Military chief's call for social media regulation 'ill-advised': senator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2020 12:49 PM

MANILA - The suggestion of the new Philippine military chief to use the anti-terror law to regulate social media is "ill-advised," the measure's author said Thursday. 

The legislation has "very strong qualification that the bill of rights cannot be violated," said Sen. Panfilo Lacson, among principal authors of the controversial measure. 

"If we regulate social media or media for that matter, I don’t think the Anti-Terrorism Law will allow that," he told ANC. 

"To say the least, it was an ill-advised statement. We cannot regulate social media," he said of the proposal of newly-installed Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay. 

Gapay said Monday the military would give inputs on policing social media "because this is the platform now being used by the terrorists to radicalize, to recruit and even plan terrorist act." 

The anti-terror law took effect last month despite strong opposition from different sectors on fears that it could be used to silence government criticism.

The law is facing several legal challenges before the Supreme Court.

Lacson said he was "very confident that it will pass the test of constitutionality." 

"There’s so much misinterpretation or misreading of the law," he said.