The Philippine Army (PA) convened the PA Multi-Sector Advisory Board (PA MSAB) Online Summit 2020 to shed light on the armed forces’ roles and answer criticisms on the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 here today, October 13.
In a Town Hall Discussion, Sen. Panfilo Lacson clarified the issues and concerns regarding the validity and constitutionality of the said Act; providing Regional MSAB Chairpersons, National MSAB Members, PA Major Unit Commanders, Army Senior Leaders, and Philippine National Police representatives an opportunity to review and discuss the critical issues during the open forum.
According to the Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, the Philippine Army continues to hold its operational imperatives in respect for human rights, abidance by the rule of law, and adherence to international humanitarian law. “These imperatives shall be carried on in enforcing counterterrorism campaign in accord with enabling legislation,” he said.
Under Section 25 of the said Act, the Anti-Terrorism Council, pursuant to the obligations under the United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 1373, “shall automatically adopt the United Nations Security Council Consolidated List of designated individuals, group of persons, organizations, or associations designated and/or identified as a terrorist, one who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization group.”
Additionally, the ATC under its legal affairs program states that it “shall ensure respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law as the fundamental bases of the fight against terrorism.”
“This is a goal that we all along pursue. In the exercise of authority, we will be guided by its safeguards. We shall foremost emplace the fundamental rights of people above all things, uphold the rule of law, and support legislative intents that rally national development,” added Lt. Gen. Sobejana. — Press release courtesy of the Philippine Army