Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said in a privilege speech that the enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 or Republic Act No. 11479 into law is what the country needs to eliminate terrorism and prevent further deaths in the Philippines on Tuesday, August 25.
The senator pointed this out as he condemned the latest twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu allegedly carried out by two female suicide bombers, with suspected relations to Abu Sayyaf bomber Mundi Sawadjaan, nephew of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and Islamic State (ISIS) head in the country, Hajan Sawadjaan.
“Nakalulungkot isipin na sa kabila ng paghihirap at pasakit na nararanasan ng ating bansa at mamamayan dulot ng COVID-19 pandemic, nakuha pang isagawa ang karumaldumal na krimen na ito sa Jolo,” Dela Rosa said in his speech.
The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief also took note of the concerns and fear of many Filipinos, particularly the human rights groups, on the possible abuse the law might do.
“Despite its noble intention, many individuals and groups have raised their frantic concerns on their conceived and imagined abuses that may possibly be committed by the government in implementing this measure,” Dela Rosa said.
“This is also a challenge to all human rights advocates to condemn this terroristic attack, and focus, not just on the ill actions done by a few members of the military and the police, but also the sufferings and sacrifices of the majority of these men for their countrymen,” he added.
The senator also urged the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to consider the law from the viewpoint of the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP.
“We have had enough of your excuses that your mandate is focused more on the human rights of the non-state actors such as the terrorist Abu Sayyaf and CPP-NPA and not the state actors – AFP and PNP. How about the human rights of their grieving families? They are non-state actors, I suppose,” he pointed out.