MANILA - Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes on Wednesday slammed government's proposal to amend the Human Security Act to counter terrorism.
In a statement, Trillanes said the Filipinos must be "protected from (President Rodrigo) Duterte first," citing the alleged deaths of some 30,000 Filipinos under the administration's drug war.
"Even granting that the anti-terror law should need to be strengthened, it should only happen under an administration that has clearly demonstrated its desire to protect its people," he said.
"This admin has been summarily killing 'suspected' addicts the past 3 years while they are only pushing for detention for terrorists. Are they giving special treatment to terrorists now?"
The amendment would allow the detention of "suspected" terrorists for up to 60 days, which Trillanes said would "most likely be used as another tool of oppression."
He added that the amendment would not help in locating and arresting terrorists, saying authorities could not even find "riding in tandem killers and Duterte's kumpare drug lords on the loose."
"The keys to effective anti-terror operations are still the proper use of intel funds, inter-agency cooperation, intel exchanges with foreign intel agencies, and vigilance of the public," he said.
Trillanes also noted authorities were unable to prevent bombings in Basilan and Sulu, which left soldiers and civilians dead, despite the imposition of martial law in Mindanao.
Military rule in Mindanao has since been extended twice, with the latest until the end of 2019, to quell terror groups that "continue to defy the government."
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said he will immediately recommend lifting the martial law if the anti-terrorism law is strengthened.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday said the law "needs more teeth," citing "many provisions that need to be amended."