'What if my son is detained on mere suspicion?' Belmonte 'uncomfortable' with parts of terror law


Posted at Jul 20 2020 12:54 PM

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Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Monday she was "uncomfortable" with some provisions of the new Anti-Terror Act, which she relayed to lawmakers in an informal survey they conducted among local chief executives nationwide. 

The legislation replacing the Human Security Act of 2007 allows suspects to be detained for up to 24 days without charge and took effect last Saturday. Critics said the law also stripped away old safeguards such as penalties for wrongful detention. 

"I am in favor of an anti-terrorism law, but in the form that it was presented to us, I was not in favor of that. There were certain provisions I was uncomfortable with," Belmonte told ANC. 
Belmonte said she cast a "vote of conscience" against the measure during the Congress survey. 

"I always think about it [this way]: What if this was my son that was detained for x number of days for a mere suspicion?" she said. 

"We should not be castigated for a vote of conscience... It has nothing to do with political affiliation. It has everything to do with something happening to your family, to a loved one," the mayor added. 

ANC, July 20, 2020