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New AFP chief wants provision in anti-terror law's IRR that will regulate social media

Newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay wants to include provisions in the implementing rules and regulations of the highly-opposed anti-terrorism law that will regulate the usage of social media.

At a virtual press briefing, Gapay, who formally assumed post on Monday, claimed that social media is being used by terrorists to radicalize the youth and plan their lawless acts.

"We will be providing some inputs on countering violent extremism and likewise maybe even regulating social media. This is the platform now being used by the terrorists to radicalize and even plan terrorist acts," Gapay said.

"That's why we need to have specific provisions in the IRR pertaining to regulating the use of social media and, of course, likewise regulating materials in the manufacture of IEDs," he added.

Aside from that, Gapay also wants a provision in the IRR that would intensify intelligence sharing between the AFP and its foreign counterparts as terrorism is a global dilemma.

Gapay also said a provision in strengthening maritime security is needed to "deny entry of foreign terrorists" in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the controversial law's IRR is still a work in progress.

"We have 90 days since the signing of the law to come up with the IRR. Mayroon pa tayong panahon para pag-aralang mabuti 'yung gagawin nating implementing rules and regulations," Lorenzana said.

Despite apprehensions from the public, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terror Law on July 3. It took effect on the midnight of July 18.

The Department of Justice and the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), in consultation with law enforcement and the military, are in charge of promulgating the IRR within 90 days after the law takes effect.

Several groups have challenged the new law before the Supreme Court. Critics of the law said it contains vague language and lacks clear standards, giving law enforcers on the ground wide discretion to interpret its provisions.—AOL, GMA News