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Philippines Senate passes anti-terrorism bill

[JURIST] The Philippine Senate [official website] passed an anti-terrorism bill [press release] on Tuesday which will allow authorities to detain suspected terrorists for up to three days without filing charges. The legislation also includes a provision that grants wrongfully detained persons a right to compensation of up to P500,000, roughly 10,000 American dollars. Philippine Senate President Manuel Villar [official profile] expressed optimism for the bill's future, stating that it "hopefully will really stop terrorists in their tracks." The Philippines government has been fighting Islamist separatists and communist rebels for years, and both groups have used terror tactics [CFR Q/A]; in 2004 the Abu Sayyaf Group [BBC backgrounder] bombed a ferry in Manila Bay, killing some 130 passengers.

The Senate version of the anti-terror bill must still be adjusted to match the House of Representatives version passed last year, which according to Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita [official profile], is likely to happen at a June meeting of the bicameral conference committee. The Philippine Star has more.

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