THE Senate will prioritize a bill that seeks to boost the country’s anti-terror efforts when sessions resume on Jan. 20, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said.
Senate Bill 1083 will amend the Human Security Act of 2007, which only penalizes four acts of terrorism — the commission of the actual crime of terrorism, conspiracy to commit it, being an accomplice and an accessory.
The bill will expand its coverage by counting the following as terrorist acts: attacks that cause death or serious injury to any person, or cause extensive damage to a public facility or private property; manufacture, possession, acquisition, transport and supply of weapons or explosives, among other things.
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, who sponsored the bill, has said it also carries a provision that penalizes law enforcers. Police who erroneously detain people accused of terrorism will be fined P500,000 a day.
If enacted, terrorists and their conspirators will face life imprisonment without a chance for parole.
The measure, among the priority bills of the Duterte administration, is pending on second reading at the Senate. A counterpart bill at the House of Representatives is pending at the committee level. — Charmaine A. Tadalan