DESPITE massive opposition, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a bill that seeks to sharpen the the country’s anti-terrorism campaign, Malacañang announced on Friday.
“We confirm that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, today, 3 July 2020,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said in a statement.
Roque said the President, together with his Legal Team, “took time to study this piece of legislation weighing the concerns of different stakeholders.”
“Terrorism, as we often said, strikes anytime and anywhere. It is a crime against the people and humanity; thus, the fight against terrorism requires a comprehensive approach to contain terrorist threat,” he added.
Roque said the signing of the law “demonstrates our serious commitment to stamp out terrorism, which has long plagued the country and has caused unimaginable grief and horror to many of our people.”
“Together, let us defeat terrorism and make our communities safe and secure under the rule of law,” the Palace official added.
The new anti-terrorism bill was signed just days before it was to lapse into law.
Congress on June 9 transmitted the bill to Malacañang for Duterte’s signature even as some lawmakers tried to withdraw their support for the controversial measure.
The new law seeks to strengthen the Human Security Act of 2007 and criminalizes incitement of terrorism “by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations.”