INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año expressed support on the proposed amendment to the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007, particularly the provision on longer wiretapping and detention period.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has recommended broadening the permissible wiretapping and detention period during a joint public hearing of the Senate committees on national defense and security and on finance.
Lorenzana is looking forward to extend the legally wiretapping period to 90 days from the current 30 days stipulated in the HSA.
He also pitched for increasing the detention period of suspected terrorists under a warrantless arrest from 36 hours to up to 60 days.
Agreeing with the DND chief, Año said that the move will improve the government’s capacity to fight terrorism and at the same time ensure the safety and security of the entire country.
A former top intelligence officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Año cited a fact that terrorism is a coordinated crime mounted over time, or sometimes years which can be countered through calculated strategies and intensified intelligence gatherings.
“We are facing new and old terrorism challenges. To meet this challenge, our laws must adapt as well to the changing security environment,” he said.
He cited his personal experience in tackling terrorism which is massively different from other crimes.
The former top spy explained that investigating terror groups or individuals can be tedious, hence, requires time and the proposed extension of wiretapping and detention period can definitely boost the government’s counterterrorism efforts.