Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is getting inclined to sign the Anti-Terror Bill as the Palace is taking a final look at the controversial measure.
“Let’s just say that he is taking a final look at it, and I think he is inclined to sign it,” said Roque in an interview with CNN.
The former human rights lawyer said Duterte did not have any concerns about the bill, which he first certified as “urgent” a few weeks ago.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines and Concerned Lawyers for Civil Liberties (CLCL) called the proposal “unconstitutional,” as the executive mandate was to overrule the judiciary because of the delegated powers of the ATC.
“I guess we are just waiting for the final review of the Office of the Executive Secretary, and if possible with the [Department of Justice], we will have inputs because Secretary [Salvador] Panelo has already submitted his,” Roque added.
Chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo on June 12, asked President Rodrigo Duterte to sign the Anti-Terrorism Bill, citing the measure has enough safeguards to prevent abuse.
Panelo made the recommendation after a “careful and thoughtful review” of the bill. The measure has garnered criticisms for its alleged vague provisions that could open opportunities for violation of human rights.
Panelo said there are legal actions against authorities who would abuse the Anti-Terror bill, which aimed to replace the 13-year-old Human Security Act. The former Presidential Spokesman also said the fears raised by the opposition were “more imagined than real.”
“The proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 will serve as a powerful weapon against participants of these lawless actions, the threat of which is extremely imminent during our current times,” Panelo said.
Roque earlier said the President has 30 days to either sign or veto the controversial measure. If Duterte were not able to decide within that period, the Anti-Terror bill would automatically become law.
Leaders of Indigenous People Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in the Caraga Region have also asked President Rodrigo R. Duterte to sign the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 into law.
According to the IPMRs, the Anti-Terror bill would help the indigenous people and their communities in the Caraga region to stop the extortion, harassment, and killing activities of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).