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Nograles eyes tougher Anti-Terror Law

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Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles (Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta) has recently refiled a measure that seeks to toughen the existing Anti-Terrorism Law.

Nograles said the Human Securities Act of 2007 needs to be amended to “make it rational, balanced, realistic and truly effective in the fight against terrorism.”

Nograles warned that the suicide bombing incident recently in Sulu that involved a Filipino militant might be the beginning of more similar attacks in the future.

“This unprecedented attack could just be the beginning of more similar attacks and the government needs to step up efforts to fight this kind of terrorism,” he said.

Nograles said the incident last June 28 where a Filipino named Norman Lasuca was identified as one of the two suicide bombers that attacked an Army command post in Indanan, Sulu “is a grim indication that foreign terrorists have already spread their violent ideology to local Islamic insurgents.”

“This involvement of a Filipino in a suicide bombing completely changes everything that we know about terrorism in the Philippines,” he said.

He explained that “vagueness of the definition” of the crime of terrorism—the almost absurd provisions for awards of damages, and the unreasonably restrictive measures which negate the very intent of the HSA are but a few of the reasons raised why “the law has become inutile.”

“Unfortunately, twelve years after its passage, the HSA has provided little to nil contribution in the fight against terrorism,” said Nograles.

According to the Davao-based solon, there have only been two cases where the HSA has been applied this date and this include the case of Jun Guevarra in 2008 where the accused plea bargained and in the proscription of the Abu Sayyaf Group as a Terrorist Organization in 2015.

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