President Sittie Aliah Lumbao, Sittie NB Pasandalan, to the members, officers, and partners of the Association of Lady Shari’ah Counselors-At-Law of the Philippines Inc (ALSCAP) who made this event possible, good morning to all.
Violent extremism is complex by nature, occurs in all societies and is not bound by religion, race, or social class. While it is mostly grounded in the name of ideologies, beliefs, and faiths, the drivers of extremism are evolving. There remains no universal explanation and hence, no universal response to this dilemma across the community of nations.
One thing is certain: How the government reacts to the presence of violent extremism determines the extent and magnitude of its spread in our country. In theory, extremism instantly refers to unrestrained fear, danger, and coercion. Yet again, there is no better way of characterizing so than witnessing the acts firsthand, within our borders.
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.
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.
From The Manila Times: “The first line of defense against violent extremism, I believe, is education; creating awareness and cultivating our young people’s critical thinking and resilience will equip them with skills they need to detect and reject violent extremism and make informed decisions and contest extremist ideologies,” (Lacson) said.