Manila – Senators are planning to prevent another extension of the martial law declaration in the entire island of Mindanao by passing the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that he has discussed the plan for passing the measure by the first week of November with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Panfilo Lacson and majority of the senators have agreed as well.
“The DND (Department of National Defense) and Interior secretary [Eduardo Año] said they will recommend the lifting of martial law in the entire Mindanao if [the bill] is signed by PRRD (President Rodrigo Duterte),” Sotto said. “Majority will support.”
The proposed Anti-Terrorism Law, which is now pending at the Senate, aims to amend the Human Security Act to provide teeth to fighting terrorism. The bill proposes to criminalize the following acts:
1. For any person to travel or attempt to travel to a state other than his/her state of residence or nationality, for the purpose of perpetrating, planning, or preparing for, or participating in terrorist acts, or providing or receiving terrorist training;
2. For any person to organize or facilitate the travel of individuals who travel to a state other than their states of residence or nationality for the purpose of perpetrating, planning, training, or preparing for, or participating in terrorist acts, or providing or receiving terrorist training, including acts of recruitment; and
3. For any person residing abroad who comes to the Philippines to participate in perpetrating, planning, training, or preparing for, or participating in terrorist acts or provide support for or facilitate terrorist training here or abroad.
President Duterte placed the entire island of Mindanao under martial law in May 2017 over Marawi siege. He has since asked Congress to extend it three times.
The latest martial law extension in Mindanao is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019; unless President Duterte will asks for another extension and Congress approves it./PN