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Anti-Terror Bill’s primary proponent backtracks support, authorship after House adopts Senate version

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MANILA – One of the primary proponent of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act has withdrawn his authorship on the controversial measure after the House leadership has decided to adopt the Senate version of the proposed legislation.

House committee on defense senior vice-chair and Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon shocked his other colleagues after rendering a negative vote on House Bill No. 6875 or the “An Act Defining, Preventing and Penalizing Terrorist Acts” despite being one of the original proponents of the measure.

According to Biazon, he was disappointed over the decision of the House plenary decided to adopt a similar measure passed by the Senate under Senate Bill No. 1083 three days after it was certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Biazon who sponsored and defended HB 6875, said that the congressman should have been given the opportunity to propose their amendments to the measure.

“Hindi po natin masabi na ang ating mga kasamahan ay nakapagbigay ng kanilang inputs para mabigay natin ang panukalang batas na masasabing nanggaling mismo sa House of Representatives,” Biazon stressed in his explanation his negative vote.

HB 6875 and SB 1083 both seeks to scrap the Human Security Act of 2007 and impose a much broader policy to strengthen the country’s law enforcement against terrorism.

For Biazon, the Lower House became a mere rubber stamp of the Senate after adopting the upper chamber’s version of the bill.

“Because of this, my vote is no to the bill. My name could not be attached to a bill that is not my real work. So, my withdrawal as author of the measure is another thing that I would like to present to the House,” said Biazon.

HB 6875 is a consolidation of seven separate legislations including that of Biazon.

Other main authors of the House version which was later set aside during the hybrid plenary proceedings were Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero (1Pacman Party-list); Reps. Jocelyn Tulfo (ACT CIS Party-list); Jericho “Koko” Nograles (PBA Party-list) and Lianda Bolilia (Batangas).

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