Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday defended his support for the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Law, saying he exerted effort to have a balance “between the human rights of individuals and the need of the state to repel terrorism.”
“I signed it on the basis of my best judgment that strikes a balance between protecting our people against abuses by the state and protecting the state itself,” Drilon said during the virtual Kapihan sa Manila Bay.
Drilon said he introduced 14 amendments, “all designed to balance and protect the rights of the people.”
“All I can say is I tried my best. I can face anyone and say I am not favoring anyone,” he said. “It was in my desire to have a balance between the desire to prevent terrorism and balance it with the rights of the people. I have done my best.”
Drilon said the Human Security Act of 2007 has been “very ineffective” in providing the state a legal weapon to fight terrorism “because of the many provisions” that make it difficult to enforce.
“That’s what we were facing,” he said. “I thought that I should put in effort in order to balance this very strong measure to equip our police agencies with the proper legal means and to protect the rights of our people.”
Drilon said whether the lawmakers crafted a “sufficient” law against terrorism “is a matter for the court to decide.”
Voting 19-2, the Senate approved on third and final reading the proposed measure under Senate Bill 1083 last February 26.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the bill into law on July 3, a month after it hurdled the House of Representatives.
At least eight petitions were filed before the Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of the anti-terrorism law. (PNA)