Philippine president approves widely opposed anti-terror law

in Philippines

Duterte had fast-tracked the anti-terrorism act through both houses of Congress during the coronavirus outbreak [AP]

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a widely opposed anti-terror law which critics fear could be used against human rights defenders and to muzzle dissent.

Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Act on Friday after weighing the concerns of different groups, demonstrating the government’s commitment to stamping out terrorism, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Opponents say they will question the constitutionality of the law in the Supreme Court.

The law grants security forces sweeping powers to act to fight individual fighters and armed groups, while legal experts say broad articles could allow discriminatory enforcement, privacy infringements and suppression of peaceful dissent, including on social media.

Duterte’s approval comes after a United Nations report on the Philippines that singled him out for publicly inciting violence and encouraging rights abuses, mostly during the so-called war on terror in

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Photo Credit: Aljazeera

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