Showing consistency in fighting corruption will play a major role not only in restoring the trust of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other international financial institutions, but can solve many other problems that beset our country even as we grapple with the effects of the pandemic, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.
Lacson said that while legislation against money laundering – especially of ill-gotten wealth – and terrorism financing is important, the key is the consistent implementation of existing laws.
“One of the reasons we were included in the FATF’s gray list in 2012 is that the FATF wanted us to address deficiencies in countering terrorist financing, among others. In response, Congress passed Republic Act 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. This was further enhanced by RA 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. This may, however, call for further measures such as amending our existing Bank Secrecy Act, to address a major source of corruption. What we need is to make it difficult, if not impossible, to hide or launder ill-gotten wealth. This would be a big deal in helping stop corruption,” he said.
Something is very wrong with Lt. Gen. Parlade’s mindset. On its face, his statement clearly implying that a journalist “was aiding the terrorists” is careless and insensitive. I do not know how else any literate person can interpret that.
That said, I couldn’t care less what else comes out of his mouth, nor do I have anything to do with his quarrel with Ms. Tetch Torres-Tupas. My primary concern is the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 which I and my staff, as well as my fellow senators worked extra hard to afford the state an effective legal tool against terrorism while ensuring that the Bill of Rights is protected, especially that the law is now facing some serious challenges before the Supreme Court.
If Lt. Gen. Parlade wants to help enlighten the magistrates as he claims, he can do it better by not talking about terrorism.
It is called resource denial operations and rightly so, in order to tighten the noose on the financial and logistical needs of the CPP-NPA.
That being said, the non-traditional left-hand/right-hand approach must still be applied by welcoming back to the fold their members, making sure that they will be treated justly and ensuring their personal safety – the same way the earlier surrenderees who appeared before our Senate red-tagging hearings a few weeks ago are being treated.
Having the momentum with the series of successful operations against the CPP-NPA who are now officially a “designated terrorist group” by virtue of the authority vested by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 upon the Anti-Terrorism Council, I doubt if the security sector will recommend the resumption of centralized peace talks to the President, more so after they validated the information that after all, peace talks are just part and parcel of their long-drawn strategy to consolidate their forces and stop the momentum gained by the security forces.
Lt. Gen. Parlade strikes me as one AFP officer who is dedicated to the accomplishment of his mission to end the half-century-old insurgency problem.
That being said, his only fault is that he over-analyzes and over-talks, with some of his public statements threatening to affect his mission.
Under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, only the court can proscribe a group like the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. On the other hand, the purpose of surveillance work is defeated when the subject becomes aware that he is being tailed.
Maybe a little prudence and self-discipline on Lt. Gen. Parlade’s part will help.
In an interview on CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* ‘violations’ by the House in passing the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget bill
* possible institutional amendments for R&D, COVID vaccines
* implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
“The IRR of the Anti-Terrorism Act is so masterfully crafted that it gives our law enforcement officers no room for misinterpretation in implementing the law. Even this early, having the Executive Secretary, SOJ and SFA in the ATC is serving its purpose.” (Sen. Ping Lacson, Oct. 18, 2020)
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
[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?”
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]
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]
I abhor violations of the legislative process, and have called out members of Congress for such acts – such as when they inserted their pork barrel in the National Budget bill after its approval on third and final reading or ratification of the bicameral conference committee report, and before the bill was enrolled.
Why, then, would I make such a stealthy insertion to the Anti-Terrorism Bill as Robles implies?
Republic Act 11479, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, is An Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Penalize Terrorism, Thereby Repealing Republic Act 9372, Otherwise Known as the Human Security Act of 2007. It gives the Philippines a strong legal backbone against the threat of terrorism.
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.