Biazon votes against Anti-Terror Bill, withdraws authorship
MANILA, Philippines — One of the main authors and sponsors of the controversial Anti-Terror Bill did not only vote against the passage of the measure as he also withdrew his authorship of the bill.
Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon, who serves as vice-chairperson of the House committee on national defense and security, said that the lower chamber should “come up with an important piece of legislation that is truly the work of the House of Representatives” and not just merely adopt the work of the Senate.
“Ako ay nananatiling naniniwala na kailangan natin ng isang Anti-Terrorism Bill. Hindi lahat ng nagsalita laban sa bill na ito ay aking sinasang-ayunan. Naniniwala rin ako sa ilang mga konsepto,” Biazon said.
(I still believe that we need an Anti-Terrorism Bill. I did not agree either with everyone who spoke against the bill. I believe in some of the concepts.)
“But as a matter of principle, I believe that the House should come up with an important piece of legislation that is truly the work of the House of Representatives, not just a mere adoption of the other chamber,” the lawmaker added.
Biazon likewise said that members of the lower chamber should “stand up for the House.”
“My position, after all that has been said by the members of the House of Representatives, I believe that we should stand up for the House,” Biazon said.
“And because of this, my vote is ‘no’ to the bill. And my name could not be attached to a bill that is not my real work. So my withdrawal as author of the bill is another thing I would like to present to the House,” he added.
To recall, before the proposed law reached the plenary floor in the House, two committees in the lower chamber adopted—and eventually approved—the Senate version of the Anti-Terror Bill in a move to possibly hasten its passage as President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent the approval of the proposed law.
The adopted version was brought to the House plenary and was approved on final reading on Wednesday, with all proposed amendments rejected.
A total of 137 lawmakers voted to approve the controversial bill on final reading on Wednesday. Only 31 voted negative while 29 abstained.
Biazon said that since the House did not have any amendments to the bill, it will now only need the signature of Duterte for it to become a law.
The Senate has approved its own version of the bill as early as February.
“No ratification. That is only done during instances with a bicameral conference. The bill will be enrolled in its final form,” Biazon said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
“The Enrolled Bill shall be signed by the Speaker within five working days. It will then be transmitted to the Office of the President,” he added.
The proposed bill penalizes those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation, and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.