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Duterte signs controversial anti-terror law

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. (RA) 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

A copy of the law showed Duterte signed the new anti-terrorism legislation today, July 3.

In a statement, Malacañang said the President and his Legal Team “took time to study this piece of legislation” and weighed the concerns of various stakeholders.

“Terrorism, as we often said, strikes anytime and anywhere. It is a crime against the people and humanity; thus, the fight against terrorism requires a comprehensive approach to contain terrorist threat,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Duterte’s signing of the terror law, he added, “demonstrates our serious commitment to stamp out terrorism, which has long plagued the country and has caused unimaginable grief and horror to many of our people.”

RA 11479 calls for 12 years imprisonment to any person who shall threaten to commit terrorism and those who will propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism.

Section 29 of the law allows the detention of a person suspected of committing any terrorist acts for up to 24 days without charges.

This measure earlier met with strong opposition by human rights defenders, raising fears that it could be used to intimidate dissidents.

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