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BREAKING: Duterte signs anti-terror bill into law

By: Darryl John Esguerra - Reporter / @DJEsguerraINQ - Inquirer.net | July 03,2020 - 06:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Despite massive opposition, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the controversial anti-terror bill into law.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed this in a text message to INQUIRER.net on Friday.

The anti-terror bill seeks to strengthen the Human Security Act of 2007 and criminalizes incitement of terrorism “by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations.”

It also allows the detention of suspects for up to 24 days without charge and empowers an anti-terrorism council to designate suspects or groups as suspected terrorists who could be subjected to arrests and surveillance.

Duterte’s top military and security officials have cited the continuing threat of terror groups in the country such as the Abu Sayyaf as the main reason for the need for the law.

But lawyer groups, human rights advocates, and even some lawmakers have opposed the bill which they feared could be used as a potential state weapon against dissent.

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