Senate Bill 1083 otherwise known as the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 if approved into law anytime now, can be implemented in different ways depending on who is the ruling president.
to make a long story short, the law can either be the most humane or it can be prone to abuse depending on whose term it is being implemented. If it is on the Duterte term, then he will be responsible in making sure that his interpretation of the law will be backed up by the Supreme Court.
And the law will likewise remain as to whoever is president so long as the situation remains the same. In short it is open to so many interpretations now and in the future . it can be used, or abused.
For example, the draft law creates a new Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), consisting of members appointed by the executive, that would permit the authorities to arrest people it designates as “terrorists” without a judicial warrant and to detain them without charge for up to 24 days before they must be presented before a judicial authority. But under existing law, terrorism suspects must be brought before a judge in three days. Human Rights advocates believe that anyone taken into custody should appear before a judge within 48 hours. There you go, there is already a conflict of interpretation.
Another example, The draft law also makes it a criminal offense to “incite others” to commit terrorism “by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations tending to the same end.” The law, does not define what is incitement, so it poses a danger in interpreting the freedom of the media and theirs and other people’s expression by providing an open-ended basis for prosecuting speech. The Anti-Terrorism Council (and no longer the judge?) would be the sole arbiter to determine whether a threat should be considered serious or not. Those convicted felon would face up to 12 years in prison. Is that fair? Yes, to some, and no, to others. Conflicting with No hard fast rule.
HOW DID THEY VOTE?
By the way, how did our three congressmen vote: on the basis of their principles? Or on the basis of their political affiliations.? Ask them. They never issued a press release on this matter. They should not be shy, and should explain their vote to their constituents. They should even have consulted their constituents before casting their votes. SO HOW DID THEY TRIO VOTE?
And now, Congress has approved the Senate bill 1083 and is awaiting the signature of the president. There is nothing that can be done at this stage except a veto by the president which is most unlikely because it was Duterte himself who even certified the bill as urgent. Yes, he might reconsider some very highly contested portions there before he signs it.
One thing sure, we are sick and tired of the unsolved problem of half a century struggle of communist insurgency which is categorized as terrorism by government. If it can be solved by this anti terrorism act of 2020 , well and good. …but if not, then what good is the new law.
And in the future if it is abused by its future enforcers then its either that the law be amended, or upheld, or declared unconstitutional, again, it depends on who is the ruling party.
No law is absolute because it can be interpreted in many different ways depending on who talking and who is ruling at a particular time.