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Palace says DOJ recommendation on new anti-terror legislation ‘very, vert influential’

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By Prince Golez

The recommendation of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the controversial anti-terror bill, which has been transmitted to Malacañang, will have a bearing on President Rodrigo Duterte decision whether to sign or veto the measure, Malacañang said Wednesday.

“I think it’s very, very influential because the DOJ is still the legal adviser of the President even if he has his own legal office within Malacañang itself,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told ANC when asked how important the DOJ’s recommendations will be to Duterte.

Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said his department will look into the constitutionality of the proposed law that has been denounced by the opposition and human rights lawyers.

“The Palace statement that the anti-terror bill will be reviewed is not a mere perfunctory statement. From my experience as former senior deputy executive secretary, I know that all enrolled bills are carefully scrutinized with the help of the relevant executive agencies before they are submitted to the President for appropriate action,” said Guevarra, then senior deputy executive secretary.

Critics said the controversial anti-terrorism bill, which the President certified as urgent last week, could be used to further silence dissent and target government critics.

Under the bill, anyone who threatens to commit terrorism can be jailed for up to 12 years. The same jail term will be given to those who will propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism.

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