Robredo: Approval of anti-terror law ‘frustrating’ but can still be questioned
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo said the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 can still be questioned even as she admitted that its approval was “frustrating” since it happened in the middle of a pandemic and despite wide opposition.
According to Robredo, who is a lawyer by profession, those who are not in favor of the approved anti-terror law can still challenge it before the Supreme Court.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 on Friday, July 3.
“Nung nalaman kong nilagdaan (‘yung anti-terror law), parang nanghina ako. Nakakalungkot, frustrating, kasi ginawa ito sa gitna ng pandemya. Ginawa sa pagtutol ng maraming sektor,” Robredo told Teleradyo on Saturday.
(When I heard about its signing, I was a little weakened. It was saddening, frustrating because it happened during the pandemic. This happened despite opposition from various sectors.)
“Kapag inimplement na ito, pwede tayo magpunta sa Supreme Court kasi may paniniwala tayo na may provision na labag sa ating Constitution,” she also said.
(If this is already implemented, we can go to the Supreme Court because we believe there are provisions that violate our Constitution.)
Further, Robredo encouraged the public not to be disheartened by the passage of the controversial measure and instead continue to defend human rights.
“Pa-minsan kasi kapag nangyayari ‘yung ganitong pagkakataon, nawawalan tayo ng pag-asa pero sana huwag kasi ang kasaysayan tinuruan tayo na anuman ‘yung gagawin natin para ipaglaban ‘yung karapatan, kahit gaano kaliit, may ambag sa mahabang proseso,” she said.
(Sometimes when something like this happens, we lose hope but I hope not because history taught us that whatever we do to fight for our rights, no matter how little, contributes in the long run.)
The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was also published on July 3 and will take effect on July 19.
The new law repeals the Human Security Act of 2007. Among others, it criminalizes incitement of terrorism by “means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners, or other representations.”
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