The Department of National Defense (DND) welcomed the Senate’s commitment to pass a stiffer anti-terrorism law.
“I am grateful to the Senate for heeding our call. We at the DND are happy with the reassuring pronouncement of Senate President Vicente Sotto III that they will pass the bill into a law expanding the definition of terrorism among other amendments,” Defense Secretary Lorenzana said in a statement.
Lorenzana also lauded the prolonged detention period for suspected terrorists under the proposed measure.
“While we are batting for a 30-day period of detention for suspected terrorists to allow the government to build its case, the period of 14 days in the Senate’s proposed amendment is far better than the maximum three days under the present Human Security Act,” he added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also lauded the Senate over the matter.
“We thank the Senate for taking concrete steps towards amending the Human Security Act to better capacitate and empower government security forces to combat terrorism,” said AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a message to reporters.
Arevalo said it is the people who will greatly benefit from the law’s passage.
“The Filipino people stand to benefit from the passage of this new law that shall address the myriad, complex, and global threat of terrorism— not only in Mindanao where Martial Law terminates on 31 December 2019– but the rest of the country,” he said.
Arevalo added that the AFP will continue to pursue its advocacy towards the amendment of the Human Security Act into an Anti-Terrorism Law that will not be too restrictive to security forces but has more teeth to curb terrorism.
On Tuesday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III assured the passage of a tougher law amending the Human Security Act of 2007.
At present, Senate Bill No. 1083, sponsored by Senate defense committee chair and former Philippine National Police chief Panfilo Lacson, is in the plenary at the period of interpellation. (PNA)