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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte defended the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (ATA) during his speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, saying that terrorism continues to be a major threat despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“Terrorism looms large,” Duterte said in his pre-recorded speech early Wednesday.

The Chief Executive said Republic Act 11479, signed last July 3, complies with the UN Security Council resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

“As I said at the Aqaba Process, the Philippines will do everything and partner with anyone who would sincerely desire to protect the innocent from terrorism in all its manifestations,” the Chief Executive said.

According to him, the Marawi City siege in 2017, which involved ISIS-linked fighters, taught the Philippines that an effective legal framework is “crucial” to fight increasing threat of terrorism.

Duterte also expressed his commitment to rebuild stricken communities and address the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism in the country.

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