Philippine lawmaker pushes President Duterte to ratify the proposed Anti-Terror Law

Lawmaker Manuel Lopez representing the district of Manila wants the passage of House Bill 5382

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Reuters

A Philippine lawmaker has appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to make the proposed anti-terrorism law a priority and give the nod to ratify the bill into a law as fast as possible.

Lawmaker Manuel Lopez, representing the district of Manila, wants the passage of House Bill 5382 that will require the registration of mobile phone subscribers and social media users in the Philippines.

Also known as the proposed bill on Terrorism Threat Deterrence Act of 2017, the proposed law will also keep a check on cell phone and social media users so that they are identified if they involve in any illegal activity and terrorism.

Lopez, who chairs the committee on public order and safety, also requested House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and other House lawmakers to approve the bill.

The lawmaker's appeal was made at the peak of the on-going battle between thousands of Philippine soldiers and hundreds of Maute-Abu Sayyaf Terrorists in Marawi City. The battle in Marawi is now entering its third month.

Duterte earlier met with Philippine senators to inform them about terrorists plotting to attack three more cities in Mindanao. Though Duterte refused to divulge the name of the cities, he appealed to the senators and congressional lawmakers to support his plan to hire an additional 20,000 soldiers to battle the militants.

"Terror threats will affect the country's economy and peace and order if these threats are ignored," Lopez added.

If the bill becomes a law, government authorities will be able to seek the cooperation of telecommunication companies, internet service providers and social media networks to establish mechanisms to deter terrorism.

The proposed law will also mandate telecommunication companies to register subscribers using government –issued ID cards. Subscribers will also be required to get a village certificate of good moral character.