Proposed ordinances vs terror deferred for vague provisions

THE CITY council deferred the approval of the two anti-terror ordinances to refine some of the provisions of the proposals to avoid confusing the public regarding the scope of coverage.

The two proposals are:

  • The ordinance punishing the act of leaving unmarked and unattended bag in public places;
  • The ordinance punishing the act of recruiting for and membership to ISIS, and its allied local terrorist groups, including those professing support thereto, the manufacture, distribution, and possession of propaganda materials and failure to report ISIS related activities.

Councilor Leah Librado-Yap suggested to refine more the intention of the proposed ordinance on the act of leaving unmarked and unattended bags in public places as the term “unmarked and unattended” carries with it different interpretation from the public.

“The intention of this ordinance should be clearer as unmarked, identified and unattended baggage may have different interpretations from people,” she said.

She added that the act leaving bags unintentionally in public places “is not really prohibited by the existing laws.”

Councilor Jesus Zozobrado also raised the question as why still penalize those who will be caught with only a minimum amount if a case can be directly filed before the court.

Based on the proposed ordinance of punishing the act of leaving unmarked and unattended bags, there is a P1,000 penalty for the first offense; P3,000 fine for the second offense and P5,000 and 1 year imprisonment for the third offense.

He added that the provisions should be reviewed further to determine if they are not already covered by the existing law on alarms and scandals under the Revised Penal Code.

Public Safety and Security Command Center chief Benito De Leon said the reports of suspicious unattended bags resulted to the government putting a lot of resources to verify and confirm the complaints.

Meanwhile, Councilor Victorio Advincula questioned the exclusion of the New People’s Army (NPA) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF)on the proposed ordinance punishing the act of recruiting and membership to ISIS and its allied local terrorist group.

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