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Bishop warns against new anti-terror bill

Bishop warns against new anti-terror bill

By CBCP News

June 2, 2020

Manila, Philippines

Saying that it’s prone to abuse, a Catholic bishop has expressed concern over the proposed measure that seeks to toughen the country’s anti-terrorism policies.

“It’s dangerous,” said Bishop emeritus Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon as Congress moved closer towards enacting the new law.

He urged the passage of the anti-terror bill to be stopped as it gives President Duterte “dictatorial powers”.

“Can the men of Congress not feel the danger of giving too much power to this man?” Bastes said.

According to him, there is no need for the bill because existing laws are effective enough to fight criminal elements and terrorism.

He instead urged legislators to enact laws to improve the lives of the people during the coronavirus crisis.

“Congress should enact laws that give life and hope, not laws that inject terror and more suffering,” Bastes added.

“Our poor people are already burdened with poverty and all kinds of suffering. They need positive laws to help them live in dignity and peace,” he also said.

Duterte on Monday certified as urgent House Bill No. 6875, which has been approved at the committee level of the House of Representatives.

Lawmakers are expected to debate and speed up its approval before they go on a two-month break from June 6.

Criticisms on the bill included concerns that it may be used against dissent, raising alarm among rights groups and the opposition.