Well said. I could not agree more with the statement of the NTF-ELCAC.*
Senator Legarda is a friend and I respect her opinion but I cannot for the life of me agree with her stand, apparently articulated by her statement that the CPP-NPA-NDF is not an enemy of the state. Simply put, an armed terrorist group — already designated not only by the government of the Republic of the Philippines but also by the European Union, the United States of America and four other countries (Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand) — is unequivocally an enemy of the state.
That being said, any attempt to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act is a disrespect to our comrades-in-arms as well as the countless civilians who fell victims to the atrocities of this terrorist group that has lost its ideological principles over the years – they murder, they rob, they extort, they harass and intimidate and worse, indiscriminately.
Having authored and sponsored and almost single-handedly defended the legislative measure in the Senate plenary, as well as in the battle for public opinion in many fora including the media, I will not hesitate to be part of the opposition to thwart moves to amend this law in its substantive form which no less than the Supreme Court has declared as constitutional.
I fully support the President’s decision in changing his earlier stand to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement. Whatever underlying conditions there are in arriving at that decision, if it was connected to additional vaccine donations or any other reasons, I’m sure President Rodrigo Duterte was influenced by the interest of the country and our people.
That being said, the termination of the VFA would have done our country’s security situation more harm than good, especially at this time when incursions into our exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea have become more aggressive and unabated.
This is not to mention the continuing threats of terrorism in our country.
We have to accept the reality that we cannot do it alone, and our bilateral agreements with countries having more upgraded militarily capabilities like the United States and even Australia should be put into good use. The VFA is one way to do this.
With its new chief’s instructions to exercise due diligence, the Armed Forces of the Philippines should do better against the threats of terrorism and insurgency, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.
Lacson said he is hopeful that with new AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana’s emphasis on tact and sensitivity, there will be no repeat of the recent gaffes especially in anti-insurgency efforts.
“I just hope Lt. Gen. Sobejana’s initial pronouncements will serve as the policy guideline for the AFP,” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.
Coming at a time when the Solicitor General is defending the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 against 37 petitions, particularly on the issue involving “overbreadth doctrine” among others, such remarks from a high-ranking military official is uncalled for and totally unnecessary.
“As far as we are concerned, a dead NPA rebel or a dead soldier is only as bad and tragic as a dead Filipino. For we see no difference at all except probably the cause that they fought and died for.” – Sen. Ping Lacson, at the start of the third Senate committee hearing on alleged red-tagging.
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.
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.
Politics and terrorism may be a deadly mix as neither has logic or reason, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.
“Huwag naman sana. Pag pinaghalo ang pulitika at terorismo, talo lahat tayo. Why? Politics has no logic and terrorism has no reason,” Lacson, who sponsored the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in the Senate, said in a post on his Twitter account.
“We had sent the right message to the world that we mean business against terrorism with tough legislation in the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. But we could be sending the wrong message if we allow politics into the mix, as in the case of Susukan,” added Lacson, who chairs the Senate’s Committee on National Defense and Security.
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.
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.
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]
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?
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.
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.
A speedy but thorough determination of the facts that led to the tragic shooting of four Army officers by police in Sulu is critical and cannot be emphasized enough.
It is wise and proper that both Philippine National Police Chief P/Gen. Archie Gamboa and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. have agreed that the National Bureau of Investigation take full control of the criminal investigation, and allow the evidence to dictate the findings.
But the NBI’s investigation results notwithstanding, and more than making fully accountable all those responsible for the incident, the ground commanders of both sides must be in full control of the situation to avoid an escalation of the situation.
Our security forces already have their hands full in their fight against their common adversaries such as terrorism and insurgency in Mindanao. Allowing disunity in any form would give the enemy an unwanted advantage that could prove fatal for our nation.
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.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* possible challenge vs Anti-Terror Bill before the Supreme Court [14:31]
* Sen. Drilon voted yes to anti-terror bill [7:04]
* blame game in COVID health workers’ P1M death benefits [29:53]
* Sec. Duque’s other obligations to health workers under Bayanihan Act [35:39]
* ‘removal’ of safeguard vs overpricing in Bayanihan 2 [44:33]
Terrorism knows no timing nor borders. Some of our country’s policy-makers, especially our people, should know better than just criticizing and believing the massive disinformation campaign against a measure that can secure and protect us as well as our families and loved ones from terrorist acts perpetrated in a manner so sudden, least expected and indiscriminate – as in anytime, probably even today, tomorrow or next week.
