Despite an objection from a non-government organization, the Catanduanes Provincial Police Office secured the signatures of most members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) in a manifesto expressing support for the controversial Anti-Terror Act of 2020.
PPOC chairman Gov. Joseph Cua asked the council members to sign voluntarily, noting that it was not a resolution.
Police provincial director Col. Paul Abay requested the council to sign the pro-forma manifesto, which was sent to the local police by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). He said that the municipal POCs have also been asked to sign the statement of support.
But NGO representative Rev. Fr. Renato dela Rosa interjected with his observation that the council has yet to fully understand the Anti-Terror Act, pointing out that some of its provisions are being questioned.
DILG provincial director Uldarico Razal Jr. defended the measure by insisting it is not martial law, citing its clear definition of terrorism.
The manifesto itself, written in Filipino, clearly states the Catanduanes PPOC’ full support for the Anti-Terrorism Act as a potent weapon against criminality, terrorism, illegal drugs and corruption.