During the second plenary reading of the Anti-Terrorism Bill, Congressman Kit Belmonte lambasted the bill saying that it violates the 1987 constitution because it infringes the Bill of Rights.
Belmonte cited Article III Section 2 which says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws, and Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances, among others.
“Sa batas na ito parang hindi terrorista ang teterrorize natin, takot na nga tayo lahat, itetterorize pa natin ang mga mamayan na may legitimate protected under the constitution civil and political rights”, Belmonte stated in his closing statement.
The Anti-Terror Bill gives the authorities the power to put anyone under surveillance such as tapping their personal communication lines. It also allows authorities to arrest any individual without any warrant as long as they are designated and/or break the provisions that are written in the said bill.
Belmonte claims that these provisions violate the Bill of Rights that is enshrined to all Filipino citizens. The hearing is currently on-going and on the second reading; if approved, the bill will be elevated to its third reading.