Military seeks tougher anti-terror law, supports criminalizing subversion

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2019 02:58 PM | Updated as of Aug 15 2019 03:23 PM

Army troops participate in a parade at the Fort Bonifacio grandstand in this photo taken on April 4, 2017. The military leadership is supporting amendments to the Human Security Act. Albert Alcian, Malacanang Photo

MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines supports government's proposal to amend the Human Security Act and the revival of the anti-subversion law, its spokesman said Thursday.

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The military has at least 7 items on its "wish list" of amendments to the Human Security Act, said Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, citing Sen. Panfilo Lacson's statement that the law was "basically toothless."

Arevalo cited Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra's earlier proposal to remove the P500,000 fine per day of detention upon a law enforcer who mistakenly accused and prosecuted a person for terrorism.

The military wants to lengthen the period of detention for alleged terrorists to 30 days from the current 3 days, Arevalo said.

"The reason being it requires a lot of evidence for the state process to obtain conviction of a terrorist. Three days is not enough," Arevalo said.

Convicted terrorists should also face life imprisonment without parole or death penalty, should it be revived, instead of 40 years of detention, Arevalo said.

The military also proposed that the act of terrorism be criminalized at all stages, including attempted and frustrated.

"Penalize terrorism regardless of its stage of executive whether attempted or frustrated stage. Because at present the law penalizes terrorism in its consummated stage," Arevalo said.

The Armed Forces would also like to seek help from the courts and the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze assets of alleged terrorist organizations, he said.

It would also ask telecom firms to provide information on the communications of suspected terrorists, he said.

The military supports the proposed reinstatement of the anti-subversion law, citing the left's alleged recruitment of the youth to join the communist insurgency, he said.