MANILA – With the anti-terrorism bill up for the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte, local executives in various provinces in the country called for its passage as they appeal for their constituents to support the measure “for the protection of the people.”

Davao Oriental Governor and chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council 11 Nelson Dayanghirang expressed his strong support for the measure, saying this will boost the country’s campaign in the fight against terrorism.

“This is an urgent and essential concern. Ensuring the safety and well-being of the Filipino people is an agenda that cannot be ignored and postponed. This will allow for the consistent strides toward peace and development,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

Dayanghirang added that only those who are indifferent and sympathize with the terrorists will oppose the bill.

The bill was approved by the Senate last February while the House of Representatives passed it on third and final reading last week after President Duterte certified it as urgent.

Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano and San Mateo, Isabela Mayor Gregorio Alipio Pua both declared their support on the passage of the bill, noting that peace and harmony will help the country progress.

“I also appeal to our constituents in Tuguegarao City to support the Anti-Terrorism Bill that aims to provide a strong legal backbone to protect the life, liberty, and property of the Filipino people against the threat of terrorism,” the two officials said in their statement.

The anti-terror bill is seen to provide more teeth to the law against terrorism and effectively repeals the Human Security Act of 2007.

It seeks to provide a strong legal backbone to support the country’s criminal justice response to terrorism, provide law enforcers much-needed tools to protect the people from the threat of terrorism, and at the same time, safeguard the rights of those accused of the crime.

Meanwhile, Romblon Rep. Eleandro Jesus Madrona said he thoroughly studied the bill before voting for it.

“I studied the bill prior to voting and voted accordingly because this is the best weapon we will have to deter the dreaded terrorist acts planned against malls and other public places by extremists,” he said.

With the bill submitted to Malacanang, President Duterte has 30 days to either sign the bill into law or veto it.

The measure may also lapse into law after 30 days of receipt without the chief executive signing it. (PNA)

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