- Human Security Act
The Human Security Act of 2007 (RA 9372) is a Philippine law that took effect on
February 8, 2007. [ [http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/letterstotheeditor/view_article.php?article_id=53077 Why Arroyo needs anti-terror law - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos ] ] . It is aimed at tackling militants in the southern Philippines. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6374875.stm BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Philippines approves terror bill ] ]
The law makes terrorism a crime and allows authorities to arrest terror suspects without warrants and temporarily detain them without charges. [http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/topofthehour.aspx?StoryId=69132 ABS-CBN Interactive ] ] Under the law, detained terrorists are entitled to see a lawyer, a priest, a doctor, or family members.
The Anti-Terror Bill was first filed in congress by Senator
Juan Ponce Enrilein 1996. [http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=85605 ABS-CBN Interactive ] ]
The final version was crafted with amendments by Senators
Manny Villarand Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.. These revisions introduced several amendments and safeguards that have caused the law to be called "toothless" and "watered down". It was ratified by the Senate on February 8, then approved by the House of Representatives during a special session two weeks later on February 19, 2007. [http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=53009 Arroyo to sign anti-terror bill Tuesday - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos ] ] It was later signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyoon March 6. It took effect on July 15, 2007.
The Philippines had long been urged by the
United Statesand other Western countries to bring in stricter anti-terror legislation, citing the presence of al Qaeda-linked extremists who have been blamed for bombings, beheadings, and kidnappings.
Allies in the
United States-led War on Terrorismexpressed confidence in the Philippines with the signing of the law. In a statement, the US Embassy said "This new law will help provide Philippine law enforcement and judicial authorities with the legal tools they need to confront the threats posed by international terrorism, while ensuring protection and civil liberties and human rights". Australian Ambassador Tony Hely hailed the signing of the law and called the Philippines "a key regional counter-terrorism partner" for Australia.
Laws of the 13th Congress of the Philippines
* [http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/ra_13/RA09372.pdf Human Security Act of 2007 full text (PDF)]
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