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Ping blasts fake news peddled by anti-terror bill foes

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Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Thursday blasted the fake news peddled by those opposing the anti-terrorism bill, starting with claims that one can be arrested on mere suspicion.

Lacson, who sponsored the Senate version of the bill, reiterated he made sure Senate Bill 1083 contains safeguards to make sure it adheres to the 1987 Constitution.

“The Anti-terrorism Act of 2020 aims to secure our country and protect our people from domestic and foreign terrorists like the Abu Sayyaf and the ISIS. As author and principal sponsor, I made sure that it adheres to the Bill of Rights as enumerated in the 1987 Constitution,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.

Lacson also replied to a claim by Rep. Carlos Zarate that a person can be arrested on mere suspicion under the anti-terror law.

Zarate’s Bayan Muna is among the most vocal opponents of the anti-terrorism bill.

“This is so untrue. Nobody can be arrested on mere suspicion. The elements of warrantless arrest are retained and still present under the Anti-terror measure in the Senate version as adopted by the House,” Lacson replied in a separate tweet.

In an earlier statement, Lacson reiterated the concerns raised by so-called “progressive” groups had been addressed during committee hearings and plenary debates.

“Enough safeguards are in place. The critics – some of whom had been extended the opportunity to help craft the bill – should read first the bill itself to see for themselves what I am saying,” he added.

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