Lacson to join Anti-Terror bill protests if proposed law 'abused'

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2020 11:04 AM

Sen. Panfilo Lacson delivers a manifestation in the Senate plenary on May 11, 2020. Henzberg Austria, Senate PRIB

MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Sunday said he would join protests against the Anti-Terror bill should the proposed law be abused during its implementation.

Lacson, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, has been defending the measure against criticism that it could be used to tag government critics as terrorists.

"I vow to join those who are concerned, genuinely or otherwise, about the proposed law's implementation to be as vigilant in monitoring each and every wrongful implementation by our security forces, even to the point of joining them in street protests," he said in a statement.

"I assure them that I will be the first to stand on the Senate floor and call out those responsible for abuse at the top of my voice in privilege speeches and Senate inquiries, if and when it comes to that, as I have done so before and during this current administration," he said.

The senator reiterated that the Anti-Terror bill has "enough safeguards against abuse," including a 10-year jail term and perpetual disqualification from public service for law enforcers who would violate the rights of suspected terrorists.

"Regarding the abuses, we've seen them, we've investigated them," Lacson said.

"The cops responsible for the murder of Kian de los Santos were convicted, largely because of our Senate inquiries," he noted, referring the slay of a teenager who was shot to death for his alleged involvement in the sale of illegal drugs.

President Rodrigo Duterte received the bill last week, but has yet to sign it into law.