MANILA – Contrary to claims by some sectors, the 2020 counterterrorism bill does not infringe on civil and political rights.
This, according to National Security Advisor Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., during a press briefing held Monday afternoon at the Asian Theater, 4th Floor, PIA Building, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City.
In fact, the protection of these rights is set out in clause 4 of the bill, he added.
“Napakaraming guarantees nandito unang una sa Section 4 dun palang sa definition sinabi na ano konektado sa terorismo, sinabi sa Section 4 will not include advocacy, protest work stoppage and similar mass actions. So focus on kinakailangan on protektahan ang civil and political rights (This law has many guarantees. The very first is section 4 which defines acts related to terrorism. In addition, section 4 states that terrorism should not include advocacy, protest, arrest. work and similar mass actions (this underscores the need to protect civil and political rights), âEsperon said.
He ensured that the rights of detainees under the proposed law are protected as law enforcement can face up to ten years ‘imprisonment if found guilty of violating prisoners’ rights. and tortured them, and wrongly file a complaint.
Another set of safeguards is the immediate need for law enforcement to report the arrest of suspected terrorists to the Human Rights Commission and the Oversight Committee, whose members come from Congress, in order to ensure the due process.
He added that the creation of the proposed Counter-Terrorism Council (ATC) will ensure the protection of human rights.
âThey will be with us, so let’s see them (ATC) as protectors and allies to protect us,â he added.
Esperon said he was the least embarrassed by some groups’ plans to challenge the 2020 counterterrorism law in the Supreme Court (SC) on constitutional grounds as a CTA, based on allegations from certain sectors. according to which the law would assume the function of the courts. once the bill was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
The function of the ATC is to order arrests without a warrant, the bill says.
“I believe in the credibility and goodness of the Supreme Court. They will always consider what is legally correct and good for the people,” Esperon added. (ANP)