The House of Representative has approved the Anti-Terrorism Bill or House Bill 6875 which provides more rigid law against terrorism on its third and final reading. The bill, endorsed as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte, abolishes the HSA or Human Security Act of 2007 by granting more vigilance to the government forces.
You can be labeled as terrorist if:
- You commit an act/acts meant to cause serious physical injury or death to other person.
- You commit an act/acts to cause considerable damage to private and public property or any government facility.
- You commit an act/acts to cause destruction to integral infrastructure including systems that affect water supply, telecommunications, energy supply, fuel supply, emergency services, transportation, television, radio and banking.
- You possess, develop, transport, use or acquire lethal explosive weapons.
- You cause floods or fire on purpose or release hazardous substances to purposely intimidate or threaten the government, the public or any international institutions.
However, it is important to note that terrorism doesn’t include the following:
- Mass or industrial action.
- Stoppage of work.
- Other identical exercises of political and civil rights.
- Scheme to carry out terrorist acts.
- Make threats to perpetrate terrorism.
- Conspire to do terrorist act.
- Propose or suggest to perform terrorism.
- Recruit others to a terrorist group.
- Give material aid to a terrorist organization.
- Travel or make an attempt to go to another country to join in terrorism.
- Motivate to carry out terrorism through means of writings, proclamations, speeches and others with or without participating in terrorism.
Imprisonment without constitutional warrant of arrest
- The bill lets the military officer or law enforcer to detain an individual or individuals suspected of executing acts of terrorism. Suspects can be arrested with no charges filed for fourteen days, which may be prolonged to a another ten days (maximum), depending on the severity of the case.
- The bill demands the military officer or law enforcement agent who apprehended a suspect to alert the judge immediately where the arrest was made.
- An imprisonment of ten years will be charged on the military personnel or law enforcer who did not alert any judge of the imprisonment or if they breach the individual’s rights under their custody.
Sanction for public officials
- Any public official will be charged with administrative violation of grave misconduct with dissolution of civil service eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, service dismissal and full debarment from running for any kind of electoral post or occupying any public office.
As of around 12 noon of June 9, 2020, the Malacanang Palace is already preparing printed copies of the transmitted Anti-Terrorism Act and is now waiting for the President’s signature unless he vetoes the bill.