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.
At the meeting of the Rotary Club of Manila, Sen. Lacson holds the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 – and its critics – to the Rotary’s Four-Way Test. Sen. Lacson also answered questions on the Anti-Terrorism Bill after the speech.
It is good to once again see familiar faces, virtually at least. I am certain that moving from physical meetings and events to the digital realm is something that is new to all of us. Nevertheless, I find comfort in knowing that this pandemic could not shake the dedication of a Rotarian spirit in living up to its overarching motto: Service above self.
Your invitation says I have 30 minutes to speak. Since there are many points to cover in our virtual discussion today, I will cut to the chase and go straight to the issues at hand.
For the past couple of weeks, among the trending topics that have been dominating the mainstream and social media platforms is the Anti-Terrorism Bill, which as we speak, is awaiting the signature of the President. Unfortunately, the ongoing campaign against this proposed measure, heavily influenced by massive misinformation and disinformation, unfairly devalues the importance of this legislative measure on many fronts.
Hence, as the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the bill, it is incumbent upon me to take every available platform to shed light on the legislative intent and merit of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, as proposed.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
To Governor Presbitero Velasco, Jr., the National President of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP); Gov. Dakila Carlo Cua, National Chairman; Gov. Susan Yap; to all the members of this honorable organization, my colleagues in public service, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Allow me to express my gratitude for your overwhelming support to the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill. As mentioned by no less that Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año during last week’s webinar, 784 local government chiefs already signed the Manifesto in Support to the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill as of June 17. This alone shows us a clear picture that there is indeed a demand for a stricter and effective counter-terrorism measures on the ground.
The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) President Francis Lim, National Issues Committee Chair Rizalina Mantaring, respected members of this great association, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
When two great legal minds clash, not symmetrically, nor tangentially, but squarely, as in head-on, what do laymen like me and probably some of you in this virtual gathering, do?
I am referring to your last week’s guest, retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on the one hand, and on the other – an equally eminent legal eagle, a former Justice Secretary, and also my colleague in the Senate – Minority Leader Franklin Drilon. Let me explain.
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.
In a virtual forum, Sen. Lacson answered questions on the Anti-Terrorism Bill: * provisions on terrorist financing
* misconceptions about Anti-Terrorism Council
* safeguards vs wrongful arrest/detention