House corrects nominal voting results for controversial Anti-Terror Bill due to ‘technical error’ | Inquirer News

House corrects nominal voting results for controversial Anti-Terror Bill due to ‘technical error’

/ 09:49 PM June 04, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A “technical error in the recording of electronic votes” led to the House of Representatives correcting the nominal voting results of the controversial Anti-Terror Bill.

During Thursday’s session, Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. said that the corrected results stand at 168 affirmative votes, 36 negative votes, and 29 abstentions.

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When the lower chamber announced the results of the nominal voting upon the approval of the Anti-Terror Bill on final reading on Wednesday, it was at 173 affirmative votes, 31 negative votes, and 29 abstentions.

“Last night, we approved on third reading several House bills. Some corrections in the results of nominal voting were made after the results were announced,” Gonzales said.

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“I was advised by the secretariat that upon review, there is a correction as well in the result of the nominal voting on House Bill No. 6875. This is due to a technical error in the recording of electronic votes,” the lawmaker added.

Gonzales then ordered that the records reflect the corrected results.

Before the bill reached the plenary floor in the House, two committees in the lower chamber adopted—and eventually approved—the Senate version of the bill in a move to possibly hasten its passage by avoiding the bicameral conference committee.

On Tuesday, the lower chamber approved the Anti-Terror Bill on second reading after merely hours of deliberations and during the period of individual amendments, all proposed amendments were rejected.

“After conferring with the chairperson (Rep. Narciso Bravo), he has instructed me to reiterate that the committee wishes to pass the bill without amendments and we have to regretfully decline any proposal for any amendments at this time,” PBA Rep. Jericho Nograles, another sponsor of the bill, said.

The 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 terrorist organizations.

According to the bill, any person who shall threaten to commit terrorism and those who will propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism shall suffer the penalty of 12 years.

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Any person who shall voluntarily and knowingly join any organization, association or group of persons knowing that such is a terrorist organization, shall likewise suffer imprisonment of 12 years. The same penalty shall be imposed on any person found liable as an accessory in the commission of terrorism.

Meanwhile, those who will be proven guilty of engaging in a conspiracy to commit terrorism shall be penalized by life imprisonment without the benefit of parole.

The bill states that terrorism is committed by a person who within or outside the Philippines, regardless of the stage of execution:

-Engages in acts intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to any person, or endangers a person’s life;
-Engages in acts intended to cause extensive damage or destruction to a government or public facility, public place or private property;
-Engages in acts intended to cause extensive interference with, damage or destruction to critical infrastructure;
-Develops, manufactures, possesses, acquires, transport, supplies or uses weapons, explosives or of biological, nuclear, radiological or chemical weapons; and
-Release of dangerous substances, or causing fire, floods or explosions

The bill likewise removed the provision on payment of P500,000 damages per day of detention of any person acquitted of terrorism charges.

A suspected person can also be detained without a warrant of arrest for 14 calendar days, extendable by 10 days, according to the bill.

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