Malacañang on Thursday said the controversial anti-terrorism bill was on its final stage of review at the Office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

In a virtual presser, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said a memorandum recommending to President Rodrigo Duterte a course of action was already produced, and it was up to Medialdea to forward the bill to the president.

“Nailipat na po iyan sa tanggapan ni Executive Secretary for final review, at ibig sabihin po, mayroon na pong memorandum na recommending a course of action to the President. Subject to final approval lang po siguro iyan ni Executive Secretary at dadalhin na po sa lamesa ni presidente,” Roque said.

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 aims to repeal the Human Security Act of 2007 with a law multiple groups have said would be open to abuse and violate the constitution that bars prolonged detention without a charge.

Those opposing the bill have called for remedies protecting freedom of speech and expression and a clearer definition of “terrorism.”

The inclusion of provisions allowing warrantless arrests and detentions raised particular alarm, as such would violate due process of law and court rules, according to faculty members of the De La Salle University Political Science Department.

Duterte’s chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo has recommended the signing of the bill.

“Our office has studied each and every provision, which should not be read in isolation but in connection with each other so as to render the document in its entirety as well as its directives, effective in combating terrorism, and found the same passing the constitutional test,” Panelo said in a previous statement.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines has said parts of the bill were unconstitutional, and recommended a veto.

The bill will automatically lapse into law on July 9, should Duterte decide not to take action nor veto the bill. John Ezekiel J. Hirro