President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to receive this week opinions of various agencies on the legality of the bill seeking to strengthen the country’s anti-terrorism campaign, Malacañang said Monday.
So far, only the Department of Justice and the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel have sent comments on the controversial bill, which Duterte certified as urgent. The Office of the Executive Secretary is also expected to give a legal opinion.
“Hindi ko po alam kung talagang nabasa na niya [Duterte] ng buong-buo [ang anti-terror bill] kasi inaantay po natin 'yung mga inputs,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.
“By this week, maipipresenta na ang bill itself at ang mga rekomendasyon ng iba't-ibang ahensya kay Presidente.”
The bill, which is up for Duterte's signature, has drawn criticism because it allegedly contained provisions that may be used to stifle dissent.
Critics have also warned against the up-to 24-day warrantless detention period for suspected terrorists, and the alleged authority of the Anti-Terrorism Council to authorize in writing the arrest of terrorism suspects.
Duterte has the option to sign it into law, veto it, or not do anything for 30 days and just allow it to automatically lapse into law.
The Supreme Court has the power to invalidate legislation on constitutional grounds, a legal option available to critics once the anti-terror bill becomes law. —LDF, GMA News