Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said criticisms and apprehensions on the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act have no basis.
At a press briefing, Lorenzana pointed out that in the proposed measure, there are sanctions for law enforcers who will abuse their authority and power.
"Ang comment ko lang doon sa mga nag-o-oppose dito ay wala naman basehan 'yung kanilang oposisyon dahil binasa ko 'yung panukalang batas eh 'yun namang karapatan ng mga tao ay may sapat na provisions," Lorenzana said.
"'Yung mga law enforcement agencies ay mayroon ding kaparusahan sa mga nag-aabuso. So walang dapat ipangamba ang ating mga kababayan," he added.
Last week, the House Committees on Public Order and Safety and on Defense and Security jointly voted to adopt a Senate bill effectively repealing the Human Security Act of 2007 and approved a House substitute bill based on it.
Lorenzana earlier described the HSA of 2007 as "toothless" and "unhelpful," noting that it is no longer responsive to the security threats being faced by the country.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, who served as former Armed Forces chief, backed Lorenzana and called on the public to support this bill, saying that it is also "very timely."
"Ito po ay talagang threat na nangyayari hindi lamang sa ating bansa kung hindi sa buong mundo. Itong mga teroristang ito nagpaplano din 'yan kahit tayo ay nakaquarantine at nandito tayo sa problema ng COVID..." Año said.
It was on February 2020 when the Senate approved on third and final reading the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, author of the bill, ealier said that with the passage of Senate Bill 1083, the Philippines will be at par with other countries in the fight against terrorism. — RSJ, GMA News