MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to receive the inputs of his legal advisers on the anti-terrorism bill this week, Malacañang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque admitted that he could not tell whether Duterte has read the entire bill since he was still waiting for the inputs to be completed.
“Hindi ko po alam kung talagang nabasa na niya nang buong-buo kasi hinihintay po natin iyong mga inputs (I don’t know if he has read it completely because he is still waiting for the inputs),” he said in a virtual presser.
Roque said both the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and the Department of Justice have already submitted their inputs while the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs is also expected to submit its input.
Once all recommendations are ready, Roque said they could be forwarded to Duterte.
“Sa tingin ko po by now, by this week eh maipiprisinta na ang bill itself at ang mga rekomendasyon ng iba’t ibang ahensiya kay Presidente (I think that by now, this week, the bill and recommendations of different agencies would be presented to the President),” he said.
He also allayed fears that Duterte would allow the measure to lapse into law if he did not sign it within 30 days after June 9, the day he received the bill.
“Thirty days naman po iyan at matagal pa iyang 30 days na iyan. Hayaan muna nating pag-aralang mabuti ng lahat ng mga opisina dito po sa Malacañang (It will take 30 days and 30 days is a long time from now. Let us allow the offices in Malacañang to study it thoroughly),” he said.
Roque, meanwhile, dismissed the statement made by retired Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that the controversial measure allows the order of arrests without a court warrant.
He said there were no laws that prohibited pre-detention, saying this provision would prevent suspected terrorists from escaping.
“Hindi po iyan sa tingin ko paglabag doon sa constitutional provision na tanging huwes ang pupuwedeng mag-issue ng warrant of arrest dahil hindi naman po binago iyang rule na iyan (I don’t think that’s a violation of the constitutional provision that only the judge can issue a warrant of arrest because that rule was not changed),” he said.
After pre-trial detention, Roque said there would be a need to file the case before the court, and only the judge will determine whether a warrant of arrest may be issued.
The anti-terrorism bill seeks to amend and improve the provisions of the Human Security Act of 2007 by giving it more teeth.
The proposed law allows the detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days sans a warrant of arrest.
A person who voluntarily or knowingly joins a terrorist organization will also face 12 years imprisonment.
The opposition and progressive groups have strongly opposed the passage of the measure in Congress over concerns that it would further erode human rights in the country.(PNA)