Commentary: The need for passing the anti-terror bill
Tacloban City (October 13) -- The recent bombings, four blasts in two days, in North Cotabato is a glaring manifestation of the urgent need for Congress to pass the anti-terrorism bill which for quite a time has been pending in the House of Senate.
The bombings came after the US Embassy has warned, based on credible information, of a terrorist plot to bomb some cities in Mindanao in the next few days, and the Australian government called on its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution in the face of such threats.
These warnings should open the eyes of the legislators who have been wrangling over the passage of the terror bill for some time now despite the fact that the House of Representatives have passed its own version more than a year ago.
The absence of anti-terror law hampers the work of the police and the military, aside from the fact that it doubly endangers the lives of the peacemakers. This is already causing insipient demoralization on the part of the security forces.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo lost no time in instructing the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to join forces in the probe of the bombings and to assist in the identification and interdiction of the perpetrators.
The Administration denounced the perpetrators of the dastardly bombings and expressed its determination to hunt down and bring the culprits to justice.
Even as the President put the local government units on red alert and directed them to implement their respective contingency and anti-terrorism networks and plans, the fact remains that the passage of the anti-terrorism law is the key, not only to the security o the people but also to a sound and safe environment conducive to economic growth and development.
While the Administration has been reaping significant gains in reducing the threats of terrorism in the country, there is a need for the lawmakers to act swiftly and not toy with the safety and the welfare of the public. (PIA 8) [top]