MANILA, Philippines – The bill that seeks to toughen the country’s campaign against terrorism is now under final review, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the proposed Anti-Terrorism bill has been forwarded to the Office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea for final review before it reaches the table of the President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ibig sabihin po, mayroon na pong memorandum na recommending a course of action to the president subject to final approval lang po siguro yan ni executive secretary at dadalhin na po sa lamesa ni president,” Roque explained.
The chief executive has a week to decide on whether to approve or veto the measure before it lapses into law on July 9.
Congress on June 9 transmitted the controversial bill to the Palace for Duterte’s signature despite opposition from various groups.
The anti-terrorism bill seeks to amend and improve the provisions of the Human Security Act of 2007.
Under the measure, anyone who threatens to commit terrorism, propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism shall mete out a penalty of 12 years of imprisonment.
It also introduces provisions penalizing those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate 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.
Proponents of the bill has repeatedly assured the public that activists and critics of the government will not be considered as terrorists following concerns that the measure will be used to target those who are expressing anti-government sentiments. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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