MANILA: Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Saturday lauded two committees of the House of Representatives for approving a measure that will boost the law against terrorism and effectively repealing Human Security Act of 2007.
“The DND welcomes the approval by the House Committees on Public Order and Safety, and National Defense and Security of a proposed bill which will strengthen the government’s response against terrorism,” he said in a message to reporters.
Lorenzana noted a new and stronger law against terrorism is needed as the Human Security Act of 2007 is no longer capable of meeting the evolving terror threats.
“The Human Security Act of 2007 is no longer responsive to the evolving nature of the threats we face, hence the need for a new law,” he said.
On Friday, the House Committee on Public Order and Safety and Committee on National Defense and Security, chaired by Masbate Rep. Narciso Bravo Jr. and Iloilo Rep. Raul Tupas, respectively, approved the still-unnumbered substitute bill, which seeks to prevent, prohibit, and penalize terrorism.
Bravo said the House bill is similar to the Senate version that was approved in February to fast-track its passage and avoid convening a bicameral conference.
“We have to approve today a bill that is similar to the Senate bill to avoid the necessity to convene a bicameral conference committee,” he said.
The proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 would provide a strong legal backbone to support the country’s criminal justice response to terrorism, provide the law enforcers the much-needed tools to protect the people from the threat of terrorism and, at the same time, safeguard the rights of those accused of the crime.
The Senate version introduced provisions imposing life imprisonment without parole on those who will propose, incite, conspire, and participate in the planning, training, preparation, and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit anyone to be a member of a terrorist organization.
(PNA/ Priam Nepomuceno/SRNY/RSP)