Palace defends anti-terror bill, assures constitutionality

Aileen Cerrudo

Malacañang assured the public that there is constitutionality in all the provisions stated under the proposed Anti-Terror Bill.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said all the provisions under House Bill 6875 or the Anti-Terror Bill are still tied to the law.

“Alam naman ng Kongreso lalo na ng Senado ang kaniyang ginagawa (Congress, especially the Senate, knows what they are doing). Not only presumed constitutional but it will also pass the test of constitutionality,” he said.

On Wednesday (June 3), the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) strongly condemned the proposed Anti-Terror Bill saying it could worsen the impunity in the country and would violate freedom of speech.

“The bill also poses a mortal danger to the principles of freedom of the press and of expression in Section 9 defining the crime of ‘inciting to terrorism,’ which can be committed ‘by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations of the same’ and is punishable by 12 years in prison,” their statement reads.

Roque also defended that the Anti-Terror Bill contains no harsh provisions and if so, it is up to the Supreme Court to determine if the proposed bill violates human rights.

“Wala naman pong draconian na provision diyan. Lahat po ng provision diyan ay ibinase rin natin sa mga batas na mga iba’t ibang bansa na mas epektibo po ang kanilang pagtrato dito sa mga terorista, (There are no draconian provisions there. All of the provisions stated are still based on the law of various countries that have more effective measures against terrorists)” Roque said.

House Bill 6875 already passed the second reading on Tuesday (June 2). The said bill aims to strengthen the government’s campaign against terrorism and to repeal the Human Security Act of 2007. –AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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