Lacson to critics: I hope you won’t regret opposing anti-terror bill
MANILA, Philippines — Standing firm on the controversial anti-terror bill, Senator Panfilo Lacson wished its critics would not be at the receiving end of terror attacks and later regret opposing its passage.
As chairman of the Senate committee on national defense, Lacson spearheaded the hearings on the bill, which was later approved by the chamber and adopted by the House of Representatives.
The measure is now up for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature, despite fears of more human rights abuses once it becomes a law.
“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,” Lacson said in a statement on Thursday..
“Terrorism knows no timing nor borders,” the senator further stressed, lamenting the “massive disinformation campaign” against the measure.
When the measure was being deliberated in the Senate, Lacson said he was always “mindful” of the Bill of Rights enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
He said he also incorporated most of the provisions of the anti-terrorism laws of other strong democracies like Australia and the United States, and was guided by the standards set by the United Nations.
In fact, the approved bill provides for the shortest time reglementary period of detention, which is 14 days – compared to other countries like 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,” Lacson added.
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