By Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development
 
QUEZON CITY – Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairman Eduardo Del Rosario has thrown his full support to the signing of the Anti-Terrorism Bill into law – citing how terrorists have been dragging the country from achieving lasting peace and economic development, for decades now.
 
The TFBM chairman, who oversees the massive rehabilitation in Marawi City by 56 government agencies, said that the passage of a new anti-terror measure is long overdue.
 
“I join all peace-loving Filipinos in supporting the passage of the long-delayed Anti-Terrorism Bill. We actually need this measure yesterday, not today or tomorrow,” said Del Rosario, who is also Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary.
 
“Contrary to what is being hyped by some, this bill is designed to defeat lawlessness and criminality perpetrated by terrorists, and not intended to curtail civil liberties and constitutional rights by law-abiding citizens,” the housing czar added.
 
The bill, already passed by Congress, was submitted to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature to become a law.
 
Secretary Del Rosario, who is also the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) Region 8, stressed that the measure could address the evils of terrorism especially to the youth, who are the common targets of recruitment by terror groups to rebel against the government and even their own families.
 
“Deceiving the youth to fight the government is not freedom of expression, and extorting ‘revolutionary tax’ is against the rule of law. Only the perpetrators of these venomous activities should be afraid of this bill. For 51 years, they have deceived the people and terrorized our land,” Secretary Del Rosario said.
 
“All of us know how the Daesh-inspired Islamic terrorists brought Marawi City to ruins and their remnants continue to sow fear and disrupt peace and development in some parts of southern Philippines. Just like the communist-terrorists, these militants prey on the youth, who are the future of our nation,” he added.
 
Secretary Del Rosario was referring to the five-month siege perpetrated by the Maute terror group in Marawi City from May to October 2017 that destroyed the Islamic City’s business district and displaced thousands of Maranaws.
 
By enacting the bill into law, the TFBM chairman said that the government has a better chance now of not only defeating these lawless elements but allow unhampered delivery of vital services to all, especially those living in the rural areas, thus provide more development opportunities.
 
Secretary Del Rosario also rallied the public to support the bill.
 
“Once and for all, let us put to stop these insidious and vicious terrorist tactics to achieve lasting peace and development we long aspire and deserve and provide better future to our children and grandchildren,” he pointed out.
 
“To the terrorists, ‘your time is up.’ Let us join hands in defeating violence and terrorism. We need the Anti-Terrorism Bill now,” Secretary Del Rosario added. (DHSUD)