sa Rule 114 na a crime is actually being committed, has just been committed, or is about to be committed. And then pag lumampas ka na roon hindi mo na pwedeng arestuhin, a citizen’s arrest is no longer applicable. So when we categorize violation of the Anti-Terrorist Act as a continuing crime, just like rebellion, even if a crime was committed a week ago or even 2 months ago, pwede pa mag-apply ang warrantless arrest.”

On prolonging the detention period for suspected terrorists:

“We heard the arguments, we heard the discussion. Yan ang period na meron silang enough basis na kailangan nila to gather more evidence and information to preempt further terrorist activities. Yan naka-incorporate sa bill. This is based not only on our domestic discussions but even in other jurisdictions, in foreign countries, yan ang sinusunod nila. In fact, ibang countries nga walang limit, not only 14 days, mas mahaba pa. 14 days reglamentary period for violation of the anti-terrorism act, extendible by judicial authorization for another 15 days.”

“Medyo mahirap ipasa dahil ang 14 days lang, I expect to see resistance from the progressive-minded lawmakers.”

On suggestions to follow the US wiretapping model with one-party consent:

“No. It will not pass. One-party consent is not advisable especially in our jurisdiction because it is prone to abuse. One party, imagine.”

On DILG Sec. Ano’s suggestion to revive the law vs subversion:

“No, that’s not under consideration. Na-decriminalize na ang Anti-Subversion Law. Anyway, ito naman will address ang aspect ng minors being recruited to join a terrorist group. Kung magjo-join lang naman sa organizations like Kabataan party list or Anakbayan, I don’t see any problem with that. Except of course that they are also violating the law for recruiting minors. Pero hindi pa naman sila lumalampas sa stage na magjo-join sila ng NPA. And once the proscription case filed by the DOJ has materialized, and the RTC na naka-pending doon mag-grant ng proscription ng CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization, then whoever joins the CPP-NPA will be considered a terrorist and therefore in violation of the Human Security Act as it is now.”

“I’m not inclined to support it, ang criminalize mo uli. It encroaches on the fundamental right to a peaceful assembly, to protest. I don’t think I will support that.”

On lifting martial law in Mindanao:

“We’ve been discussing this maski sa open deliberation. Alam naman nating toothless ang ML because the Constitutional rights are still guaranteed. Hindi ito ML noong panahon ni ex-President Marcos na wala talagang rights na pwedeng ma-exercise kasi una, suspended ang Constitution. But this ML we are having now in Mindanao is actually a toothless ML. inamin naman nila pang-psywar lang kung tutuusin. Kaya nagtataka kami why there’s so much fuss about arguing against the declaration of ML. after all, ML now under the 1987 Constitution is the same as no ML.”