President Rodrigo Duterte is set to assess different legal opinions on the Anti-Terror Bill this week, the Palace said on June 22.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Duterte will check legal opinions from the Department of Justice—which was given last week—and from his chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo.
To recall, the Congress sent the bill to Duterte’s office on May 9. If he approves and signs, the Anti-Terror Bill will be enacted into law and repeal the 2007 Human Security act. If he disapproves, both houses of the Congress will have to muster a two-thirds vote to veto. If he doesn’t sign in time, it will lapse into law.
"Hindi ko po alam kung talagang nabasa na niya (Duterte) ng buong-buo kasi inaantay po natin 'yung mga inputs," Roque said in a televised briefing.
"By this week, maipipresenta na ang bill itself at ang rekomendasyon ng iba't-ibang ahensya kay Presidente," he added.
Duterte earlier said that the bill was urgent, and Roque said he is inclined to sign it, even though the bill has met criticism and dissent from lawmakers, activists, and even from the folks of the Internet.
The bill’s definition of “terrorism” is broad and some argued that this could be used to go after anyone who expresses criticism towards the government. The bill also grants full surveillance powers should an individual be classified as a “terrorist.” Those accused can be detained for up to 24 days.
Those against the bill’s passing have trended #JunkTerrorBill on social media platforms and held a protest was held at University of the Philippines Diliman last June 12.