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Cayetano urges AFP to prevent abuses under anti-terror bill

Cayetano urges AFP to prevent abuses under anti-terror bill
By Filane Mikee Cervantes
MANILA -- Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday urged the officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure that there will be zero abuses of any provision in the proposed anti-terrorism measure once it is enacted into law.

During the turnover of food items to AFP front-liners at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Cayetano said the AFP must work together with the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as the civil society to prevent potential abuses and prove the critics wrong regarding the proposed law.

“It is a reminder to the Executive Department, the Secretaries, who will form the Task Force Committee, it is a reminder to the Chief-of-Staff, it is a reminder to the Senate and Congress, and it is a reminder to the Chief PNP that the law will be judged not by all its successes, but by one abuse,” he said.

“Maybe not now, maybe not next week, maybe not in one year, we may prove that the critics [are] wrong,” he said.

Cayetano refuted the claims of critics that the anti-terror measure will be used against law-abiding citizens, noting that there are legal safeguards in the proposed law.

He maintained the bill will help the AFP to fight against insurgency and suppress terrorism.

“We have an anti-terror bill that is at par with Singapore, US, and UK. 'Yung pinipintasan po na provisions sa anti-terror bill ay mas mababa po ang period of detention at mas maraming safeguard (The provisions in the anti-terror bill that are being criticized have a shorter period of detention and more safeguards),” he said.

The Speaker said the government has to be vigilant against terrorist threats during this coronavirus pandemic, noting that terrorists can take advantage of the situation to recruit more since many are suffering from hunger and joblessness.

Earlier, the President has certified as urgent House Bill 6875 that proposes amendments to the Human Security Act of 2007, the country's existing anti-terrorism law.

President Rodrigo Duterte said the call for its speedy passage aims to "address the urgent need to strengthen the law on anti-terrorism in order to inadequately and effectively contain the menace of terrorist acts for the preservation of national security and the promotion of general welfare".

The bill is now up for signature of the President after it was transmitted to his office last week.

Duterte can either sign the measure, which he certified as urgent, veto it, or let it lapse into law after 30 days of receipt without signing it. (PNA)

Cayetano urges AFP to prevent abuses under anti-terror bill Cayetano urges AFP to prevent abuses under anti-terror bill Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 3:59:00 AM Rating: 5

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