(File photo courtesy of PIO)


Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) chairman Palawan governor Jose Alvarez is supporting calls for the enactment into law of the “Anti-Terrorism Bill” currently awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.

A press statement press statement issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) Friday (June 18) last week said Alvarez voiced out his support to the controversial measure during the 2nd Quarter Meeting of the RPOC in MIMAROPA via Zoom video conferencing on June 16.

“We are going to request President Duterte to sign it immediately. I would like to say that we really have to support its passage. It is long overdue,” Alvarez was quoted in the DOE statement as saying.

In a separate interview Tuesday, Alvarez reiterated that the passage of the law should have happened much earlier.

“Long overdue na yan,” he said in response to a question from Palawan News.

DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who was present in the Zoom conference, expressed confidence President Duterte will sign the anti-terrorism bill.

The statement said Cusi addressed the RPOC in his capacity as the cabinet officer designated for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Region IV-B, which chaired by Alvarez.

Cusi expressed confidence Duterte will sign the bill into law to “really equip us (to) ensure a safer future for our next generation”.

“We need this anti-terrorism law to save our country. We need it to combat the terrorists who are hiding behind the human rights law to propagate their activities. Kailangan naman natin talaga (we really need this) to make our region, and also our country, peaceful. We need to have a law that will also help us achieve peace,” Cusi was quoted in the statement.

Cusi also enjoined the RPOC to help in the information drive and correct what he said are misconceptions about the bill.

“We need to speak up and really have this bill passed into law,” he said.

On Monday night, Duterte said during his live public address said his legal team is already reviewing the bill before making his decision.

“My legal is still reviewing it. My legal team sa Malacañan. There’s only — hindi ko pa natanggap,” Duterte said.

“It’s always — automatic ‘yan. Pagdaan sa akin, I endorse it to legal. Without even reading it actually, if you — if you want really to know. It’s [the] legal [team] who will return it to me with a recommendation whether I will approve it or not,” he added.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.