CLAIM: In the Pilipinas Debates 2022 on April 3, Lacson said that when a person is arrested for a supposed violation of the anti-terrorism law, authorities must report that arrest “immediately,” within 24 hours, to judicial authorities, Commission on Human Rights and Anti-Terrorism Council.

RATING: This is misleading.


What he said

Asked about the importance of human rights in the Philippines, Lacson took the opportunity to defend the law he sponsored and also faced 37 legal challenges at the Supreme Court.

“In relation to human rights, yung anti-terror law — ito lamang yung batas na napakaraming safeguards at isa sa mga napaka-importanteng safeguard, kapag nanghuli ang pulis sa violation ng ATA agad-agad, within 24 hours, kailangan mag-report sa pinakamalapit na huwes at sa CHR at sa ATC,” he said.

What he left out

Section 29 of the law, one of the most contested provisions of the ATA, provides that law enforcers and military personnel shall notify in writing “immediately after taking custody of a suspect” the nearest judge of several facts, including time, date and manner of arrest; location of the detained subject; and condition of the suspect.

It added that the ATC and the CHR shall be furnished with the written notice to the judge.

Nowhere in the law, which has been challenged for its vague provisions, said that this has to be done within 24 hours.

Rule 9.3 of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the law however provides that the notification “shall mean a period not exceeding forty-eight hours from the time of apprehension or arrest of the suspected person.”

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