Lacson: Clarify anti-terror law IRR provision on publication of names of ‘terrorists’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson may ask the crafters of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 to “clarify further” a provision that allows the publication of names of suspected terrorists.
While noting that crafters of the IRR “may have a good reason” for including the said provision, the senator said concerns raised by several rights groups “may have a point.”
“I’d like to think the ATC (Anti-Terrorism Council, the Secretary of Justice and the members that crafted the IRR may have a reason for including the publication of names ng mga (who are) designated by ATC, individuals, terrorist groups or organizations,” Lacson said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“In the exercise of our oversight function, we may ask the ATC to clarify further why they include in the IRR yung (the) publication of names…But as I said they may have a good reason for that,” he added.
Under Rule 6.5 of the IRR, “[a]ll ATC resolutions of designation shall be published/posted in a newspaper of general circulation, on the online official gazette, and on the official website of the ATC.”
This said list of designated individuals or groups will be accompanied by the name of the designated person or entity, a “brief description of the case for designation,” as well as the “designation or date of the last review of the designation.”
Lacson, meanwhile, reiterated that the designation made by the ATC does not equal arrest.
“Designation per se is not an absolute authority ng ATC. May mga (There are) parameters and they are guided by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373,” said the senator, who is one of the principal authors of the law.
“Ang designation naman, hindi ito arrest e (The designation does not mean an arrest will be made). Designation could trigger ‘yung targeted para sa (for) financial sanctions and it is already included in an existing law: the Terrorist Financing Act na ipinasa nung (that was passed in) 2012. This is not new,” he added.
The Department of Justice released the IRR of the anti-terror law almost three months after the controversial law took effect last July 18.
The said law seeks to strengthen the Human Security Act of 2007 and criminalizes incitement of terrorism “by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners, or other representations.”
It also allows the detention of suspects for up to 24 days without charge and empowers an anti-terrorism council to designate suspects or groups as suspected terrorists who could be subjected to arrests and surveillance.
But the anti-terror law currently faces 37 petitions filed before the Supreme Court, challenging the law’s constitutionality. This makes the law the most contested after the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
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