Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles on Monday requested the inclusion in the anti-terrorism bill of a provision protecting the free expression of artists.
Nograles wrote to Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) chief Salvador Medialdea, expressing concern on behalf of the creative industry that their acts might be tagged as terrorism under the bill.
“May I respectfully refer to your honor as Chairperson of the Anti-Terrorism Council the concern of the creative industry members that, should the President sign the aforementioned measure into law, the Implementing Rules and Regulations should contain the phrase as stated: Terrorism, as defined by this act, shall not include products of creative, artistic, and cultural expressions, which are not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s life of to create a serious risk to public safety,” the letter read.
Nograles said the adoption of the qualification would “further clarify the legislative intent of the bill.”
Multiple groups have expressed apprehension over the ambiguous definition of terrorism in the bill, which is could be open to abuse and endanger democratic rights of citizens.
The controversial bill was transmitted to Malacañang on June 9 after being signed by leaders of both houses of Congress, and only needs Duterte’s signature to become law.
The bill can automatically become law even without Duterte’s signature after July 9, when the 30-day deadline expires. John Ezekiel J. Hirro