Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is not the only person who read the Anti-Terrorism bill.
National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre Olalia pointed this out after the senator accused United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet of asking President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the bill without even reading it.
“Problema sa kanya akala nya sya lang marunong magbasa,” Olalia said in a statement.
The lawyer pointed the many of justifications made by Lacson for the bill have been “ad hominem o fallacious ang arguments.”
“Mas malaki problema nya, nagdudunung dunungan sya na maginterpret and explain ng legal document na hindi naman sya competent o authority,” Olalia said.
“Worse, hindi candid o deceiving o misleading ang selective presentation nya,” he added.
Among the points he raised, the lawyer expressed concern about Section 4 of the bill which has a blanket colatilla concerning the exemptions of as terrorist acts including “advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and political rights.”
Olalia noted these exemptions should also show that they are “not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s life, or to create a serious risk to public safety.”
“Hindi nila binabanggit itong qualification na ito sa claim nila na may ‘sadeguards’ kuno,” he said.
“Madaling gamitin o abusuhin ang collatilla or qualification even by mere allegation or worse by fabrication (pwede blanket allegation sa affidavit of arrest, spot report or sa charge sheet) to defeat the exemption,” he explained.
Olalia also expressed concern on provisions which allow the Anti-Terrorism Council to order arrests after proscription has been sought before the Court of Appeals to declare a person or organization as terrorist.
“May power ang Court of Appeals sa Sec. 27 to provisionally (“preliminarily”) proscribe an organization as terrorist unilaterally and ex-parte within 72 hours from filing of a petition without even hearing the organization and based solely on what is submitted by the DOJ which in turn is presumably based on submissions or allegations of security and intelligence agencies whose credibility & track records are not exactly spotless,” he lamented.