Leave anti-terror law alone, Palace tells opposing US solons
MANILA, Philippines — American lawmakers calling for the repeal of the Philippines’ anti-terror law should stop intervening, Malacañang said Thursday as it stressed that the US is no longer the country’s “colonial masters.”
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement after at least 45 US lawmakers urged the Philippine government to repeal controversial law’s which they said was a “new weapon” to “supress dissent” in the country.
“Matagal na pong indipindyente ang bansang Pilipinas sa Amerika,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(The Philippines has long been independent from the US.)
“Having said that, nasa hukuman na po yan. To the (US) congressmen who signed it, we have a working judicial system and we can rely on our judicial system to rule on the constitutionality of the anti-terror law.”
“Pero wag na po kayo maghimasok. Hindi na po namin kayo colonial masters. Indipindyenteng bansa na po kami,” he went on.
(But do not intervene. You are no longer our colonial masters. We are now an independent nation.)
US congresswoman Jan Schakowsky said she fears that the anti-terror law will be “used against anyone who protests against the government.”
President Rodrigo Duterte signed earlier this month the proposed amendments which sought to strengthen the country’s Human Security Act of 2007.
While its proponents assured that the law has enough safeguards, several groups and lawmakers expressed concern that it would be “abused” to crack down on dissent.
The President himself also assured that law-abiding Filipinos have nothing to fear about the said law.