Duterte to receive legal opinions on anti-terror bill this week: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2020 02:12 PM

Protesters gather on June 12, 2020 for a "party-themed gathering against the anti-terror bill. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News

MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to receive different legal opinions on the anti-terror bill this week, Malacañang said on Monday as the nation awaits the chief executive's action on the proposed measure.

Among the legal opinions that will be reviewed by President Duterte along with the bill are from the Department of Justice, and from his chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"Hindi ko po alam kung talagang nabasa na niya (Duterte) ng buong-buo kasi inaantay po natin 'yung mga inputs," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(I'm not sure if he has read the whole bill because we are still waiting for inputs.)

"By this week, maipipresenta na ang bill itself at ang rekomendasyon ng iba't-ibang ahensya kay Presidente," he added.

(The bill and recommendations of different agencies will be presented to the President by this week)

Congress on June 9 transmitted the bill to Duterte's office, seeking to repeal the 2007 Human Security Act. If left unsigned, the bill will lapse into law after one month.

Roque had said that President Duterte, who certified the bill as urgent, is "inclined" to sign the proposed measure into law despite opposition from activists and other circles. 

The proposed measure has stoked fears that it might be used to silence critics 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 on social media. Several groups have also launched signature campaigns calling for the scrapping of the bill.