NSC, ATC to meet to review anti-terror law, craft its IRR
MANILA, Philippines — The National Security Council and the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) are set to meet to review the newly-enacted anti-terror law, as well as to craft its implementing rules and regulations (IRR), National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said Saturday.
“Handa na kami magpulong sa Anti-Terrorism Council,” he said during the Laging Handa online press briefing. (We are ready to meet with the ATC.)
Esperon added that he also had a talk with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea who is the chairman of the ATC.
“Pinagusapan namin na kung kami ay makakapagpulong na ay first and foremost yung review ng signed law para magkaintindihan kaming lahat at pangalawa, yung crafting ng ating implementing rules and guidelines,” Esperon said.
(We talked about that if we are ready to meet, we will review the signed law so we will have an understanding and second, the crafting of the implementing rules and regulations.)
Despite widespread opposition, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the anti-terrorism bill into law on Friday.
The law, which will repeal the Human Security Act of 2007, allows the detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days without charges.
It also criminalizes incitement to terrorism through speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners, or other representations.
But human rights groups, as well as former members of a Moro separatist movement warned that the bill might violate civil and political rights, as well as the Constitution if signed into law.
‘Law-abiding citizens’ have no need to worry
Esperon said that “law-abiding citizens” should not worry about the enactment of the law, saying that it will protect them.
“Itong law-abiding citizens ay wala dapat ikatakot dahil itong anti-terrorism law ay para sa kapakanan at para sa seguridad ng ating mga law-abiding citizens,” he said.
(Those law-abiding citizens should not worry, because this anti-terrorism law is for their well-being and for the security of our law-abiding citizens.)
“Ito ay ginawa para labanan natin ang terrorismo. Ngayon kung sino ang nagsasabing para sa kanila at tahimik naman sila, wag silang mababahala,” he added.
(This was enacted to fight terrorism. Now if they are saying this is for them and they are just quiet, they should not worry.)
Esperon also assured activists that they are not covered by the law.
“Kung ang iyong pakay ng pagiging aktibista ay magsaad ng iyong mga hinaing, social injustices or request for better treatment or ideas, papayagan natin yan. Sa totoo lang, bibigyan pa natin sila ng kaukulang proteksyon para makapagpahayag sila sa tahimik na pamamaraan, ang kanilang mga hinaing,” the National Security Adviser said.
(If you are an activist whose goal is to air your grievances, social injustices, or request for better treatment or ideas, we will allow that. In truth, we will even give them protection to protest in a peaceful manner.)
“Ang mga natatakot ay sinasabing tahimik daw sila pero nagsu-suporta naman sa terrorista,” he added.
(Those who are afraid of the law are those who say they are quiet, but they secretly support terrorists.)
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