Duterte: Anti-terror bill still under review by Palace legal team

Image screenshot from RTVM video
  • The anti-terror bill is still under review by the Palace legal team
  • The President has yet to receive recommendations whether to sign or reject the bill
  • Roque assured the public the President will read the bill himself and not only rely on recommendations

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has revealed on Monday that his legal team in Malacañang is still reviewing the controversial anti-terror bill.

The chief executive has certified the bill as urgent. The proposed measure aims to amend and strengthen the 2007 Human Security Act and has divided the country; with the opposition raising fears that the bill is prone to abuse and may be used by the government to silence its critics.

Image screenshot from RTVM video

“My legal is still reviewing it. My legal team in Malacañang. There’s only — hindi ko pa natanggap, ” Duterte said during a late-night meeting with the Cabinet. [I haven’t received it yet.]

Duterte said he has yet to receive the recommendation from his legal team whether he would veto it or sign the bill into law.

“It’s always, automatic ‘yan. ‘Pag daan sa akin, I endorse it to legal. Without even reading it actually, if you -if you want really to know. It’s legal who will return it to me with a recommendation whether I will approve it or not,” the President noted.

Image from HRW

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier noted that both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel have already submitted their recommendations on the proposed legislation, while the Office of the Executive Secretary is still finalizing theirs.

Roque also assured the public that Duterte, being a criminal lawyer, will read the bill himself and “he will himself make a determination if there’s any provision that is contrary to the bill of rights and the Constitution.”