Admit hypocrisy or shut up, Lacson to US solons opposing PH anti-terror law
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday rebuked the American lawmakers who urged the Philippine government to repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and said they should “shut up unless they admit to being a bunch of hypocrites.”
“I wonder how many among those 50 or so members of the US Congress voted in favor of their own country’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001,” Lacson , a former Philippine National Police chief, said in a statement.
He argued that unlike the US’ anti-terror law, the Philippines’ version does not provide for a “Guantánamo Bay-like detention facility” where he said “indefinite detention without trial of suspected terrorists, on top of torture and breach of human rights, suicides and suicide attempts have been reported by Amnesty International.”
Lacson further pointed out that unlike the law passed by US Congress, the Philippines’ anti-terror law does not allow “one-party consent in the conduct of electronic or technical surveillance.”
“While our Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is replete with safeguards to ensure that human rights of suspected terrorists are observed and protected, what the US Congress passed as their version of an Anti-Terrorism law is much stronger, even cruel to some extent because their policy makers and citizenry give the highest premium to the security of their country and the protection of US citizens stationed anywhere in the world,” Lacson added.
“That said, these US Congress members should shut up unless they admit to being a bunch of hypocrites.”
At least 45 American lawmakers signed a letter sent to Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Romualdez calling for the immediate repeal of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, one of the signatories to the letter, expressed fears the law gives a “new weapon” to the Duterte administration’s campaign to “suppress dissent and will only worsen attacks on ordinary people in the Philippines.”
Malacañang has already slammed the American lawmakers’ initiative and stressed that the US is no longer the country’s “colonial masters.”
“To the (US) congressmen who signed it, we have a working judicial system and we can rely on our judicial system to rule on the constitutionality of the anti-terror law,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an earlier press briefing.
“Pero wag na po kayo maghimasok. Hindi na po namin kayo colonial masters. Indipindyenteng bansa na po kami,” he added.
(Do not intervene. You are no longer our colonial masters. We are now an independent nation.)