IMPLEMENTING the Human Security Act without a proper
set of guidelines and its implementing rules and regulations poses a
danger to the security and human rights of every Filipinos, Sen. Mar
Roxas said on Tuesday, reacting to news that President Arroyo has
announced that the Antiterror Law will take effect as scheduled on
“The government should not
implement the Human Security Act without a set of implementing rules
and regulations. Doing so would be like constructing a building
without the architectural, electrical and mechanical plans being
approved. Eventually, due to poor planning and a weak foundation,
the building will collapse and affect innocent people,” Roxas said
in a statement.
“To proceed with the July 15
deadline without a set of IRRs defeats human rights because the line
between national security imperatives and human freedom may not be
clear to every law enforcer.
“I urge the government to go
slow and do it right. Better to err on the side of human rights than
to breed tyranny.
“The IRR should provide clear
and definite boundaries on how the provisions of the HSA are to be
implemented by our men in uniform and prosecutors.
“The government already suffers
from highly negative public perceptions in regard to its
human-rights record. To push the limits further would only breed
more fear and anger among the people.
“For a law that allows
wiretapping, house arrests, prohibition to travel, and seizures of
properties, a set of IRRs will shield the people against abuse.
“I am disappointed why the
responsible agencies did not finish the IRRs in time for the law’s
implementation. This signals a lackadaisical approach to vital
constitutional issues. I ask the national security establishment to
shape up and take the fundamental law more seriously.
“The nation will stand behind
any measure that genuinely keeps our homes and streets safe, but is
deeply conscious of the harm done by a climate of impunity
occasioned by unresolved killings and disappearances.
“I urge the government to open
a full-blown consultation with all sectors to hammer out a set of
IRRs that respond to constitutional integrity and national unity.
“I voted against the HSA’s
passage in the Senate because I believe the fight against terror
requires urgent operational reforms over measures that could impair
“For example, the databases
of key departments and agencies [i.e. the Department of National
Defense, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Bureau of
Immigration, the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of
Investigation] on the antiterror front need to be able to ‘talk
to each other’ and share crucial information to identify bombers,
sharpen the manhunt and tighten the noose against terrorists.”
Roxas ended his statement with a
call to “to address these operational gaps first before
implementing a stringent HSA that could fall flat from the lack of
public support, or run wayward in the hands of misguided law
enforcers or faulty and inadequate intelligence or information