The Anti-Terrorism Law will take effect on July 18
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Law on Friday, July 3, and this will be imposed on July 18, Saturday.
As this bill reached the office of the President, more and more critics surfaced online. However, despite the criticisms and against the bill, the Chief Executive finally signed it and 15 days after its publication on the state journal Official Gazette, this will take effect.
Based on the report from ABS-CBN News, critics are preparing to challenge this before the Supreme Court.
“The signing of the… law demonstrates our serious commitment to stamp out terrorism, which has long plagued the country and has caused unimaginable grief and horror to many of our people,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement released on Friday.
The Anti-Terrorism Law define “terrorism” as an act intending to injure or cause death, damage to private or government property, the use of weapons of mass destruction to cause fear to other people and to intimidate the government.
This law will also give the President the right to form a council that would implement a warrantless arrest against those who are deemed as “terrorists”.
Under this law, 24-day detention is also allowed without charge as it perceived to be a way to combat terrorism acts and insurgencies. However, for critics, this can be a way for law enforcers not to be held responsible if illegal detention of suspects will happen.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch said, “The law threatens to significantly worsen the human rights situation in the Philippines, which has nosedived since the catastrophic ‘war on drugs’ began four years ago.”
Reportedly, lawmakers from the opposition are ready to question the newly-signed Anti-Terrorism Law before the Supreme Court.
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