Palace finalizing inputs on antiterror measure | Inquirer News

Palace finalizing inputs on antiterror measure

Malacañang on Thursday said recommendations on the antiterrorism bill have been drafted for President Rodrigo Duterte’s consideration after a final review by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

“It means there is a memorandum recommending a course of action to the President, subject to final approval by the executive secretary. After which, it will be sent to the President’s table,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

The Chief Executive has until July 9 to decide whether to sign or veto the bill, or let it lapse into law.


The Department of Justice and chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo also gave separate comments on the measure, which seeks to strengthen the country’s antiterrorism drive.


The bill has drawn criticisms because of certain provisions that some sectors feared might be used to stifle dissent and pave the way for human rights violations.

One controversial provision allows the detention of suspected terrorists up to 24 days even without an arrest warrant. Suspects could also be placed under a 60-day surveillance.

“The law will open the door to arbitrary arrests and long prison sentences for people or representatives of organizations that have displeased the President,” warned Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Priority bill

The military recently stressed the need for an antiterror measure following the death of four suspected terrorists in Parañaque City.

Earlier, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet asked the President not to sign the bill, saying there should be safeguards against abuses.

But National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Thursday said Mr. Duterte has not voiced any objection to any of the bill’s provisions.


“I talked with fellow Cabinet members about [the antiterror bill] and [the President] said, so far, he has no objections to [its] provisions. He also certified this as [a] priority bill so we have been really pushing [this],” Esperon said in a televised interview.

Asked if Mr. Duterte would simply allow the proposed measure to lapse into law, Esperon said: “We will leave it to the President. Anyway, he has his legal team going through it. Justice Secretary [Menardo] Guevarra has given his recommendations. Because [Mr. Duterte] is a lawyer, he will also go through it.”

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TAGS: anti-terror bill, Harry Roque, Human rights, Medialdea, Palace, Rodrigo Duterte

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