The anti-terror bill, earlier transmitted to Malacañang, will still be reviewed by President Rodrigo Duterte before being signed, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Tuesday.
“He will review first before signing,” Sotto said.
Sotto said the final copies of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act have officially been received by the office of the Executive Secretary and the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office.
Asked if he thinks Duterte will enact it on the same day, the Senate President said: “Hindi. Matagal pa ‘yun (Nope. It will take some time [before he signs it]),” said Sotto.
However, Sotto said he is confident that the measure will not be vetoed by the President.
The House of Representatives adopted the Senate’s version of the bill and approved the same on third and final reading on June 3. It has been certified as urgent by Duterte.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday afternoon also confirmed the transmittal of the controversial bill to the Palace.
He previously said Duterte will be “guided by what is best” for the country amid calls for the government to junk the bill which aims to replace the Human Security Act of 2007.
If passed into law, the legislation can still be challenged before the Supreme Court, according to retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
Among the controversial provisions of the measure were the extension of detention period for those arrested without warrant from the current 36 hours to 14 days, which is extendable by 10 more days; the court’s issuance of preliminary proscription order within 72 hours; and the allegedly “ambiguous” definition of what constitutes terrorism.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, previously assured that while the provisions of the bill seem tough, the safeguards that were put into place were tougher./Stacy Ang