MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo questioned the timing of President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill while the country continued to grapple with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. “Nung nalalaman ko na nilagdaan na, parang nanghina ako. Nakakalungkot, frustrating kasi ginawa ito sa kabila ng nasa gitna tayo ng matinding pandemya at ginawa ito sa kabila ng maraming pagtutol ng maraming sektor,” Robredo said. “This fight against Terrorism should not and should never be a threat to the fundamental freedoms of all peaceful Filipinos,” said Ateneo and La Salle law professor and lecturer Howard Calleja. “Natatakot din pero sa gitna ng takot ma-assure tayong tama ang pinaglalaban natin kasi oras na hinayaan natin na maparalisa tayo ng takot, kawawa ang mga taong umaasa sa atin,” she added. More petitions before the High Court are expected to be filed in the days to come, including those of opposition senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros as well as losing senatorial candidate Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno./PN “‘Yung sa akin, kaisa naman ako sa paniwala na ang terorismo ay malaking problema ng ating bansa at dapat talagang maghanap tayo ng paraan para masugpo ito pero sa akin kasi ‘yung timing,” Robredo said. “Kahit napirmahan natin, patuloy iyong pakikiusap, patuloy iyong pagtutulak, patuloy iyong pag-push back,” she added. “Sana huwag tayong mawalan ng pag-asa. Kahit pinanghinaan tayo ng loob, pansamantala lang ito. Ang laban nandiyan pa rin.” Robredo said in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo’s “Omaga-Diaz Report” that she was frustrated upon learning that President Duterte signed the measure which grants government forces sweeping powers to address terrorism. Over the weekend, a group of lawyers have already questioned the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Law before the Supreme Court saying that the measure was “oppressive and inconsistent with our Constitution.” Robredo urged the public to “push back” by challenging the law’s constitutionality before the high court and engaging with Congress to repeal or amend certain provisions of the law.