Not only is he churning out fake news about the anti-terrorism bill – he also had a chance to help craft it some months back.
This was how Sen. Panfilo Lacson, the sponsor of the bill’s Senate version, described defeated senatorial bet Manuel Diokno, who claimed the measure will curtail basic rights.
“Walang basehan. Unang una sabi ko ang Bill of Rights nariyan pa rin. Walang lumampas sa Bill of Rights na enumeration ng rights na nakalista sa ating Saligang Batas. Walang lumampas doon. It’s within the bounds of the Bill of Rights,” Lacson said in a Zoom interview with Senate media.
Lacson reiterated the anti-terror bill will not cover legitimate protests and expression of dissent, or even stoppage of work, industrial or mass action or other similar exercises of civil and political rights.
On the other hand, Lacson said that when they were crafting the measure some months back, Diokno was among those invited to give their inputs.
“Napansin lang namin nang inimbitahan namin ang mga progressive bloc, the likes of Chel Diokno and rights advocates, di sila nagpunta. I think at least twice namin sila pinadala ng invitation,” he said.
“They had all the time last year, all the way to Feb nang pinasa namin ito para pahayag ang kanilang pagsalungat. E di sana kung ano ang kanilang input o gusto i-incorporate sa bill sa Senate version na in-adopt ng House, sana pinasok nila rito,” he added.
Now, Lacson lamented the bill is the subject of a massive disinformation drive.
“I just hope na hindi darating ang araw sila o pamilya nila o mga mahal nila sa buhay, magiging biktima o sa receiving end ng terrorist attack. Kasi pag nangyari yan, medyo late na sila i-regret itong ginagawa nilang to convince ang mga tao to junk the anti-terror bill,” he said.
He also reiterated his challenge to critics to read the bill before they criticize. “Madaling mag-disinform kasi kababayan natin madaling takutin,” he said.