Lacson: We cannot regulate social media using Anti-Terror law

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The new Philippine military chief’s proposal to use the anti-terror law as basis to “regulate” social media is “ill-advised,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said Thursday. 

According to the senator, who is also one of the authors of the said law, the legislation was written with a “very strong qualification that the bill of rights cannot be violated.” Using it to regulate social media as the AFP chief recommended would not be legal.

“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-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay. 

Gapay said Monday the military would begin to recommend how to police social media “because this is the platform now being used by the terrorists to radicalize, to recruit and even plan terrorist act.” 

Last month, the much criticized anti-terror law took effect 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.

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