DOJ vows independent review of anti-terror bill

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2020 07:54 PM

Students and young people gather to protest against the Anti-Terror Bill during the “Grand Mañanita” protest at University of the Philippines on June 12, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA--The Department of Justice (DOJ) has vowed to review the proposed anti-terror bill "as independently and objectively as possible," amid public clamor to scrap the controversial measure.

"We'll review the proposed anti-terrorism bill as independently and objectively as possible, with only the security of the nation and the civil and political rights of the people in mind," Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a statement released Saturday.

He said the agency had been requested to submit its comments on the proposed legislation to the Office of the President by Wednesday, June 17.

The new anti-terror bill, which seeks to provide increased powers to government forces against suspected terrorists, was approved by the House of Representatives on June 3. The Senate passed a similar measure in February.

Critics have raised concerns on the proposed law due to its supposed vague and dangerous provisions such as prolonged detention without charge and designating any person or group as terrorists. - With a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News