Press Release
August 7, 2006

Kiko: On the statement of Malacañang
re: the Anti-Terror Law so that theres no need for AFP operation

If the purpose of an anti-terror law is to curb the transfer of arms, funds and personnel across terrorist elements, then the immediate passage of the anti-terror law is warranted. Indeed the Philippines will remain the weakest link in the global war against terror, without a comprehensive anti-terror measure. The people of Mindanao have suffered enough. A so-called strategic and massive operation that will wipe out the terrorist elements in Sulu must be done carefully and with restraint especially if the operations are done in areas which are predominantly inhabited by civilians. In the meantime, we urge the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Jesus Dureza, to continue negotiations and peace talks with the MNLF as well. The Executive needs to immediately address the root causes of insurgency or the reasons behind the acts committed by the so-called terrorists. As the Senate version of the Anti-Terror law being defended by Senator Enrile is still undergoing Senate deliberations. The deliberations reveal that the bill needs to be carefully worded to require the concurrence of various elements in order for an act to be considered terrorism. It is important that the Senate pass a comprehensive and not a haphazard measure.

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