Category: Statements

On the Signing of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

Much credit goes to President Rodrigo Duterte. With all the pressure coming from different directions against the signing of the Anti-Terrorism Bill into law, at the end of the day, it is his strong political will that mattered most.

I cannot imagine this measure being signed under another administration. If only for this, I take my hat off to the President.

Rest assured that I will exert extra effort in guarding against possible abuse in its implementation, notwithstanding all the safeguards incorporated in this landmark legislation.

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On the Call of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet Not to Sign the Anti-Terror Bill

We crafted the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 based on the guidelines and standards set by the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1373. It was the UN that prodded the Philippines to strengthen its laws against terrorism.

So, is this the United Nations going up against the United Nations?

The problem with the critics of the Anti-Terrorism Bill like the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the others is that they criticize without even reading the bill itself.

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Decisiveness, Not Divisiveness: On the Need to Temper Emotions

While I can easily relate to Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay and understand how he feels about the Army officers slain in Sulu, emotions running high at this point is the last thing they need.

For all they know, their common enemies such as the terrorists and armed insurgents are already celebrating the Sulu incident – and even making plans to exploit it.

These enemies of the State and our people, through their legal fronts, are very capable of fanning the flames of animosity between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police by creating intrigues to further divide the country’s two major security forces.

Such fronts have demonstrated their capabilities in sowing disinformation about the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and the National ID system, among other measures designed to improve the lives of the people.

Ultimately, decisiveness, not divisiveness, is needed in dealing with the enemies of the State and the Filipino people.

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On the Fatal Police Shooting of Army Officers in Sulu: Speedy but Thorough Probe is Critical

Image: CTTO

A speedy but thorough determination of the facts that led to the tragic shooting of four Army officers by police in Sulu is critical and cannot be emphasized enough.

It is wise and proper that both Philippine National Police Chief P/Gen. Archie Gamboa and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. have agreed that the National Bureau of Investigation take full control of the criminal investigation, and allow the evidence to dictate the findings.

But the NBI’s investigation results notwithstanding, and more than making fully accountable all those responsible for the incident, the ground commanders of both sides must be in full control of the situation to avoid an escalation of the situation.

Our security forces already have their hands full in their fight against their common adversaries such as terrorism and insurgency in Mindanao. Allowing disunity in any form would give the enemy an unwanted advantage that could prove fatal for our nation.

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#PINGterview: Laging Handa Public Briefing: Anti-Terror Bill, National ID, GMRC Law

In an interview on PTV-4’s Laging Handa public briefing, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Why the Anti-Terrorism Bill is urgent [21:12]
* DOH leadership woes in dealing with COVID-19 threat [23:15]
* National ID’s value amid pandemic [24:56]
* Implementing the GMRC Law [28:03]

QUOTES and NOTES:
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On the Reported Plan to Call for a Special Session

Before a special session is called, it is best for the Executive Department and Congress to first agree on a mutually acceptable legislative measure to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social and economic problems that beset our country. That way, we won’t be wasting our time.

However, as long as the Department of Health is incompetently led and the health issue cannot be addressed appropriately, we will be in a Sisyphus-like situation. Worse, we will just be throwing away our country’s very limited resources that could bring us neck-deep in debt with no solution in sight.

It’s bad enough that we will be forced to scrounge and even borrow just to augment our already limited funds. It’s infuriating if we lose it all – and more – to incompetence.

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Ping: Marawi Siege, Hindi Sana Nangyari Kung Napaaga-Aga ang 2020 Anti-Terror Bill

Hindi sana naganap ang madugo at mapanirang pambobomba sa Marawi noong 2017, kung umiiral na noon ang iminungkahing Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, bunga na rin ng mga klaro at mabibigat na probisyon nito laban sa terorismo.

Isiniwalat ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, sponsor ng naturang panukala sa Senado, sa kanyang pagsasalita sa online forum ng League of Provinces of the Philippines nitong Huwebes.

Ayon sa mambabatas, kung noon pa ay may mas matapang na batas na laban sa terorismo, siguradong mapipigilan ang karahasan at nailigtas ang maraming buhay at ari-arian.

“Had this measure been in effect earlier instead of the 2007 Human Security Act, the Marawi Siege could have been prevented. For one, a new feature under this bill is to make punishable inchoate offenses, something not present under the present Human Security Act of 2007,” pagsisiwalat ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Anti-Terror Bill of 2020 Could Have Prevented Marawi Siege
Continue reading “Ping: Marawi Siege, Hindi Sana Nangyari Kung Napaaga-Aga ang 2020 Anti-Terror Bill”

Lacson: Anti-Terror Bill of 2020 Could Have Prevented Marawi Siege

The deadly and protracted Marawi Siege of 2017 could have been prevented had the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 been in effect at the time, due to its tough provisions against inchoate offenses as well as its mechanism for cutting off terrorists’ funding.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed this as he pointed out the country cannot afford to wait for a repeat of the urban battle that lasted five months and caused massive loss of life and property.

“Had this measure been in effect earlier instead of the 2007 Human Security Act, the Marawi Siege could have been prevented. For one, a new feature under this bill is to make punishable inchoate offenses, something not present under the present Human Security Act of 2007,” Lacson, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said at an online forum of the League of Provinces of the Philippines on Thursday, when asked by Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose ‘Bong’ Lacson.

Related: Ping: Marawi Siege, Hindi Sana Nangyari Kung Napaaga-Aga ang 2020 Anti-Terror Bill
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On Justice Carpio’s Interpretation of the Anti-Terrorism Bill

With all due respect to former Justice Antonio Carpio, who I continue to admire and respect, he is mistaken on several material points in his interpretation on the contents of the Anti-Terrorism Bill.

I had addressed many of the concerns he raised, in my letter reply to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. I hope those who share his concerns take time to read it.

After reading the transcript of his remarks before the Management Association of the Philippines yesterday, I think he has made up his mind on his interpretation, so in the meantime I will leave it at that.

That said, I am scheduled to speak before the same MAP membership meeting on June 24, and I will have the opportunity to respond point by point to the constitutional issues and concerns that he raised as guest speaker of the same forum.

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On the Ombudsman’s Probe of Sec. Duque and DOH Execs Over COVID-19 Response Woes

It’s about time. I can only hope that this time around, the investigation will bear fruit and find those concerned liable and suffer the consequences of their misdeeds in taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis for self-aggrandizement.

My wish is that the outcome would be unlike the agricultural smuggling case I personally filed against Faeldon et.al, which continues to languish in the dustbin of the Ombudsman for an unusually long period of time.

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