“Sen. Lacson has repeteadly said time and again that the Anti-Terrorism Council has no judicial or quasi-Judicial powers” – Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez

“Sen. Lacson has repeteadly said time and again that the Anti-Terrorism Council has no judicial or quasi-Judicial powers” – Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez

Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez is again publicly defending the proposed Anti-Terrorism bill.
She said “fear of abuse of law should not be a valid reason to reject important measures seeking to address terrorism which should be preventive rather than reactive.”

Torres-Gomez reiterates what Senate President Vicente Sotto and senator Panfilo Lacson have been saying about the proposed measure which seeks to protect and prosecute the country from all acts of terrorism.
(photo credit to PNA)

She explains that the proposed measure is not and will not have judicial authority as the said power remains as it should be with the courts.
"It is still the court (which will) order the warrant and the ATC (Anti-Terrorism Council) is deputizing a law enforcement officer to pursue a probable cause based on the rule of hot pursuit," Torres-Gomez said in an exclusive interview with ANC’s Headstart.
She asks the public to weigh the risk involved on the people, "the risk of the wrongful arrest or the risk of a terror attack actually happening."

The congresswoman from Leyte said terrorism is the highest crime against humanity.
"I don't think it is right to not pursue or to not go after the suspect -- if he is suspected of the crime of terrorism," she said. "Not that I prefer the risk of wrongful arrest, I’m just saying that if wrongful arrest just happens, that person has legal recourse -- but when a terror attack has been carried out, the damage is irreversible."
She urges all the critics to read the bill thoroughly, saying the gains will be beneficial to the country.
"We have to read the bill with the right target in mind. This is a bill that aims to break terrorists to justice, this isn't about making life difficult to activists," she said.

Safeguards against abuse

Torres-Gomez said that the fear of bill can be abused or the law can be abused is not unfounded.
"We have seen how laws have been abused in the years -- not just under the reign of President [Rodrigo] Duterte but even the reigns of other presidents,” she said, noting that the fear of abuse is not a valid reason to reject a bill outright.

(photo credit to Lucy Torres-Gomez Facebook account)

"It's not a valid reason to reject needed legislation like the anti-terrorism bill because theoretically speaking, all laws can be abused, even social welfare laws that are very benign and charitable they can be abused. That is why, there are safeguards in place to prevent those abuse from happening," she added.

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Report from PNA

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