In a recent communication dated June 1, 2020 by President Rodrigo R. Duterten to Congress, he certified the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 as urgent. In consonance with this certification Congress has endorsed the proposed law for signature of the President. Once the bill is signed by the President it becomes the law of the land after fifteen days publication from the Official Gazette and a newspaper of general circulation. The proposed bill will replace the existing Human Security Act of 2007. Some Human Rights advocates have expressed deep and upright concern to the proposed measure. Thus, Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, succinctly observed “the law will open the door to arbitrary arrests and long prison sentences for people or representatives of organizations that have displeased the President.” These advocates further commented that “the draft law defines terrorism that can subject suspects apprehended without warrant, detained without orders for weeks.” Indeed, these expressions of concern are not without basis. Under existing law and jurisprudence, a warrantless arrest may be effected by an apprehending law enforcement officer when a crime is actually being committed in his presence, or is about to be committed, or there is a reasonable suspicion that the suspect has just committed the offense. Indeed, this writer believes that our administration officials should play a second thought against the passage of the bill, if we have to preserve the democratic ideals and principles which our beloved people and country have long ensured.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
SOME FOLKS THINK THEY ARE THINKING, WHEN THEY ARE ONLY REARRANGING THEIR PREJUDICES.’ ANNONIMOUS FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“THE JUST MAN WEIGHS WELL HIS UTTERANCE. BUT THE MOUTH OF THE WICKED POURS OUT EVIL.” PROVERBS 16:39