What is Anti-Terror Bill, and why many are against it?
The controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill already passed the third and final reading in the Senate and Congress after President Rodrigo Duterte marked it as urgent.
It just needs the signature of President Duterte because House Bill 6875 just copied the provisions of Senate Bill 1083.
“It is declared a policy of the State to protect life, liberty, and property from terrorism, to condemn terrorism as inimical and dangerous to the national security of the country and to the welfare of the people, and to make any terrorism a crime against the Filipino people, against humanity, and against the law of nations,” the bill’s proposal policy stated.
Quick facts on Anti-Terror Bill
- The following are considered acts of terrorism, whether committed in or outside the Philippines:
Attacks that cause death or serious bodily injury to any person, or endangers a person’s life;
Attacks that cause extensive damage or destruction to a government or public facility, critical infrasturture, public place or private property likely to endanger human life or result in major economic loss;
Manufacture, possession, acquisition, transport, supply or use of weapons, explosives or of biological or chemical weapons, as well as research into, and development of biological and chemical weapons;
Release of dangerous substances, or causing fire, floods or explosions the effect of which is to endanger human life; and
Threat to commit any of the acts listed above
Surveillance of Suspects and Interception and Recording of Communications
A law enforcement officer may, upon written order of the Court of Appeals secretly wiretap, overhear, and listen to, intercept, screen, read, surveil and record or collect, with the use of any mode form, kind of device any communications, conversation, discussion, data, information, messages in whatever form, kind or nature, spoken or written words between members of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization.
- Warrantless arrest
The Section 29 of the Anti-Terrorism Bill allows the police and military to imprison – without a judicial warrant of arrest or case – the “suspected” perpetrators, conspirators, and conspirators to commit terrorism for up to 14 days, which can extend to 10 more days.
- No compensation for innocent arrested suspected terrorist
The anti-terror bill also abolished the provision of the Human Security Act of 2007 which provides P500,000 damages per day to any terrorist suspect who is found to be innocent.
- Activism without intention to cause harm is not terrorism
“[T]errorism, as defined in this Section 6, shall not include advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and political rights, which are not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s life, or to create a serious risk to public safety.”
- Inciting to Commit Terrorism
“Any person who, without taking any direct part in the commission of terrorism, shall incite others to the execution of any of the acts specified in Section 4 hereof by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations tending to the same end, shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12) years.”
You can access the full provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Bill here.