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Inconsistent na, absurd pa! Lacson demolishes recycled group’s recycled take vs anti-terrorism bill

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Inconsistent and absurd.

This was how Sen. Panfilo Lacson branded Saturday the insistence of a group of “lawyers” that the Anti-Terrorism Council in the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 has judicial powers, including the power to issue arrest warrants.

“A warrantless arrest is IMMEDIATE and SPONTANEOUS, following the ‘in flagrante delicto’ and hot pursuit rule under Rule 113 Sec 5 which is not being amended. Therefore, it is INCONSISTENT and ABSURD to think how the ATC can issue a written authority to arrest a terrorist suspect,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.

He pointed out the ATC’s written authority “merely refers to deputization, or who may arrest, NOT an order to arrest.”

The accusations were made by the “Concerned Lawyers for Civil Liberties,” whose reference persons include defeated senatorial bets Neri Colmenares and Manuel Diokno. Both had claimed the ATC has such judicial powers.

Lacson had repeatedly pointed out the bill expressly mentions the ATC has no judicial or quasi-judicial powers, and that its ATC’s powers are limited to central policy-making, supervising, coordinating and monitoring.

Also, Lacson pointed out the ATC has no power to fix the period of detention for suspected terrorists.

He said the anti-terrorism bill, in proposing the 14-day period compared to the three days in the 2007 Human Security Act, is a policy decision of Congress due to the “unique nature” of terrorism.

“The ATC has no power to fix the period of detention. The ATB, in proposing the 14-day period (it’s 3 days under the HSA from the regular 36 hours) is a policy decision of Congress in consideration of the unique nature and effects of the crime of terrorism,” he said.

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