Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday questioned why lawmakers decided to "force" the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In her weekly radio show, Robredo pointed out that the country is grappling with one of the biggest health crises in history—yet lawmakers chose to focus on the controversial measure that seeks to strengthen the Human Security Act of 2007.
“Diyos ko naman. Nakakapanlumo,” she said. “Para sa akin, bakit? Bakit ipipilit—hindi lang ito sinisingit, pinipilit.”
Robredo said some congressmen withdrew their authorship of House Bill 6875 because their fellow lawmakers refused to make amendments to the Senate version that the lower house adopted.
“Iyong iba't ibang boses, iyon iyong essence ng demokrasya. Ang gusto nila, i-adopt na lang iyong Senate version kasi minamadali nga kahit na huwag na mag-[bicameral conference committee]. Pero parang binawian niyo ng boses iyong mamamayan,” she lamented.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier certified the bill as urgent. It is now awaiting his signature.
Robredo also questioned several provisions of the measure, such as those broadening the definition of terrorism and removing the penalty for law enforcement officers who make wrongful arrests.
“Walang pananagutan. Grabe iyong spaces for abuse kaya ito, mariin natin itong kinokontra. Hinihingi natin, hindi natin binabawalan magpasa ng batas kung palagay nila, hindi pa sufficient ito. Pero sa tama naman na proseso. Walang railroading kasi kapag niri-railroad, bakit?” — Julia Mari Ornedo/BM, GMA News