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Palace to review bill versus terror before it lapses into a law

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Malacañang Palace

MALACAÑANG will review the anti-terror bill that Congress had passed, a week before it lapses into law.

A copy of the measure that critics have said arms the state to violate human rights had been sent to Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea for a final review, Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque told an online news briefing on Thursday.

The palace’s deputy secretary for legal affairs has already reviewed the bill, he said.

“There is a memorandum recommending a course of action to the President,” Mr. Roque said in Filipino. “This is subject to final approval by the executive secretary and this will be sent to the President’s desk.”

He did not say what the recommendation was.

The House of Representatives last month adopted the Senate version of the bill that it approved in February.

The measure will lapse into law on July 9 if President Rodrigo R. Duterte fails to sign or veto it.

Mr. Roque had said the President was inclined to sign the measure despite objections from militant groups.

The bill allows the government to arrest terror suspects without a warrant.

It also lets an Anti-Terror Council (ATC) made up of Cabinet officials to do functions otherwise reserved for courts, such as ordering the arrest of suspected terrorists.

It also allows the state to keep a suspect in jail without an arrest warrant for 14 days from three days now.

It also considers attacks that cause death or serious injury, extensive damage to property and manufacture, possession, acquisition, transport and supply of weapons or explosives as terrorist acts. — Gillian M. Cortez





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