President Rodrigo Duterte, on Wednesday, said there is nothing to be afraid of in the newly signed anti-terrorism law if you are not a terrorist.
“For the law-abiding citizen of this country, I am addressing you with all sincerity. ‘Wag ho kayong matakot kung hindi ka terrorists [don’t be afraid if you’re not a terrorist],” Duterte said in his nationally-televised address aired past midnight.
“Kung hindi mo sisirain ang gobyerno, pasabugin mo ang simbahan, pasabuhin mo ‘yong public utilities just to derail, matumba tuloy ang bayan,” he said. “[O]nce you blow up yung simbahan, blow up mo ‘yong market place… the right to defend itself accrues to the government heavily.”
(If you’re not going to destroy the government, don’t bomb the church, the public utilities just to derail, the whole country will fall.)
Duterte: Don’t be afraid if you are not a terrorist
The President also said he already expected that the anti-terror law would be challenged before the Supreme Court.
Duterte said he expected that the newly-signed law, which seeks to strengthen the country’s anti-terrorism campaign, will be challenged before the Supreme Court.
He also remained firm that the Philippines needs the legal weapons to fight terrorism in the country.
“Ang terrorism, hindi ito isa, dalawang putok as what happened in Mindanao and other places. Ang ginagamit kasi nito nila ay bomba. Ang bomba niyan, sa lahat, maski sa simbahan may tama o may bukol,” he said.
(Terrorism is not just one or two shots as what happened in Mindanao and other places. They are using bombs. Those bombs could hurt everyone, even in the church.)
Duterte also addressed his critics from communist groups saying, “They think they are a different breed, they would like to be treated with another set of law when as a matter of fact, they are terrorists.”
“I spent most of my days as President trying to figure out how to connect to them, on how we can arrive at a peaceful solution, wala naman gustong may gyera, ako ayaw ko [nobody wants war, I don’t like it]…it was good rapport while it lasted…there is always a time to be friendly and a time to be firm,” the President said.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Bill into law on Friday despite being barraged with criticisms from different sectors.