Lorenzana appeals to Filipinos to give Anti-Terrorism Law a chance

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Amid some concerns with the passage of Republic Act No. 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in a statement on Sunday, appealed to the public to give the controversial measure a chance.

Being criticized for its vague and contentious provisions, the anti-terrorism law which repeals the Human Security Act of 2007, giving more surveillance powers to government forces, was formally signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday.

Describing the measure as essential for law enforcement agencies to be able to “contain and eradicate terrorists who don’t play by any rules” and who hide behind the country’s laws to pursue their evil deeds, Lorenzana said his department welcomes the passage of the law.

Urging Filipinos to “read and understand ” the law, Lorenzana said: “We appeal to the public to give this law a chance and not to be swayed by misinformation and disinformation.”

The Defense chief likewise assured the contested measure will be “strictly implemented” in line with its intent, and that officials will ensure that it will not be abused.

Meanwhile, saying that the measure breaches the constitution, several groups on Saturday filed the first petition and sought a temporary restraining order before the Supreme Court questioning the just-signed law.

In response to the plea, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque stressed it will defer to the high court to decide on these petitions, as well as the other potential challenges the law may face.

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