Enforcers who abuse anti-terrorism measures will be punished – Lacson
MANILA, Philippines — Law enforcers who will abuse the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Bill, should it become a law, will be punished, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Saturday.
In an interview with AM radio station DWIZ, Lacson issued this assurance to critics who feared that the measure would be used to crack down on dissent.
“If they worry about the implementation, that’s a different story. But if we talk about the law, there are many safeguards. The cure here is, if there would be abuses, we increased the punishment, and there is an existing law, if the police should commit a violation of the proposed bill,” Lacson said in Filipino.
According to Lacson, there is is a provision in the bill that directs law enforcement agencies to file a request with the Court of Appeals, not a regional trial court, for surveillance against a group or individual.
If the court would grant the request, it would be good for 60 days and could be extended for 30 days.
Law enforcers, he added, could not use any conversation they hear during surveillance. They would have to submit it to the Court of Appeals, which would then decide which parts of the conversation could be used.
The Senate passed the measure on third and last reading last February, while the House of Representatives approved it on final reading last Wednesday, June 3. Congress still needs to transmit the bill to the Office of the President.
The bill proposes to penalize those who propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation, and facilitation of a terrorist act. The bill would also penalize those who would provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members to a terrorist organization.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.