We mince no words in denouncing the hasty passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill in the House of Representatives last Friday. It could be remembered that the same measure was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate last February 26, 2020, with only two (2) Senators registering their disapproval. The House of Representatives did no better with a vote of 40-2 in the Committee last May 29, 2020, which adopted the Senate version of the bill. The passage into law of this Monster bill would be an acceleration to an already slow and steady descent into fascism of our country today.
We take particular exception in the extremely broad definitions of “terrorism” in the Monster bill, which would virtually criminalize almost all forms of dissent. Another equally appalling provision would be the warrantless arrests and detention of suspects, which basically overturns every Filipino’s right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Moreover, the provisions equating the mere threat to property to terrorism does not serve the interest of the working class who is bereft of any property to speak of in the first place. Clearly, the Monster bill does not have working class interests in mind.
Instead of focusing on how to effectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, or to help the 11,000 ABS-CBN employees, as well as the projected 10 million working class Filipinos keep their much-needed jobs, our Honorable lawmakers saw it fit to invest their time into crafting more laws that would possibly endanger more the already grim human rights situation in our country today.
Nagkaisa calls on all working class Filipinos to make their voices heard and oppose this Monster bill and call on their legislators to prevent this bill from passing.