CRITICAL PROVISIONS OF HUMAN SECURITY ACT ARE HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE AND PRONE TO ABUSE.
by Napanice (no login)
THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS HAVE BEEN FLAGGED AS DUBIOUS, SUBJECT TO A WIDE LATITUDE OF INTERPRETATION, MISLEADING AND CONFUSING, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION ON SEVERAL ISSUES:
sec 3 Terrorism
sec 7 Surveillance of Suspects and Interception and Recording of Communications
sec 19 Period of Detention in the Event of an Actual or Imminent Terrorist Attack
sec 26 Restriction on Travel
sec 39 Seizure and Sequestration
DESPITE THE PROTESTS BY ACTIVISTS AND REQUEST TO REVIEW BY CIVIC AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS, THE ARROYO ADMINISTRATION HAS DECIDED TO GO AHEAD WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS NEW CLAIMING THAT IT IS "COMPLETE" AND "SELF-IMPLEMENTING".
IRONICALLY, THIS LAW IS WHAT IS NOW CAUSING WIDESPREAD AND EXTRAORDINARY FEAR AND PANIC AMONG THE POPULACE WHICH BY LAW IS THE DEFINITION OF TERRORISM.
Terror law in effect; critics urged to give it a chance
As Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act took effect Sunday, Sen. Edgardo Angara urged the public to give the law a try claiming that lawmakers have placed enough safeguards against possible human rights violations.
This as Malacañang also maintained that the government has complied with all the requirements for the implementation of the law.
“And if there are apprehensions, that is the time when Congress should act and work on a remedy. Ahead of speculations, I don’t think that should be the case,” Angara said.
Angara chided groups calling for the deferment of the implementation of the HSA saying they are only rehashing issues that were raised even during deliberations of the law in Congress.
Angara also urged left-leaning groups and his former colleagues in the opposition not to link the HSA with unsolved killings and mysterious disappearances.
“It is an entirely different issue that should be pursued differently by concerned government agencies,” Angara said.
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, principal author of the HSA, accused the left of delaying the implementation of the law because it would prevent them from taking over the government. He said they should instead file their case before the Supreme Court.
“Maski na anong batas na makakahadlang sa kanilang objective na agawin ang kapangyarihan sa ating gobyerno ngayon, lalabanan nila. Ang aking hamon sa kanila kung totoo ang kanilang paninindigan ay magsalang sila ng kaso sa Korte Suprema,” Enrile said.
Enrile also debunked claims that the anti-terror law’s implementation should be postponed because of the absence of implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
“The law itself must provide it (IRR). But in this (RA 9273) case, there are no provisions about IRR. This is a criminal law, so there is a need for IRR,” Enrile said, adding that the Revised Penal Code has no IRR, and yet it is being implemented until now.
Enrile admitted though that there is a need to amend certain provisions such as the one that sanctions members of security forces for mistakenly arresting an individual for terrorism. The penalty is half a million each day that a person is wrongly detained.
“All those provisions came from Aquilino Pimentel,” Enrile said.
The anti-terror law also defines conspiracy to commit terrorism as “when two or more persons come to an agreement to commit the crime of terrorism.” It has a penalty of up to 40 years imprisonment. The penalty for an accessory to the crime of terrorism is 10 years and a day to 12 years of imprisonment.
Surveillance of suspects and interception and recording of communications shall be granted by the authorizing division of the Court of Appeals upon an ex parte application by a police or law enforcement official who has been permitted in writing by the Anti-Terrorism Council.
Enrile explained that communication between lawyers and clients, doctors and patients, journalists and their sources and other business correspondences are not covered by the provision on surveillance.
Meanwhile, some 200 members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) greeted the first day of implementation of the anti-terror law with a protest rally at the Mendiola Bridge near Malacañang.
Bayan leaders said they would intensify their campaign against the implementation of HSA until President Arroyo considers concerns and objections on the new law.
“The Arroyo government is intent on implementing the law despite all the concerns and warnings aired by groups and individuals critical of the measure. This can only be seen as sheer arrogance. This government acts as if we are already under a dictatorship,” said Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes.
Reyes revealed that within the week, their group will file with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition that will seek a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the law, a move welcomed by Malacañang.
He also said they would ask other groups opposing the HSA to file similar cases with the High Court.
The activist group likewise vowed to intensify its protests in the next days prior to the State of the Nation Address of President Arroyo on July 23.
In a related development, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) media affairs head Bishop Deogracias Yniguez Jr. called for vigilance among Filipinos with the implementation of RA 9372.
“Let us be watchful. We already gave our observation and appeal. It’s already up to the Palace to weigh,” he said.
The CBCP earlier asked for a review of the anti-terror law, citing at least five questionable provisions, namely sections 3, 7, 19, 26 and 39. With Edu Punay, AP, AFP.
Posted on Jul 15, 2007, 10:24 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11