‘Mind your own business:’ Sotto tells ‘misinformed’ US solons calling for anti-terror law repeal
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III slammed the U.S. legislators who recently called for the immediate repeal of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, claiming that the American lawmakers are “misinformed” and could have just based their opinion on what they see on social media.
“I can safely say that they’re misinformed. Why don’t they take a look at their laws? Namimintas sila sa anti-terror law natin samantalang yung bansa nila mas mahigpit kesa sa anti-terror law natin. Bakit sila nakikialam,” Sotto, one of the main authors of the measure in the Senate, said in an online interview with reporters on Wednesday.
(I can safely say that they’re misinformed. Why don’t they take a look at their laws? They’re criticizing our anti-terror law when theirs is stricter. Why are they meddling?)
“I think these guys are just basing it on what they read on social media…Mind your own business,” he added.
U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky earlier said that she and 44 other lawmakers have sent a letter with their call for the repeal of the law to Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Romualdez.
“This law is overbroad and we believe that it’s already being used to stifle peaceful dissent and targets civil society, including human and labor rights groups in the Philippines,” she said.
But Sotto reiterated that the anti-terror law is “flooded” with safeguards to prevent abuse.
The newly-signed law repeals the Human Security Act of 2007 (HSA) and punishes those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation, and facilitation of a terrorist act; including those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.
Before it was enacted into law, the measure had been met with widespread opposition over fears that the measure could spur human rights violations and suppress dissent.
It also currently faces several petitions before the Supreme Court questioning its constitutionality.
But will the call of the U.S. lawmakers make a difference on the Supreme Court’s decision on the filed petitions? Sotto said he sees none.
“Hindi naiimpluwensyahan ang Supreme Court nang mga ganyan. Hindi nai-intimidate ang Supreme Court nang mga ganyan. The Supreme Court will base it on hard facts, on what they see or what they read. Hindi yung sabi sa social media,” the Senate president said.
(The Supreme Court will not be influenced by those sorts of things. The Supreme Court will not be intimidated. The Supreme Court will base it on hard facts, on what they see or what they read. Not what’s being said on social media.)
“‘Pag tinanong mo yung mga legislator na Amerikano kung ano yung mga point na sinasabi nila, alin don? Saang provision don? ‘Di ka kayang sagutin e. Papano bina-base lang nila sa mga naririnig nila sa mga nago-oppose sa anti-terror law sa social media,” he claimed.
(If you ask these American legislators what provisions they are against, which is it? Under what provision? They can’t answer. It’s because they only base their opinion on what they hear from those who are expressing opposition on social media).