ATC approves IRR for Anti-Terrorism Law

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 14, 2020   •   115

The Anti-Terrorism Council has approved the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Guevarra said they will provide Congress and law enforcement agencies copies of the IRR. They will also release a copy online and in other publications.

“We will disseminate copies to Congress and to law enforcement agencies as required under the law, and will publish the IRR online and in a newspaper of general circulation in the next few days,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law last July 3 which repeals the Human Security Act of 2007.

The DOJ started drafting the IRR of the law last August.

Meanwhile, there are currently 30 petitions filed before the Supreme Court requesting to halt the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Law questioning its constitutionality.

The Office of the Solicitor General, however, has already asked the high tribunal to dismiss the petitions. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

DOJ to issue legal opinion on PhilHealth-Red Cross deal this week – Guevarra

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) assured it will render this week a legal opinion on the memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed between the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and state insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corp. for the conduct of COVID-19 tests.

“The DOJ is reviewing the MOA between the Philippine Red Cross and PhilHealth and will render an opinion within the week,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

“We’re giving this our preferential attention,” he added.

Guevarra said the review is in response to the request of PhilHealth President and CEO Dante Gierran.

PhilHealth and PRC entered into a deal in May this year for the conduct of COVID-19 tests which will be charged to the state insurer.

The Red Cross, however, suspended the testing last week due to PhilHealth’s mounting debts.

President Rodrigo Duterte himself, in a televised speech Monday, assured to pay off the P930 million debt of PhilHealth to the PRC.

Meanwhile, PhilHealth spokesperson Rey Baleña reiterated that the agency has the funds to pay its obligations to the PRC.

The state insurer, however, wants to thresh out some issues on how to move forward with its partnership with Red Cross to ensure that members’ funds are properly handled and disbursed.

“Nais lamang nito na makatiyak na ang lahat ay nasa ayos bilang bahagi ng pangangalaga sa pondo ng mga miyembro,” Baleña said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Warrantless arrest, may limitasyon sa IRR ng anti-terror law – ATC

Robie de Guzman   •   October 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – May limitasyon ang pagsasagawa ng warrantless arrest sa ilalim ng mga panuntunan ng bagong Anti-Terrorism Act, ayon sa Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC).

Sinabi ni ATC spokesperson, Undersecretary Adrian Sugay na sa ilalim ng implementing rules and regulations (IRR) ng batas, hindi maaaring gamiting batayan ang “mere suspicion” o hinala lamang sa pag-aresto ng walang kaukulang warrant of arrest .

Ayon kay Sugay, nakasaad sa IRR na dapat may probable cause o matibay na batayan upang mang-aresto ang mga otoridad.

Posible lang din aniya ito kung ang isang indibidwal ay nahuli sa aktong gumagawa ng krimen o kaya may “hot pursuit” o kaya ay tumakas ito sa bilangguan.

“Ang posisyon namin d’yan the way we interpret, is that it should be interpreted in relation to Rule 113 of the warrantless arrest. It can be reasonably interpreted that any arrest based on section 29 is has to be based on probable cause,” ang wika ni Sugay.

Nakasaad rin aniya sa IRR na obligadong magsumite ng affidavit sa ATC ang mga law enforcer upang makakuha ng pahintulot bago isagawa ang pag-aresto sa anomang suspek.

Sa ilalim ng batas, maaaring idetine ng dalawang linggo hanggang 24 na araw ang isang naarestong indibidwal.

Sa kabila ng ginawang pagtitiyak ng ATC, plano naman ng Bayan Muna Party-list na maghain ng petisyon sa Korte Supreme upang kwestuyunin ang nilalaman ng IRR para sa Anti-Terrorism Act.

Hihilingin din nila sa korte na maglabas ng temporary restraining order (TRO) para itigil ang pagpapatupad ng batas.

“Pag-aaralan ng makabayan bloc especially inilabas na itong IRR kung magsasampa ng petisyon to nullify and declare unconstutional itong IRR or just a supplemental petition,” ang pahayag ni Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate.

Sa ngayon ay aabot na sa 37 petisyon ang naka-hain sa Korte Supreme laban sa kontrobersiyal na batas. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Dante Amento)

Tensions still high at New Bilibid Prison after gang riot – DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   October 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Tensions remain high between prison gang members at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) following Friday’s riot that left at least several inmates dead, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said.

In a statement, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the situation at the NBP is still tense but the violence has been contained with the help of the police and prison authorities.

“There were intelligence reports that one group was amassing to strike back at the rival group,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

At least nine inmates who are members of the rival Sputnik ang Commando Gangs were killed in a brawl that broke out before dawn Friday in one quadrant of NBP’s maximum security compound.

Guevarra said he has yet to get an update from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on the situation.

BuCor director general Gerald Bantag earlier said an investigation into the cause of the incident is underway.

The National Bureau of Investigation was also directed to conduct a separate investigation and file charges against anyone involved in the riot. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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