Senate OKs anti-terror act on second reading

February 20, 2020

THE Senate has approved on second reading a bill sponsored by Senator Panfilo Lacson providing for a clear, concise, balanced and rational anti-terrorism law that adheres to regional and international standards.

Senate Bill No. 1083 - the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 - includes a new section on foreign terrorist fighters to cover Filipinos nationals who commit terrorist offenses abroad.

It also effectively repeals the Human Security Act of 2007.

“With (Senate Bill 1083), we can be sure that whether the terroristic act is committed here or abroad, the perpetrator shall be within the arms of the law once he or she comes to our country,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.

Lacson emphasized that the existing Human Security Act did virtually nothing to deter participation in the plotting of terroristic acts.

Senate Bill 1083 introduced provisions penalizing those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.

“As a responsible member of the community of nations, we are duty-bound to improve our laws to ensure that we can implement UN Security Council Resolutions, meet international standards, and fulfill state obligations with the United Nations,” said Lacson.

The measure not only establishes Philippine jurisdiction over Filipino nationals who may join and fight with terrorist organizations outside the Philippines but also ensures that foreign terrorists do not use the country as transit point, a safe haven to plan and train new recruits for terrorist attacks in other countries.