Anti-Terrorism Law RA 11479 takes effect Starting Tonight Midnight July 18

Anti-Terrorism Law RA 11479 takes effect Starting Tonight Midnight July 18

Anti-Terrorism Act takes effect Saturday.

Manila - The controversial Anti-Terrorism Act will take effect on Saturday, the Department of Justice clarified amid confusion on the start date of its implementation.

In a statement on Friday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra explained that since the law was published on July 3, it will take effect on July 18, or 15 days after.

He apologized for the confusion caused by an earlier statement. “We rectify our earlier statement that the law will take effect after the 15th day, or on July 19. Our apologies."

The Anti-Terrorism Council, chaired by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, has started meeting in small groups to draft the implementing rules and regulations, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. told CNN Philippines.

"IRR will come in 90 days," Esperon said in a text message.

As early as July 4, Esperon said the council was ready to convene to craft the IRR which will be submitted to Congress.

Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 mandates the creation of a joint congressional oversight committee which can summon the council and law enforcement officers over the implementation of the measure.

Several petitions have been filed at the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the law since President Rodrigo Duterte signed it on July 3.

Among its contentious provisions is it extends the time suspected terrorists can be arrested and detained without warrant to up to 24 days from three days under the previous law.

Critics say the law relaxes safeguards on human rights and is open to abuse, but lawmakers who authored and sponsored the measure deny this.

Duterte also said law-abiding citizens should not fear the newly-signed measure, but stressed that communist rebels should be considered as terrorists because "I finally declared them to be one."

Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, principal sponsor and author of the Anti-Terrorism Act, said this may be a "personal opinion" of the President, but the government’s petition to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People’s Army as terrorists will have to be tried and approved by the Court of Appeals. - Anjo Alimario of CNN Philippines

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