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Explanation sought on ATC-designated suspects

The crafters of the implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 might have a good reason for including a provision allowing the publication of the names of suspected terrorists, but Senator Panfilo Lacson wants further clarification.

He told the ABS-CBN News Channel that those who crafted the IRR might have a reason for including the publication of the names of those designated by the ATC of the suspected individuals, terrorist groups or organizations.

The Department of Justice released the IRR of the anti-terror law almost three months after the controversial law took effect on July 18.

The law seeks to strengthen the Human Security Act of 2007 and to criminalizes incitement to terrorism “by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations.”

“In the exercise of our oversight function, we may ask the ATC to clarify further why they include in the IRR the publication of names, but as I said, they may have a good reason for that,” Lacson said.

Under Rule 6.5 of the IRR, “[a]ll ATC resolutions of designation shall be published/posted in a newspaper of general circulation, on the online official gazette and on the official website of the ATC.”

This list of designated individuals or groups will be accompanied by the name of the designated person or entity, a “brief description of the case for designation,” as well as the “designation or date of the last review of the designation.”

However, Lacson said the designation made by the ATC did not equal arrest.

“Designation per se is not an absolute authority of the ATC. There are parameters and they are guided by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373,” Lacson said.

The designation, he said did not mean an arrest would be made.

Lacson, one of the principal authors of the law, said designation could trigger those targeted for financial sanctions, and it was already included in an existing law: the Terrorist Financing Act that was passed in 2012.

The anti-terror law allows the detention of suspects for up to 24 days without charges and empowers the anti-terrorism council to designate suspects or groups as suspected terrorists who could be subjected to arrests and surveillance.

Topics: Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 , anti-terror law , Senator Panfilo Lacson , Department of Justice
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