Tag: RA 11479

As Anti-Terror Law Takes Effect: Yes to Vigilance, No to Disinformation

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.


Lacson reacts to Carpio: Designation different from proscription [Inquirer]

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 โ€œsadly mistakenโ€ with regard to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peopleโ€™s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorists.

Continue reading “Lacson reacts to Carpio: Designation different from proscription [Inquirer]”

On Some US Lawmakers’ Call to Repeal the PH Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

I wonder how many among those 50 or so members of the US Congress voted in favor of their own country’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001.

Unlike their version, our Republic Act 11479 has no provision for a Guantรกnamo Bay-like detention facility where indefinite detention without trial of suspected terrorists, on top of torture and breach of human rights, suicides and suicide attempts have been reported by Amnesty International – all in violation of the Due Process Clause of the US Constitution.

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.

That said, these US Congress members should shut up unless they admit to being a bunch of hypocrites.


#PINGterview: Mensahe sa ABS-CBN; Kritiko ng Anti-Terror Law; PNP; DOH

In an interview on Abante Radyo Tabloidista, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* ABS-CBN franchise [30:25]
* Fake news vs Anti-Terrorism Law [37:22]
* Cops accused of violating the law [16:07]
* Dealing with COVID at home [21:20]
* DOH issues in handling COVID pandemic [24:05]

Continue reading “#PINGterview: Mensahe sa ABS-CBN; Kritiko ng Anti-Terror Law; PNP; DOH”

On Allegations of ‘Abuse’ by the President of the Anti-Terrorism Law

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 designation and 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.


On the President’s ‘Declaration’ of the CPP-NPA as Terrorists: Opinion, Not Official

If in “declaring” a group, organization or association as a terrorist organization, the President is referring to its proscription, there is a judicial process involved – meaning full court intervention via the Court of Appeals, complete with due notice and hearing.

Under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, only the Court of Appeals can order the proscription – not the Anti-Terrorism Council, nor the President. Further, the burden of proof lies with the Department of Justice. Even membership in a proscribed terrorist group goes through the same due process which the DOJ has to prove.

On the other hand, if the President is referring to the designation of a terrorist individual, group and organization by the ATC, it does not involve arrest and detention but a mere signal for the ATC to request the Anti-Money Laundering Council to issue a freeze order of the accounts and assets of the designated terrorist person or group.

That said, designation for the purpose of freezing the accounts and assets is not exempt from judicial scrutiny since the said designated individual or group can still file a petition with the CA to appeal such freezing of their accounts. Designation follows the guidelines and standards set by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373. It is not absolute or discretionary on the part of the ATC.

Therefore, the “declaration” is a personal opinion of the President, not official. The trial of the proscription case against the CPP-NPA is still pending before the Manila RTC. With the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, the trial will be transferred to a division of the Court of Appeals to be authorized by the Supreme Court.


On New Opportunities for Terrorists to Exploit

No less than the Secretary General of the United Nations has warned that extremist and terrorist groups can exploit the COVID-19 pandemic and other new opportunities to strike.

The only timing that the terrorists know is their own. This is what I have been telling the critics of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Likewise, terrorism knows no borders. Surely, we do not want to be the haven of terrorists in Asia. The Marawi Siege is such a painful and costly experience which we as policy makers cannot allow to happen again.

As long as the terrorists can achieve their intent and purpose of inflicting maximum damage to life and property in order to sow fear and intimidate the general public, they will strike at any opportunity.


An Anatomy of Malice: The Clarifications Raissa Robles Deliberately Ignored


[This is a statement from the Office of Sen. Lacson. As Senator Lacson’s staff, we are calling out Raissa Robles’ malicious claims in her blog – and giving the real score.]

Never let the facts get in the way of a malicious story.

This is the story behind the “exclusive” of self-styled “investigative journalist” Raissa Robles, insinuating Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stealthily inserted Section 25 into what is now Republic Act 11479, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Before posting her “exclusive,” Robles managed to contact Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who informed her that Section 25 was part of a substitute bill that was approved during the period of amendments.

In her text message to the Senate President, she said she was “trying to trace” who inserted some paragraphs in Section 25 of the enrolled bill, as they “were not present in the Second Reading version of the bill which is the Senate defense committee report.”

She added that the paragraphs “only appeared in the Third Reading version that was approved in final reading,” and asked, “Is it correct for me then to assume that Senate (sic) Lacson had inserted them himself?”

Continue reading “An Anatomy of Malice: The Clarifications Raissa Robles Deliberately Ignored”

#PINGterview: CHR, May Mahalagang Papel sa Anti-Terrorism Law

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on the Anti-Terrorism Law:
* active role of the Commission on Human Rights in the Anti-Terror Law [10:31]
* encouraging the filing of petitions on the Anti-Terrorism Law to boost public discussion [14:48]

Continue reading “#PINGterview: CHR, May Mahalagang Papel sa Anti-Terrorism Law”

#PINGterview: Anti-Terror Law sa Korte Suprema; Pagtungo ni PRRD sa Zamboanga dahil sa Jolo Incident; Bayanihan 2

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Anti-Terror Bill to be questioned before the Supreme Court [10:01]
* goals of Senate inquiry into Jolo incident [34:24]
* PH warning vs China over military exercises [40:34]
* special session for Bayanihan 2 [42:39]

Continue reading “#PINGterview: Anti-Terror Law sa Korte Suprema; Pagtungo ni PRRD sa Zamboanga dahil sa Jolo Incident; Bayanihan 2”