Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez has aired her stand on the controversial anti-terror bill. The Anti-Terror Bill has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate and has been submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for final approval
Many are calling for junking the bill in fear that this might suppress one’s rights, especially of those critical of the government.
Declaring her support for the bill, Torres-Gomez argued that the fear of abuse is not a valid reason to reject the terror bill, adding that any law can be abused.
“The fear that a bill can be abused, or that 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 Duterte but even the reigns of other presidents,” Torres-Gomez said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“But fear of abuse is not a valid reason to reject a bill outright. It is 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 can be abused,” she added.
She also stated that the power to issue a 4warrant of arrest will “remain with our courts” and a planned anti-terrorism council will have “no quasi-judicial powers”.
The lawmaker said the Human Security Act of 2007 was “a dead letter law”.
“It was all innocent until proven guilty. By that time, it does not apply to a crime like terrorism because if we use that argument, wala na, na-detonate na kung bomb (it will already be detonated, if it’s a bomb,” she said.
An anti-terrorism law “should be not just reactive, but also preventive,” said the Leyte representative.
“Terrorism is the highest crime against humanity. I don’t think it is right to not pursue a tip or go after a suspect… We have to weigh which risk weighs heavier on people: the risk of wrongful arrest or the risk of a terror act actually happening,” she said.
“If wrongful arrest does happen, that person has legal recourse. But when a terror attack has been carried out, the damage is irreversible.”
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On Instagram, the Leyte representative shared clarifications on the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. She urged critics to read the measure first and not rely on second-hand opinions who may have twisted the interpretation of the actual sections of the bill just to suit their accusations.
Recently, Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III took to Twitter to praise Torres-Gomez for defending the bill.
Sotto wrote, “Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez makes a very compelling thesis in her ig on why we should prioritize the fight vs terrorism. Beauty and brains!”
Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez makes a very compelling thesis in her ig on why we should prioritize the fight vs terrorism. Beauty and brains! @iampinglacson
— Tito Sotto (@sotto_tito) June 12, 2020
As Sotto recognized supporters of the bill, he also fired back at its critics. He even previously labeled them as ‘epal’ since they are misinformed about the details of the bill.
There are still many individuals who want the rejection of the bill for they are specifically alarmed on the possibility of abuses since the provision seemed to be imprecise and poorly worded.