Solon urged colleagues who voted against Anti-Terror bill to resign

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Camarines Sur Representative and Deputy House Speaker asked his fellow lawmakers who voted against the proposed Anti-Terror bill to resign.

Villafuerte said his colleagues who did not support the measure which would detain a suspected terrorist for up to 24 days without a warrant are disqualified from being part of the majority coalition.

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“My personal opinion is that those who voted against the measure and are part of the majority leadership holding key positions and chairmanships should have the professional decency and ethical standard to resign from their leadership posts for voting against the majority position, especially it was certified as urgent by the President who leads the majority coalition,” he said in a statement.

No one was forced to vote yes for the controversial bill, he added.

“It was a conscience vote and choice for everyone. However, if it’s in your conscience to oppose the measure, you should also have the conscience to resign from your leadership position. You cannot be a member of the majority and oppose its position and stand,” he said.

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Villafuerte also said House members who wanted to change their votes could no longer do so.

“Fellow congressmen who announced publicly that they changed their votes regarding the Anti- Terrorism bill has no bearing, and they cannot just change their vote by announcing to the public,” he said.

“There are rules and procedures they have to follow to change their vote, and in this case, it has to be formally changed and registered in the plenary,” he added.

There are at least 11 of House members who withdrew their “yes” vote to the Anti-Terror bill.

These include Representatives Joey Salceda of Albay, Lorna Silverio of Bulacan, Noel Villanueva of Tarlac, Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list, and Emmanuel Billones of Capiz.

Also read: Caraga IP leaders want Duterte to sign Anti-Terrorism Act

A number of representatives, on the other hand, corrected their “yes” vote to abstention. These include:

  •     Sol Aragones of Laguna,
  •     Manuel Zubiri of Bukidnon,
  •     Roman Romulo of Pasig,
  •     Helen Tan of Quezon,
  •     Cheryl Deloso-Montalla of Zambales,
  •     Irene Saulog of Kalinga,
  •     Marissa Andaya of Camarines Sur,
  •     Evelina Escudero of Sorsogon, and
  •     Rommel Angara of Aurora.
The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is already submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte. The President has 30 days to decide whether to sign or veto the bill.
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