Commentary: Anti-terror bill, if not now, when?
By Miriam P. Aquino
San Fernando City, La Union (11 October) -- The Anti-Terrorism Bill is still on a boiling pot at the Senate as senators are locked in a dispute on whether to end the interpellation period and push for the amendments or to prolong the debate for a more conscientious study of its provisions.
While Senator Juan Ponce Enrile demands for an immediate end-up on the period of debates, Senators Aquilino Pimentel and Jamby Madrigal vowed for the non-passage of the said bill.
Pimentel said that it is indeed a potential cause for abuse by some unscrupulous leaders of the country and Madrigal told that it can be possibly used as an instrument by the administration to pose greater terror against their critics and political opponents.
Other pro senators wanted to support the bill simply because it is obviously seen that our country is in great need for an anti-terror bill and they are willing to propose some amendments just to ensure that the proper safeguards are in place.
Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye said that the lack of anti-terrorism bill is causing demoralization among security forces because suspected terrorists taken into custody can easily walk away.
One thing is that foreign investors would hardly take the risk of investing their money in a country without any assurance that they are well-protected by its existing laws, especially at this point in time where renegade members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are said to be coddling Jemaah Islamuyah (JI) terrorists in Sulu.
Much more danger is posed to our countrymen because we are considered helpless if we don’t allow the passage of this bill. More threats have happened in Mindanao and we’re not sure of what, when and where will be their next target areas.
Such would unlikely affect the tourism industry since it would possibly leave doubts and fright to our target clients, both local and foreign tourists.
Bunye even added that the passage of the anti-terrorism bill is key not only to the security of the people, but to a sound and safe environment for economic investment and enterprise.
Malacañang appeals to the lawmakers to stop bickering and pass the anti-terrorism bill and give the citizenry a good fighting chance against terrorism.
Why not act now while it’s still possible? (PIA La Union) [top]