Robredo questions ‘forced’ passage of Anti-Terrorism Bill amid pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo questioned on Sunday what she called the “forced” passage of the controversial Anti-Terror Bill amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In her weekly radio program “BISErbisyong Leni,”, Robredo asked: “Bakit ipipilit? Hindi lang ito sinisingit, pinipilit.”
[Why force it. It’s was not just inserted but forced. but force it?]
She noted that the authors of the bill in the House of Representatives, like Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, withdrew their authorship.
“Their reason was that amendments were not accepted,” she said in Filipino.
The House version of the bill, which passed on third and final reading on June 3, adopted the Senate version, which hastened its passage by avoiding the bicameral conference committee to reconcile conflicting provisions.
The bill only needs the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte to be enacted into law.
“Parang binawian niyo ng boses iyong mamamayan,” she expressed.
[It’s like taking away the voices of citizens.]
Some provisions of the bill, Robredo said bothered her, such as the broadened definition of “terrorism.”
“There’s too much room for abuse. That’s why we’re firmly against it,” she said.
She said she was not against passing laws if Congress felt there was a need for them.
“But it should follow the correct process. No railroading. If you railroad it, why?” she said.