MANILA – A multi-sectoral group said Wednesday enacting into law the proposed anti-terrorism bill will help liberate the people from the threats of violent extremism and radicalism, as it called the signing of the measure “timely” for the upcoming Independence Day commemoration on June 12.

“Sa panahong gugunitain natin ang ating anibersaryo ng kalayaan, nararapat lang na isabatas na ang anti-terrorism bill (As we commemorate the anniversary of our freedom, the anti-terrorism bill should also be passed),” Jose Pepe Goitia, Liga Independencia Pilipinas (LIPI) secretary-general, said in a statement.

Goitia said the Filipino people deserve freedom against the tyranny, oppression, violence, killings of innocents, and the long-standing armed insurgency brought by communist groups, Islamic extremists, and other rebel organizations in the country.

The legislation of the proposed anti-terrorism bill, he said, is key to end all forms of terrorism.

“Ito ay isang legislative measure na magpapalaya sa tao sa kuko ng terorismong banyaga (This is a legislative measure that would free people from claws of global terrorism),” Goitia said.

He said acts of terrorism must be stopped to allow people to live peacefully, stressing that the proposed bill does not discount inviolable rights.

The proposed bill is not a step toward martial law, he said, but a solution to the long-running insurgency, among other issues, in the country.

Goitia said the public should not cast doubt on the contents of the bill because safeguard measures against human rights violations are in place.

“Malinaw namang kinikilala ng batas sa mga Bill of Rights sa 1987 Constitution at may mekanismo itong nakalatag sa potential na paglabag ang Anti-Terrorism council (it is clearly stated in the 1987 Constitution under Bill of Rights that the Anti-Terrorism Council has mechanisms in place for potential human rights violations),” he said.

He said the rule of law will reign supreme in the end.

“Sibilyan pa rin ang maghahari, batas pa din ang mangingibabaw, karapatang pantao pa din po ang mananaig (Civilians will still rule, law will still prevail, human rights will dominate),” he said.

He lamented that militant organizations are just using the measure for political agitation and propaganda against the government, amid a surge in petitions to veto the bill. (PNA)