Mapapawi na ang takot ng ilang sektor at agam-agam ng mga awtoridad sa pagpapatupad ng Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 ngayong lumabas na ang Implementing Rules and Regulations nito.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson na pangunahing nagsulong at nag-sponsor ng naturang batas noong ito ay nasa Senado pa lamang, maliwanag sa 48-pahina ng IRR ng Anti-Terror Law na tumatalima ito sa Bill of Rights sa ilalim ng 1987 Constitution.
“As the principal sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in the Senate, I hope that the release of the law’s IRR will now enlighten our law enforcement officers as well as Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel, so they will be properly guided in performing their all-important mission of protecting our citizens from the indiscriminate and merciless acts of terrorism that can only be perpetrated by people with the ugliest and most senseless ideologies,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
The release of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 should enlighten not just our security forces but also the law’s critics and doubters, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
Lacson, who sponsored the measure in the Senate, noted the 48-page IRR places great emphasis on adherence to the Bill of Rights in the 1987 Constitution.
“As the principal sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in the Senate, I hope that the release of the law’s IRR will now enlighten our law enforcement officers as well as Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel, so they will be properly guided in performing their all-important mission of protecting our citizens from the indiscriminate and merciless acts of terrorism that can only be perpetrated by people with the ugliest and most senseless ideologies,” Lacson said.
Posibleng ang pinaghihinalaang Indonesian suicide bomber na naaresto sa Sulu ang maging pangunang halimbawa o “test case” ng pagpapatupad ng Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, partikular na sa provision sa “inchoate offenses.”
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, ang mga nakuhang pampasabog at gamit sa pagpapasabog sa suspek na si Nana Isirani (a.k.a Rezky Fantasya Rullie o Cici) ay indikasyong naghahanda ito para sa isang pag-atake.
“This is one example of an inchoate offense made punishable under the new Anti-Terrorism Law. By including inchoate offenses as punishable acts under the new measure, we are criminalizing the foregoing acts of the arrested suspects which include planning, preparation and facilitation of terrorism and possession of objects with knowledge or intent that these are to be used in the preparation for the commission of terrorism,” paliwanag ni Lacson, sponsor sa nabanggit na batas sa Senado, sa kanyang pagsasalita sa Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board Summit.
Si Rullie, kasama ang dalawa pang babaeng pinaniniwalaang mga asawa ng mga galamay ng Abu Sayyaf, ay naaresto sa Sulu noong Oktubre 10. Nakuha sa kanila ang mga nabanggit na gamit ng pampasabog na nakaipit sa vest.
A suspected Indonesian suicide bomber who was arrested in Sulu over the weekend looms as a potential test case for the newly signed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 – particularly its provision penalizing “inchoate offenses.”
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson noted Tuesday that the bombs and other items seized from Nana Isirani (a.k.a. Rezky Fantasya Rullie or Cici) indicated she was preparing to take part in a terrorist attack.
Rullie was arrested with two other women believed to be wives of Abu Sayyaf members in Jolo, Sulu last Oct. 10. Authorities confiscated items including an improvised explosive device disguised as a vest, container pipes, and a nine-volt battery.
“This is one example of an inchoate offense made punishable under the new Anti-Terrorism Law. By including inchoate offenses as punishable acts under the new measure, we are criminalizing the foregoing acts of the arrested suspects which include planning, preparation and facilitation of terrorism and possession of objects with knowledge or intent that these are to be used in the preparation for the commission of terrorism,” Lacson, who sponsored the anti-terrorism measure in the Senate, said in his speech before the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board Summit.
My distinguished colleague and chairperson of the Philippine Army MSAB Governance Committee, Sen. Manny Pacquiao; Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen Cirilito Sobejana; Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Alexander Macario; Davao de Oro Governor Tyron Uy; Vice Commander of the Philippine Army Reynaldo Aquino; members of the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board; men and women of the Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas, a pleasant morning to all.
Stating his strong position on the issue before the community of nations, many of whom are leaders of countries that continue to grapple with the threats of terrorism, made it more significant.
Indeed, terrorism is a threat that knows no timing nor borders as shown in recent bombings in our own turf. This led us to pass the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that contains the needed legal backbone to let our security forces implement the law with efficacy and confidence, even proactively – as well as the needed safeguards to curb potential abuse and violation of the 1987 Constitution.
Now that the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is in effect, the Filipino people are assured of a law that allows the Philippines to mount the needed strong response against the threat of terrorism.
As the one who painstakingly sponsored the measure in the Senate, I will not allow anyone to pervert the legislative intent of the law, thus my commitment to go the extra mile in guarding against possible abuse in its implementation.
It is the responsibility of all Filipinos to see to it the law is implemented properly – meaning, it is meant to go after terrorists and not anyone else. Thus, the efforts of some groups to similarly keep watch against abuses despite the safeguards already in place are very much welcome, so long as they avail of the proper venues and follow safety protocols.
That said, we cannot afford to have disinformation campaigns aimed to make the public reject the Anti-Terrorism Law. Terrorism knows no timing or borders. I hope the day will not come that critics of the law – especially those behind the disinformation drives – will not be at the receiving end of terrorist attacks.
To the Inquirer: Please allow us to set the record straight regarding some points raised by former Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio in his Inquirer column, where he said Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, along with President Duterte, are “sadly mistaken” with regard to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorists.
And unlike their Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, our law does not allow one-party consent in the conduct of electronic or technical surveillance.
While our Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is replete with safeguards to ensure that human rights of suspected terrorists are observed and protected, what the US Congress passed as their version of an Anti-Terrorism law is much stronger, even cruel to some extent because their policy makers and citizenry give the highest premium to the security of their country and the protection of US citizens stationed anywhere in the world.
Obviously, the President was referring to the designation of the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group by the Anti-Terrorism Council in late 2017 as authorized by Sec. 11 of Republic Act 10168, the Terrorist Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012, following the standards set by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373. It paved the way for the filing of a proscription case by the DOJ, which is now pending before a Manila Regional Trial Court.
Among the provisions of the newly signed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is a restatement of Sec. 11 under RA 10168 – we simply added the mechanism for the freezing of assets by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
Thus, there is nothing illegal in the action by the Chief Executive to proclaim that the CPP-NPA is a designated terrorist organization after the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has ruled on the matter.
What I simply clarified when asked to comment on the declaration made by the President is the difference between designationand proscription. Designation is administrative and can be exercised by the Executive Branch through the ATC, while proscription is judicial which only the RTC (under the now-repealed Human Security Act of 2007) and the Court of Appeals (under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020) has the power to decide.
In the case of proscription, the burden of proof lies with the Department of Justice. Even membership of a proscribed terrorist organization undergoes the same due process of law – meaning the Court of Appeals will decide who may be identified as members and subsequently arrested.
Unfortunately, designation and proscription have been used interchangeably – and conveniently at that – by critics of the Anti-Terrorism Law to advance their purpose of asserting that mere designation may result in arrest and detention, thus giving the ATC judicial powers under RA 11479 – which is wrong, if not malicious.