That said, I incorporated most of the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism laws of other strong democracies like Australia and the United States, further guided by the standards set by the United Nations, save for the reglementary period of detention in which we adopted the shortest time of 14 days – compared to Thailand with up to 30 days; Malaysia, up to two years; Singapore at 720 days extendible to an indefinite period of detention without formal charges; and Indonesia, up to 120 additional days. Also, safeguards have been put in place to ensure the rights of those detained.
With the help of many of my colleagues who interpellated and proposed their individual amendments, including all the members of the minority bloc, I was more than accommodating to accept their amendments as long as we would not end up with another dead-letter law such as the Human Security Act of 2007, which has so far resulted in just one conviction after more than a decade of its implementation and just one proscribed terrorist organization such as the Abu Sayyaf Group.
To the critics, I dare say: I hope the day will not come when you or any of your loved ones will be at the receiving end of a terrorist attack, so much so that it will be too late for you to regret convincing the Filipino people to junk this landmark legislation.
The Filipino people are resilient and our soldiers are no different. We will survive, no doubt. We know how to improvise and we can adapt to crises the way we did many times before.
But in the meantime, we remain exposed to terrorist threats, both domestic and foreign, not to mention the continuing security threat in the West Philippine Sea posed by China, and even the need for timely humanitarian response and assistance that the US is capable of deploying during disasters, natural or man-made. Also affected by the VFA’s abrogation is the maintenance and repairs of military hardware, mostly air assets provided by the US under the AFP modernization program.
Exploring other options like inking similar defense treaties with other nations as posited by the AFP Chief of Staff is fine but the reality is, it doesn’t happen overnight. It will take a series of back-and-forth negotiations in pursuit of the concerned parties’ self and national interests before going through lengthy deliberations for ratification by the Senate.
While admittedly, the VFA is not perfect for the Philippines as far as equitability is concerned, the timing and reasons for its abrogation are way off the mark.
The thing is, it is not the smartest move of the President to expose ourselves naked first before looking for other options for cover.
Like it or not, bad or good, nothing much can be done now but do a 180-day countdown upon receipt of the notice by Washington. What is certain is that the 1951 PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty will now be reduced to a mere paper treaty as far as the US is concerned.
Having said that, there’s no more intelligence information sharing in our fight against domestic and foreign terrorist acts, no more US military aid and financing that accounts for a good 52% of what they extend to the whole Asia-Pacific region.
That may not include other intangible economic benefits and security from external threats in the West Philippine Sea, as well as humanitarian aid in times of disasters, epidemics and other crises.
Ipinanukala ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pagkakaroon ng “reserba” pang lider ng bansa sakaling mapahamak ang Bise Presidente, Senate President at House Speaker na batay sa Saligang Batas ay kahalili ng Pangulo kung hindi na nito kayang mamuno.
Isinampa ni Lacson ang Senate Bill 982, na tinaguriang “Designated Survivor” Bill na naglalayong hindi mabakante ang liderato ng pamahalaan at magtuloy-tuloy pa rin ang operasyon ng gobyerno sakali mang mapahamak ang mga nabanggit na opisyal.
“This bill … seeks to provide an exhaustive line/order of presidential succession in the event of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation of the Acting President to ensure that the office of the President is never vacated even in exceptional circumstances,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a “designated survivor” bill to guarantee the continuity and stability of operations in government in case of a terrorist attack, major disaster or other “exceptional circumstances” where the President and those specified by the Constitution to succeed him or her are killed or permanently disabled.
Lacson said Senate Bill 982 ensures the office of the President will not be vacated even in the event of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the Acting President.
“This bill … seeks to provide an exhaustive line/order of presidential succession in the event of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation of the Acting President to ensure that the office of the President is never vacated even in exceptional circumstances,” Lacson said.
