Press Release
March 30, 2007


CEBU CITY Because of a legal technicality, businessman Armando Ducat Jr. and his companion narrowly escaped the distinction of being the first violator of the newly passed anti-terrorism law, or the Human Security Act of 2007.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Friday that Ducat violated the law because he sowed panic, disrupted normal activities, and made demands from the government when he took 26 children hostage in Manila last Wednesday.

Technically, he should have been charged for violating the Human Security Act of 2007 because he sowed widespread panic and made demands from the government. But because of a sunset provision, the anti-terror law will not be implemented until after the elections, Lacson said.

He was referring to the sunset provision in the law prohibiting its implementation during the election period. This was meant to prevent government forces from harassing members of the political opposition especially during the election period.

Ducat and his companion Cesar Carbonell had been charged for the incident, and is now detained at the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters.

Lacson noted the two held 26 children hostage in Manila for more than 10 hours last Wednesday, subjecting the Philippines to worldwide embarrassment as international media scrambled to cover the event live.

They were spared from our anti-terror law because of the sunset provision, which prohibits its implementation until after the elections, he said.

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