Año: If needed, Anti-Terror Law will be enforced even with IRR still pending

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2020 07:58 PM | Updated as of Jul 18 2020 09:12 PM

DILG chief assures law won't be used against gov't critics

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Saturday said that, if there is an imminent terror threat, authorities will not hesitate to enforce the Anti-Terrorism Law even without Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR).

"Dahil effective na ang batas na ito, ang sabi nga ng ating Secretary of Justice (Menardo Gueverra) effective today (Saturday), kung may malaking terrorist threat sa atin kailangan iapply natin," he said in an interview on Teleradyo.

But the DILG chief said his department will also have to come out with the IRR since it is required by law.

"Tatapusin pa rin natin ang IRR requirement talaga yan," he said.

Año hopes the newly signed law will place authorities in a better position to prevent terrorist acts.

"Kung mayroon lang batas na ganito noon, nakapag-preempt na tayo ng maraming terrorist threat at terrorist incidents," he said.

"Even sa conviction mula noong 2007, isa lang ang na-convict dito yung involved sa Marawi crisis. All the rest hindi na-apply ang batas, sapagkat mahirap maikulong yung suspek dahil ang daming pabor sa suspek kumpara sa law enforcers."

Año also assured that the law will not be used to quash the Constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom to assembly.

"'Wag mag-alala ang ating mga kababayan. Sabi nila baka ito gamitin para sa pagsupil ng freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, hindi po natin gagamitin yan. Ako mismo I'll make sure na walang abusong magaganap," he said.

"Ang bawat enforcer na lalabag dito may kaukulang parusa, minimum of 10 years imprisonment, depende sa kanialng pagabuso, so huwag pong mag-alala sa ating mga kababayan."