MANILA, Philippines — The government is considering the establishment of a national identification system in the country as a way to combat terrorism.
Presidential Spokesperson Undersecretary Ernesto Abella said,“I think it’s being considered, in other words, as far as I know, it’s being considered.”
Currently, the establishment of the Filipino National Identification System Bill is under study of the technical working group in the Lower House, while in Senate it is still pending at the Justice and Human Rights Committee.
Meanwhile, the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday expressing his intention to arm civilians to capture the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group and those who are involved in illegal drug operations – has earned criticisms.
“I intend also to arm civilians and I will include the civilians. Pag nakapatay ka (if you happen to kill [a bandit]), you don’t have to worry, you just go to the police and make the report and state your truth. Wala kang problema (It won’t be a problem). I’ll take care of you. I’ll pardon you or whatever,” Duterte said.
But according to Malacanang, the President just wants to make sure security is raised up following threats of terrorism.
Usec. Abella clarified, “He [President Duterte] doesn’t mean to say that every household will be having that. I’m assuming that it’s part of civil defense, the ante will be pushed up… serious about raising security.”
The government is also confident that the security forces can handle the present situation especially in Bohol where there are security threats.
Abella also said there is nothing to worry about despite the series of travel warning advisories released by other countries against the Philippines.
“As far as I know, it’s being considered. However on the whole, the tourist interest in the Philippines continues to surge so it will all even up,” he said. — Rosalie Coz, UNTV News & Rescue
WATCH: National ID system, a deterrent to crime — Lacson, Trillanes
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