JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said that the newly-created Anti-Terror Council has approved the implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
“The ATC has approved the IRR of the ATL (anti-terror law) crafted by a technical group led by the DOJ (Department of Justice). We will disseminate copies to Congress and to law enforcement agencies as required under the law, and will publish the IRR online and in a newspaper of general circulation in the next few days, ” Guevarra said.
He said that the IRR will immediately take effect after publication and registration with the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR) of the UP Law Center.
President Duterte signed a stricter anti-terrorism bill, condemned by critics and rights groups as a weapon to target opponents and stifle free speech.
Duterte however has defended the law, saying law-abiding citizens should not fear as it targets terrorists including communist insurgents.
The highly contested provisions of the law are the following:
• section 5 – the threat to commit terrorism;
• section 6 – planning, training, preparing and facilitating the commission of terrorism;
• section 9 – inciting to commit terrorism;
• section 10 – recruitment to and membership in a terrorist organization;
• section 11 – foreign terrorist;
• section 12 – providing material support to terrorists.
• section 25 – designation of terrorist individual, groups of persons, organizations or associations;
• section 26 – proscription of terrorist organizations, associations or group of persons;
• section 27 – preliminary order of proscription
• section 29 – detention without judicial warrant of arrest.
Meanwhile Guevarra agreed with some lawmakers that the suspected Indonesian suicide bomber who was recently arrested in Sulu is a test case for the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
“I agree (with Senator Panfilo Lacson),” Guevarra said in a message to reporters, commenting on Lacson’s remarks that bombs and other items seized from Nana Isirani a.k.a. Rezky Fantasya Rullie or “Cici” indicated that she was preparing to take part in a terrorist attack.
On Tuesday, Lacson said the act of the Indonesian suspect is a clear example of an “inchoate offense” which is punishable under the law.
“By including inchoate offenses as punishable acts under the new measure, we are criminalizing the foregoing acts of the arrested suspects which include planning, preparation, and facilitation of terrorism and possession of objects with knowledge or intent that these are to be used in the preparation for the commission of terrorism,” Lacson, who sponsored the anti-terrorism measure in the Senate, said.
Isirani was arrested along with two other women believed to be wives of Abu Sayyaf members in Jolo, Sulu on Oct. 10. They yielded an improvised explosive device disguised as a vest, container pipes, and a nine-volt battery.
She is reportedly the eldest daughter of the Indonesian couple Rullie Rian Zeke and his wife Ulfah Handayani who were behind the Jolo Cathedral bomb attack in January 2019 which claimed 23 lives. Her husband Andi Baso aka “Zikri” is said to be behind similar attacks on churches in other countries.