The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s move of certifying the proposed anti-terrorism bill as urgent, saying this would have an immense contribution to the armed forces versus terrorists.
AFP spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said the passage of the proposed measure into law would be of “immense contribution to the success of the AFP’s counter-terrorism campaigns” as it will amend or introduce new provisions to the Human Security Act.
“It may not immediately wipe away the menace, but it shall provide big strides toward winning the war against it beginning from the definition as to who are terrorists to penalizing other act or acts that are contributory or leading to the eventual commission of the felony,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said that the bill would give more teeth to the existing law and would further eliminate some provisions which supposedly tend to curtail the efforts of the security forces in defeating terrorism.
Arevalo assured the public that the bill passes through intense deliberations “to ensure that it will not trample upon people’s right but rather defend their rights to life, liberty, and property as well as the freedom from fear which the AFP seeks to uphold.”
Duterte certified House Bill 6875, which aims to amend the Human Security Act of 2007 as urgent, according to the President’s letter to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday.
It was last week when the House bill reportedly adopted the Senate version that was passed in February.
There were apprehensions raised against the proposed measure, saying that it might be used to target individuals that expressed dissent against the government.
Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana, however, said criticisms against the bill were baseless./Stacy Ang