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Church officials urge clarity on anti-terrorism bill provisions

Church officials on Sunday urged lawmakers to provide clarity on some provisions of the anti-terrorism bill as protests continue to mount against the controversial measure that is now awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.

In an interview on Radio Veritas, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines official Father Jerome Secillano said the bill has good intentions but stressed that questionable provisions must be clarified to avoid abuse in the future.

“Kung bumoto man sila diyan, sana makita nila din ‘yung direksyon na patutunguhan nito kasi meron itong bearing later on,” he said.

“Ngayon dine-debate ‘yan para talaga mas maging malinaw kung ano talaga ang mga provisions na nilalaman, magkaroon ng clarity, para kapag in-implement mo walang vagueness, walang arbitrariness and years from now, wala na sila dito, it will be left to the interpretation of those who will be in the government,” he added.

Archdiocese of Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo also urged the public to demand their representatives who voted in favor of the measure to explain why they did so.

Caritas Philippines National Director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, for his part, said he hoped that the railroaded bill will not taint the freedoms currently being enjoyed by Filipinos. — DVM, GMA News