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PRO-7 welcomes Congress’ approval of Anti-Terror Bill

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 04,2020 - 04:59 PM

Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro of PRO-7 | CDN Digital file photo

Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro of PRO-7 | CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director, welcomed the decision of Congress to pass the Anti-Terror Bill (ATB).

“It is a welcoming development considering the old Human Security Act is ineffective in thwarting any threats,” Ferro told reporters in a teleconference on Thursday, June 4.

Ferro also said they were looking forward to President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing and officially enacting the proposal into a law.

“It will give us a stronger legal backbone to support our country’s justice response against terrorism, especially on our enforcers. It’s a much-needed tool to protect or give protection on the people on threats of terrorism,” he added.

Both houses of Congress on Wednesday, June 3, approved the controversial Anti-Terror Bill or House Bill No. 6875 without any objection.

It is now pending for President Duterte’s approval who earlier certified it as urgent.

According to the bill, it penalizes anyone who proposes, incites, conspires, participates in the planning, training, preparation, and facilitation of a terrorist act as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.

It added that any person who should threaten to commit terrorism, and those who would propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism should suffer the penalty of 12 years.

READ MORE: It’s final: Anti-Terror Bill now only needs Duterte’s signature

The bill, however, has gained wide skepticism and opposition from several public officials, activists, and progressive groups around the country, raising concerns on the law’s potential to suppress dissent and tag any critics as ‘terrorist’.

READ MORE: Progressive groups in Cebu to lawmakers: Withdraw support on Anti-Terror Bill

Ferro, for his part, assured the public that if the bill would become a law, its violators would be arrested with legal basis.

“There should be an order from the Anti-Terrorism Council, giving enforcers authority to conduct anti-terrorist operations,” he added. /dbs

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TAGS: anti-terror bill, Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro

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