Anti-Terror Bill up for Duterte signature as protests grow

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2020 02:54 PM

Anti-Terror Bill up for Duterte signature as protests grow 1
President Rodrigo Duterte. file

MANILA - The Anti-Terrorism bill is up for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature, Malacañang confirmed Tuesday as opposition to the measure grew.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque confirmed the Palace's receipt of the bill from Congress, saying it would be scrutinized before President Duterte decides on whether it should be signed into law. 

"Iyan naman po ay dadaan sa proseso. Pag-aaralan mabuti ang mga provision at kung mayroon pong mga provision na unconstitutional, i-aadvise po si Presidente kung ive-veto or hindi," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(That will undergo a process. The provisions will be reviewed and if there is anything unconstitutional, the President will be advised if he should veto it or not.)

Congress transmitted the bill for the President's approval Tuesday morning. Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano signed the measure on Monday night.

The bill, which amends the 2007 Human Security Act, was certified by President Duterte as urgent.

It has stoked fears of rights violations due to its broad definition of "terrorism" and for provisions giving wider surveillance powers to authorities.

Those against the bill have used the hashtag #JunkTerrorBill to show their opposition to the measure. Several groups have also launched signature campaigns calling for the scrapping of the bill.

The stricter anti-terror law comes as the Philippines continued efforts to stop terror activities, including kidnappings and bombing operations of the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf group, extremists that the United Nations tagged as terrorists in 2001.