Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano appealed to critics of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 to read the bill first before it is ratified.
Cayetano made that appeal in his sine die adjournment speech Friday for dissenters of House Bill No. 6875.
The proposal, approved by the Chamber in its third and final reading on June 3, was criticized by critics for its alleged violations of human rights and freedom of speech.
But according to Cayetano, before the bill was called “draconian” or “repressive,” critics should read the provisions contained in it.
The leader of the Congress also asserts that those who express their opposition to the government and take part in protest actions will not be considered terrorist based on the provision of the proposal.
Based on the June 3 polls, it received 168 affirmative, 36 negative, and 29 abstention votes in the Anti-Terror Bill, which seeks to amend the Human Security Act of 2007.
The purpose of this proposal is to punish those who propose, incite, conspire, and take part in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members for a terrorist organization.
Anyone who threatens to commit a terrorist act or persuades others to do so will be subject to 12 years’ imprisonment.
The same penalty will be imposed on voluntary members of an organization known as terrorist groups and those found to have served as accessories to a terrorist act.
Meanwhile, those found guilty of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act will face life imprisonment without parole.