Press Release
August 14, 2006


Noting the urgency to pass anti-terrorism bill, Senator Edgardo J. Angara today reiterated that every single word in the said bill must be reviewed for accurate meaning and clarity due to the tremendous conferment to the police and judiciary.

He also said that scrutiny of the bill will in effect give more protection to the rights and interests of the public.

We need to tighten the language of the bill. We cannot leave any single word in this bill uncertain or undefined because meaning and precision are critical in the criminal law, Angara said.

Angara also reiterated the need for institutional safeguards to control the powers vested on the police or judiciary as mandated in the anti-terrorism bill.

Angara said that the bill must have provisions to identify those authorized, particularly the judge and the police, that they need to have training, skills and requirements before they have the right to invade privacy of any individual.

We should not give this kind of power to just any policeman or judge. We must assign the enforcement of this law to specially trained police or military personnel and no other, said Angara who chaired the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation.

Members of such anti-terrorism police or military are subjected to intensive orientation and briefing. In the case of judges, we need to seek help from Supreme Court to designate special RTC judges exclusive to permit invasion of ones privacy, he continued.

Angara also said that the bill should give emphasis to heavy responsibility that the police and judges exercise in exchange for giving them their huge power.

There is greater responsibility imposed on them than those imposed on the ordinary policeman or military man, or judge because of the power they are going to wield for the life, liberty and property of the citizens, Angara said.

Angara also said that the bill must carefully define the function and powers of an anti-terrorism council, including its political accountability.

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