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.
Thank you very much, the Hon. Sec. Saidamen Pangarungan. It is indeed a distinct honor and privilege to be introduced by an innovative, progressive-minded leader. And with him at the helm, I’m sure the NCMF would be in good hands.
Our guests from the Japanese Embassy, Second Secretary Yoji Konno; our guests from the United Nations Development Programme; the other commissioners and other dignitaries present here; members of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; to all the participants of today’s assembly, a pleasant morning. As-salaam aleikum.
At the outset, let me state here and now with certainty that a vote for the immediate passage of this measure is a vote for the immediate lifting of Martial Law in Mindanao.
Mr. President, fellow members of this august chamber, I have the honor to report on the Senate floor Senate Bill No. 2204 entitled, “An Act Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 9372, Otherwise Known As “An Act To Secure the State and Protect our People from Terrorism,” as embodied in Committee Report No. 638 in substitution of Senate Bill Numbers 1134, 1396, 1715 and 1956.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– passage of the 2019 budget; accusations of Rep. Bravo
– reported air strikes vs groups such as the ASG and BIFF
– reported involvement of suicide bombers in the Jolo bombing
Citing the need for transparency, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has made public the details of the institutional amendments he proposed in the P3.7-trillion national budget for 2019.
Lacson expressed hope other proponents of amendments to the budget will do the same, to remove speculations that the bicameral conference committee is a venue for “horse trading” and compromises among legislators.
“In the spirit of transparency, I instructed my staff to make public all my amendments in the 2019 national budget. I hope all proponents will do the same to remove all suspicions that the bicameral conference is a venue for sneaky horse trading among legislators,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.
Isinulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pag-ayuda sa Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas kontra sa lumalalang terorismo sa pamamagitan ng paglaan ng halos P5 bilyon sa badyet nito sa kasalukuyang taon.
Sa kanyang pagdalo sa bicameral panel meeting para sa 2019 national budget, isiniwalat ni Lacson na ang P4.78 bilyon ay kanyang iminumungkahing ilaan para sa karagdagang Infantry Division ng Philippine Army.
“It is an institutional amendment that I introduced, for the activation of an infantry division as requested by the Department of National Defense (DND),” paliwanag ni Lacson sa harap ng mga kasamahang bumubuo sa bicameral panel ng budget.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is pushing for a P4.78-billion institutional amendment in the P3.7-trillion national budget for 2019 for an infantry division that will counter threats from armed groups like the Abu Sayyaf.
Lacson, who disclosed this at the bicameral conference committee meeting on the 2019 budget on Monday, said the funding to mobilize the 11th Infantry Division was requested by the Department of National Defense (DND).
“It is an institutional amendment that I introduced, for the activation of an infantry division as requested by the DND,” he said.
Dahil posibleng nagagamit na rin ang mga social media platforms sa paghahasik ng terorismo, pinag-aaralan ng Senado kung mapapabilang na ang mga ito sa mga babantayan ng pamahalaan.
Sa pagdinig ng Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs sa panukalang mas pinatapang na Anti-Terror Law, isiniwalat ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng naturang komite, na inaaral nila kung tututukan ang “socmed” accounts na ginagamit para palaganapin ang terorismo.
“We must be clear. The state must take immediate action in the exercise of its police powers to address the threat of terrorism,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Nguni’t tiniyak ng mambabatas na kung matutuloy ito, hindi nito babanggain ang kalayaan ng pamamahayag sa ilalim ng ating Saligang Batas.
“This is in the context of the state dealing with terrorism, and as such it needs immediate action in the exercise of its police powers to abate terrorism,” ani Lacson.
Harsh penalties may await not just those who directly commit terrorist acts, but also those who abuse social media and money transfer services to further terrorist ends.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday they are studying the inputs on the issues, which were raised at a Senate hearing on anti-terrorism legislation.
“We must be clear. The state must take immediate action in the exercise of its police powers to address the threat of terrorism,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs that headed the hearing.
But he stressed they will make sure such provisions do not violate the Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
“This is in the context of the state dealing with terrorism, and as such it needs immediate action in the exercise of its police powers to abate terrorism,” Lacson said.