Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday urged the public to give the “much-needed” anti-terrorism law a chance.

“It is a much-needed measure to clothe law enforcement agencies with the necessary power to contain and eradicate terrorists who don’t play by any rules and who hide behind our laws to pursue their evil deeds,” Lorenzana said in a statement.

Lorenzana also urged the public to “read and understand” the law which President Rodrigo Duterte signed on July 3.

“We appeal to the public to give this law a chance and not to be swayed by misinformation and disinformation. We urge everyone to read and understand the law,” he said.

He vowed to strictly implement this law according to its intent and spirit.

“We will ensure that it is not abused,” he added.

The new law or Republic Act 11479 repeals RA 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007.

It seeks the detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days sans a warrant of arrest. It also allows a 60-day surveillance with an allowable 30-day extension that can be conducted by the police or the military against suspected terrorists.

The law also imposes a 12-year jail term on a person who voluntarily or knowingly joins a terrorist organization. (PNA)