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Prez Duterte certifies anti-terror bill as urgent

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government’s efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 4, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday certified as urgent a controversial bill that proposes a tougher law against terrorism.

In a letter sent to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday, Duterte called for the immediate enactment of House Bill No. 6875 seeking to amend the Human Security Act of 2007.

The call for its urgent passage, according to the Chief Executive, aims to “address the urgent need to strengthen the law on anti-terrorism in order to inadequately and effectively contain the menace of terrorist acts for the preservation of national security and the promotion of general welfare.”

Earlier, both the House Committees on Public Order and Safety and on Defense and Security adopted the Senate version of the bill which already passed on its third and final reading last February 6.

Under the proposed measure, any person who shall threaten to commit terrorism, and those who will propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism shall suffer the penalty of 12 years in prison.

The bill also states that any person who shall voluntarily and knowingly join any organization, association or group of persons knowing that such is a terrorist organization, shall likewise suffer imprisonment of 12 years.

The same penalty shall be imposed on any person found liable as an accessory in the commission of terrorism.

Furthermore, the measure exempts law enforcers from liability for illegal detention or failing to present an arrested person to a court with the prescribed period.

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