Jul 3, 2020

On July 3, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the anti-terror bill into law. 

This was announced by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año through a message to reporters, signaling the start of its 15 day-countdown of taking effect as a full-fledged law once it gets published in newspapers with nationwide circulation. 

Just last July 2, Roque said that the bill was still with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea for its final review. According to the spokesperson, this meant that there is already a memorandum recommending a course of action and is just subject to final approval by Medialdea before forwarding to the President.

Had the President not signed the bill today, it would have been set to automatically lapse into law if not acted upon by July 9.

Lawmakers, human rights groups and various netizens have voiced dissent towards the bill since it was proposed. Several concerns regarding possible abuse of authority, red-tagging and silencing of critics against the government’s practices were raised by those opposing the bill’s transformation into law.

Aside from online petitions, groups and partylists such as Kabataan, ACT Teachers Partylist, Gabriela Women’s Party, National Council of Churches in the Philippines, the National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines and more have previously gathered for a physical protest against the bill as well.

[READ: LOOK: Scenes from the protest outside the House of Representatives]

Even United Nations (UN) high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet urged President Rodrigo Duterte not to sign the Anti-Terror Bill into law, as it “heightens our concerns about the blurring of important distinctions between criticism, criminality and terrorism.”

[READ: 8 days ’til ATB lapses into law, UN says it will have “chilling effect” on humanitarian work]

Through the Anti-Terror Bill which seeks stricter measures to the Human Security Act of 2007, those who will propose, incite, conspire and participate in planning, training, preparing and facilitating a terrorist act will be subject to punishment by law.


Header photo by Joan Bondoc for Inquirer.net

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Read more:

1 week, 1 office left before Anti-Terror Bill reaches Duterte

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TAGS: anti-terror bill anti-terror bill law Duterte president duterte President Rodrigo Duterte