Palace: Restoring anti-subversion law requires study
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday said the proposal of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to reinstate the anti-subversion law would necessitate study.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo issued the statement after DILG Secretary Eduardo Año called for the revival of the Anti-Subversion Act to counter the leftist groups’ alleged recruitment of university students to the underground movement.
“Let’s see, that suggestion requires study also,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo, however, said that President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to issue his stand on the issue.
“Hindi ko pa alam ang magiging opinyon ni Presidente doon. But I will ask him when we meet. Kasi that was already repealed if you remember, but ang concern yata nila is iyong mga bata nire-recruit,” he said.
Enacted in 1957, the Anti-Subversion Act makes membership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and “any other organization having the same purpose” punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
But it was repealed in 1992 as part of the peace negotiations between the communist rebels and then President Fidel V. Ramos.
Senator Franklin Drilon has already expressed opposition to the revival of the law, which he described as “prone to abuse” as it also “undermined” some basic constitutional rights such as the right to freedom of assembly and association.
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said there is nothing wrong with joining organizations to “express legitimate grievance against the government.”
But he also said: “Joining leftist organizations that are identified to overthrow the government, it’s wrong.”
The Palace official also raised doubts that increasing police presence in schools can deter communist recruitment among the youth.
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