SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go on Wednesday, April 20, said he respects President Rodrigo Duterte’s reasons for vetoing the proposed Subscriber Identity Module SIM Card Registration Act, and expressed willingness to revisit the measure to ensure that no provision is unconstitutional and runs counter to the rights of the Filipino people.
“Marahil po ay mayroong dahilan ang ating Executive. Usually naman po, ‘pag merong bini-veto ang executive, may comments naman iyan ng different agencies,” said Go in an interview after he personally assisted fire victims in Barangay Baesa, Quezon City.
“Tinitingnan nila yung legality — kung wala bang magiging constitutional issues tungkol dito, hindi ba babalikan ang gobyerno, bakit ipinasa ito at dapat pirmahan ni Pangulong Duterte, wala bang nilabag na batas na karapatang pantao itong batas na ito, at iba pa,” he added.
Despite being a co-author of the bill, Go maintained that he respects the decision of the Executive branch and expressed willingness to make a more thorough study of the proposed law, especially the provisions in question.
The bill seeks to mandate the registration of all SIM cards and social media accounts in the country to curb fraud and other crimes aided by SIM cards and to fight the proliferation of online trolls. However, the President noted that the inclusion of social media providers in the registration requirement was not part of the original version of the bill.
“Ako naman nirerespeto ko ang ating Executive kung iyon po ang naging desisyon nila. Remember, ang Executive po ang nagpapatupad ng batas at kami po ang gumagawa at nagpapasa ng batas. Ang Executive po ang nagpapatupad,” said Go.
“So, ako nirerespeto ko pero kung ano ‘yung puwedeng pag-usapan at maybe kung wala na pong panahon, kailangan i-refile po ito sa next Congress at tingnan ng mabuti, busisiin ng mabuti, himayin ng mabuti kung ano ang puwede at legal na maipasa para wala na po magiging problema sa susunod na administrasyon,” he added.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin Andanar said that Duterte was “constrained to disagree with the inclusion of social media in the measure, without providing proper guidelines and definitions,” resulting in the veto.
Duterte expressed concern over a contentious provision that may result in “a situation of dangerous state intrusion and surveillance threatening many constitutionally protected rights,” added Andanar.
Meanwhile, Go hopes that when it comes to passing laws, the executive and legislative branches will continue to improve their collaboration and consultation.
“Usually naman kapag may pinapasang batas, kinokonsulta sa Executive iyan para hindi masayang, pinaghirapan natin itong lahat,” said Go.
“Sabi ko nga sayang. Sayang po yung batas, isa rin po ako sa nag-author nito,” he added.