HomeDiocesan ReportsMilitary bishop says Philippines’ anti-terrorism bill ‘offbeat’

Military bishop says Philippines’ anti-terrorism bill ‘offbeat’

Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines said the passage of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Law is “offbeat” amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“If I were to suggest, let us set this aside first and focus on the present pressing challenge,” he said.

“And when there is a solution or cure already we come to discuss lengthily on the anti-terror bill,” added the bishop.

The bishop said the passage of the anti-terror bill in Congress is “offbeat” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“All I need to say is that in this time of pandemic, when people are groping for food and sustainability and cure, I guess to my simple analysis (it) is offbeat,” he said in an interview with Radio Vertias.

He said the government should focus instead on ways to address the needs of the people.

On June 16, government spokesman Harry Roque said the president would likely sign the anti-terrorism bill into law.

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“The enrolled bill is now in his desk. So let’s just say he is taking a final look at it but I think he is inclined to sign it,” Roque said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

Duterte has until July 9 to act on the bill before it lapses into law.

Human rights groups and church leaders have voiced concern over the proposed measure for provisions that they said can be used to run after government critics.

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