On this note, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson welcomed Thursday the ruling of the Supreme Court on the petitions lodged against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
“Peace wins over terror. Yan ang maliwanag diyan (Peace wins over terror. That much is clear),” Lacson, who is running for President under Partido Reporma, said at the weekly LACSON-SOTTO “Meet the Press” forum.
“Kami masaya bilang principal sponsor, masaya sa decision ng Korte Suprema. Principal author si Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III. Doon natin nakita ang collective wisdom ng magistrates (As the principal sponsor of the measure, I am happy with the decision of the Supreme Court. Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto iII is the principal author of the measure. We have seen the collective wisdom of the magistrates),” he added.
“Hail, hail the Supreme Court!” added Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who is running for Vice President under the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
Lacson noted the Supreme Court decision showed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is still constitutional overall.
He added the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the provision that the Anti-Terrorism Council may adopt the request by other jurisdictions or supranational jurisdictions for designation means the Philippines is an independent country with its own processes.
“Nakabuti rin yan kasi nakita ng Korte Suprema na independent country tayo, may sariling pananaw, dapat igalang ang sarili nating proseso (The ruling is beneficial because the Supreme Court affirmed our independence as a country, that we have our own processes),” he said.
Lacson added that with the high court’s ruling over at least 37 petitions lodged before it, the Philippines now has a chance to remove itself from the Global Terrorism Index.
In past years, he lamented the Philippines was in the Top 10 of the Global Terrorism Index, along with countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, Lacson said the high court’s decision will also give the government the legal backbone to fight armed groups, including those involved in recent violence in Mindanao.
This will go hand in hand with development and livelihood programs to deter the return of the armed groups once they are neutralized.
“Isa sa top priorities namin ang peace and order issue di lang sa malalaking siyudad lalo na sa malalayo na di halos abot ng presence ng government (One of our top priorities is peace and order, not only for urban centers but also for remote areas where there is little government presence),” he said.
“Babalik ako sa primary program sa budget reform kung saan dapat ibaba natin ang malaking portion ng national budget sa malalayong lugar para magkaroon ng development and livelihood programs. Of course strong presence ng security forces (I will go back to my primary program of budget reform where a bigger portion of our budget will go to the local governments for their development and livelihood programs),” he added.