DOJ to start review of Anti-Terror Bill; check if provisions are constitutional | Inquirer News
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DOJ to start review of Anti-Terror Bill; check if provisions are constitutional

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 08:36 PM June 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Saturday said it will start reviewing the controversial Anti-Terror Bill, which now only needs President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature to become law.

“Congress has not sent the enrolled bill for the President’s signature. So our comments have not yet been requested by the Office of the President. Nonetheless, the DOJ will already start its own review of the bill,” Justice Secretary Menardo Gueverra told reporters in a text message when asked about updates on the proposed measure.

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Guevarra said they will check whether the provisions of the bill are in accordance with the 1987 Constitution.

“The DOJ’s task is not to interfere with governmental policy but to determine if the provisions of any enrolled bill are in accordance with the Constitution. I would like to believe that we have consistently and objectively discharged this duty,” Guevarra said.

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Senate approved the measure in February while the House of Representatives passed it on Wednesday, June 3, rejecting all suggested amendments and merely adopting the version of the upper chamber. Congress, however, still needs to transmit the bill to the Office of the President.

Anti-Terror Bill seeks to strengthen the Human Security Act of 2007 and punish those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation, and facilitation of a terrorist act; including those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.

But several critics said the bill is open to abuse as it bears vague provisions that may be used to clampdown dissent. Critics also questioned the government’s interest in the Anti-Terror Bill since Duterte certified the proposal as urgent even if the country grapples the coronavirus pandemic.

KGA

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TAGS: anti-terror bill, constitution Duterte, DoJ, Human rights, Nation, Politics
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