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President Rodrigo Duterte’s defense of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 before the United Nations General Assembly carries much significance as it was made before international leaders who are also dealing with terrorism.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said this Wednesday as he voiced agreement that it is important to have an effective legal framework against terrorism.

“Stating his strong position on the issue before the community of nations, many of whom are leaders of countries that continue to grapple with the threats of terrorism, made it more significant,” Lacson said in a statement.

Lacson, who sponsored the measure in the Senate, reiterated terrorism is a threat that “knows no timing nor borders as shown in recent bombings in our own turf.”

“This led us to pass the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that contains the needed legal backbone to let our security forces implement the law with efficacy and confidence, even proactively – as well as the needed safeguards to curb potential abuse and violation of the 1987 Constitution,” he said.

In his message before the UN General Assembly, Duterte said the Philippines “will do everything and partner with anyone who would sincerely desire to protect the innocent from terrorism in all its manifestations.”

Duterte added the Marawi siege, where foreign terrorist fighters took part, “taught us that an effective legal framework is crucial.”

He said the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 aims to shore up the legal framework by focusing on both terrorism and the usual reckless response to it.

“Its enactment was done pursuant to our commitment, and the strict adherence to the relevant Security Council resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” he added.

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