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Solons reject proposed 90-day legal wiretapping

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By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Lawmakers opposed Sunday the proposal of the Department of National Defense to legalize wiretapping operations up to 90 days.

Albay City Rep. Edcel Lagman and Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said Congress should not give in to such proposal, saying it is “repressive,” “regressive,” and “anti-people.”

“Removing the human rights safeguards in the Human Security Act like the liberalization of wire-tapping will open the floodgates to inordinate abuses,” Lagman said in a statement.

He said the proposed deletion of safeguards in the Human Security Act is one of the “counterproductive roadblocks to human development.”

“Repressive and regressive legislation and policies stunt sustainable socio-economic development,” he said.

Under the current law, wiretapping on suspects is allowed for 30 days and with approval by the court.

For her part, Elago described the proposed legalization of wiretapping up to 90 days as “yet again a blatant attack against the fundamental rights of the Filipinos.”

Lagman and Elago observed that several measures, which curtail the freedom of every citizen, have been proposed by the Duterte administration.

“The Duterte administration’s irrepressible campaign to reimpose the death penalty, reduce the age of criminal responsibility, delete libertarian safeguards in the Human Security Act, revive the Anti-Subversion Law and liberalize wire-tapping are counterproductive roadblocks to human development,” Lagman warned.

He stressed that there must be a rights-based approach to legislation and policymaking for development to prosper and flourish.

“If the human, civil, and political rights of the people, the very intended beneficiaries of development, are derogated and denied, development would be a farce and far-fetched,” he pointed out.

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