Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday, Oct. 14, agreed with Senator Panfilo Lacson that the recently arrested suspected Indonesian suicide bomber should be a good test case for the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL).
“This is the first major case, I think, where certain persons suspected of being foreign terrorists are being charged of violating our new anti-terrorism law,” Guevarra said.
Last Oct. 10, Indonesian Nana Isirano, also known as Rezky Fantasya Rullie or Cici, was arrested by police and soldiers in Jolo, Sulu. Authorities found in her possession an improvised explosive device disguised as a vest, container pipes, and a nine-volt battery.
Lacson said he recently talked to Guevarra to raise concerns over the recommendations made by Sulu Provincial Prosecutor Anna Marie Pierreangeli Ledesma who advised police to charge Rullie with illegal possession of explosives under Republic Act 9516 since implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Anti-Terrorism Law have not yet been released.
“The provincial prosecutor of Sulu has been advised that the IRR of the ATL has been approved by the Anti-terrorism Council today,” Guevarra said.
Lacson, chairman of the Senate National Defense Committee who sponsored the anti-terrorism measure in the Senate, believes that Rullie is a potential test case of the ATL which contains provisions for “inchoate offenses.”
“This is one example of an inchoate offense made punishable under the new Anti-Terrorism Law,” he said.
“By including inchoate offenses as punishable acts under the new measure, we are criminalizing the foregoing acts of the arrested suspects which include planning, preparation, and facilitation of terrorism and possession of objects with knowledge or intent that these are to be used in the preparation for the commission of terrorism,” he explained.