Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III assured that no one could misuse the anti-terrorism bill once it passed as a law.
In a statement, Sotto said that the critics of the anti-terrorism bill should do more research.
He also stated that only terrorist and their supporters should be afraid of the anti-terrorism act.
“I suggest they read the bill first before reacting,” Sotto said.
“Terrorists or their supporters are the only ones who will be afraid of the bill,” he added.
Sotto announced that the anti-terror bill would surely pass the senate despite the opposition from different groups.
“It’s as good as passed. It will just need my signature if it comes back to us after ratification then I will transmit to the President,” Sotto said in a text message
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson said that there’s enough safeguards in the law so no one could misuse it once it passed as a law.
“The concerns being raised by the progressive and leftist groups as well as human rights advocates have been adequately addressed during the Committee on National Defense and Security public hearings, as well as the debates and interpellations in plenary,” Lacson said in a statement.
“Enough safeguards are in place. The critics – some of whom had been extended the opportunity to help craft the bill – should read first the bill itself to see for themselves what I am saying,” he added.
Lacson said that they’re “duty-bound” to make laws that would meet “international standards” and “fulfill state obligations with the UN”.
He also claimed that the current anti-terrorism law in the country was one of the “weakest” in the world.
Critics of the anti-terrorism bill like Senator Francis Pangilinan said that the government should prioritize the COVID-19 pandemic instead of the said act.
“Pagtuunan ng pansin ang mga walang masakyang public transport ngayong GCQ, ang mass testing at contact tracing, at pagbangon ulit ng ating kabuhayan,” he said.
“Whole of government di ba? Heal as one di ba? Gamot ba ang panukalang batas sa COVID-19 o gagamiting panakip-butas sa mga kapalpakan?” he added.