Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 11:04:58 -0600
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@LIST.MSU.EDU>
Subject: PH:AntiTerrorism Bill

Philippines revives anti-terror bill

Reuters, 12 August 1998, 05:52 AM ET

MANILA, Aug 12 (Reuters)—The Philippines, alarmed by the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa, said on Wednesday it was reviving a mothballed anti-terrorism bill that would give the state summary powers to arrest and deport suspected extremists.

At present, if you take them to court, they can post bail. In the new is immediate deportation, Defence Secretary Orlando Mercado told reporters.

The move to resurrect the anti-terrorism measure was spurred by last week's bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 200 people and wounded thousands, he said.

An anti-terrorism bill proposed in 1996 died in Congress after human rights groups attacked it for restricting civil liberties.

The ill-fated bill was prompted by police discovery of an alleged plot by an international Islamic group to assassinate Pope John Paul during his visit to Manila in 1995.

That led to the arrest in Pakistan of extremist leader Ramzi Yousef, whom a U.S. judge earlier this year sentenced to life imprisonment for masterminding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York.

Manila says a group of local Moslem militants linked to a spate of bombings of government and church targets in the southern Philippines had the backing of international extremists.

Controversial provisions in the 1996 bill that would allow police to tap telephones and freeze bank acounts are not included in the new version.