It may no longer be a matter of if but when terrorists will exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to stage their attacks, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday.
Lacson noted a report quoting United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres as saying the pandemic provides new opportunities for extremist and terrorist groups.
“The only timing that the terrorists know is their own,” he said in a post on his Twitter account, adding in a statement that “this is what I have been telling the critics of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.”
The only timing that the terrorists know is their own.
— PING LACSON (@iampinglacson) July 7, 2020
Earlier, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the COVID-19 pandemic provides new opportunities for the Islamic State extremist group, al-Qaida and their affiliates as well as neo-Nazis, white supremacists and hate groups.
Lacson sponsored what is now the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. In defending the measure, he pointed out terrorists know no timing or borders.
Also, Lacson pointed out that the Philippines needs a stronger anti-terrorism law as terrorism knows no borders.
“Surely, we do not want to be the haven of terrorists in Asia. The Marawi Siege is such a painful and costly experience which we as policy makers cannot allow to happen again,” he said.
“As long as the terrorists can achieve their intent and purpose of inflicting maximum damage to life and property in order to sow fear and intimidate the general public, they will strike at any opportunity,” he added.