Tag Archives: Terror Bill

[Press Release] As frontliners of the resistance, artist and youth groups condemn passage of terror bill – #WeTheFuturePH

As frontliners of the resistance, artist and youth groups condemn passage of terror bill

Artists and youth groups in the country expressed their indignation and dissent over the swift passage of the Anti-Terror Bill, also infamously called the Terror Bill. Congress approved the bill on the night of June 3, two days after President Rodrigo Duterte certified it as urgent.

#WeTheFuturePH, a non-partisan national movement of Filipino youth standing up for rights, freedom, and democracy, stood against the bill and demanded its immediate repeal.

“The historic battle cry for Freedom — Kalayaan — has been frontlined by the youth since the days of the Philippine Revolution until today,” said #WeTheFuturePH spokesperson Madelene de Borja in a statement. “Hence, the Terror Bill is a betrayal, not only of democratic principles but also of our historical struggle for Freedom and Independence.”

The group called the bill “a political tool criminalizing dissent, activism, and being a member of the political opposition, all of which are indispensable and essential in a free, independent, and democratic country.”

“Dissent and protests are corrective tools of the people against different forms of injustice, especially those committed by the government,” De Borja said. “They serve to communicate and realize our aspirations for a better nation.”

“We need safe spaces, online and on-ground, where we can freely express ourselves and exchange ideas without fear. The Terror Bill will deprive us of these safe spaces by providing a blanket authority to state agents and government-allied online trolls to harass, intimidate, and threaten critical voices of dissent,” she added.

#WeTheFuturePH was part of online protests organized by various grassroots, labor, and human rights movements calling to junk the bill this morning.

“The Filipino youth deserves better. We demand better: better leadership, better governance, better public services, better policy solutions, and better leaders that uphold our rights, freedoms, and dignity, and protect our country’s democracy — this is our vision for the New Normal,” De Borja emphasized.

“Our demand is a better Philippines. In 2022, we shall fulfill this vision through the power of the vote to elect legislators who will prioritize us and elect a president who does not kill us.”

The artist collective DAKILA also took a stand against the Terror Bill in a statement, pointing out that the critical citizenry is not the enemy.

“While we stand against any real threat to the public, the anti-terror bill is built on dangerous provisions that only indicate its true targets: valid criticisms and legitimate acts of dissent — both important to a functioning democracy,” said DAKILA spokesperson Leni Velasco.

For DAKILA, the bill both justifies and intensifies the state of surveillance, red-tagging, and human rights violations in the country.

“The vagueness of the bill also makes every Filipino a potential target. By simply expressing an opinion on the government, anyone can be arrested without any warrant and may be imprisoned,” Velasco expounded.

DAKILA showed support for the protest against the Terror Bill through an email campaign to legislators demanding for them to scrap the bill. They also joined forces with members of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), such as Balaod Mindanaw, Karapatan, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) in a statement to condemn the bill and marched with the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) at the rally held today at UP Diliman.

“As the bill creates more terror than it solves, we call on to everyone to join us in expressing our strong rejection of the terror bill and to focus on the real urgency now — the curbing of the pandemic,” Velasco said.

Walang pipikit. DAKILA called on all Filipinos to be watchful and to speak against any threats to undermine human rights as enshrined in the Constitution. DAKILA and #WeTheFuturePH pledged to uphold the historical role of artists and youth as frontliners of the resistance — to pursue eternal vigilance to protect the freedom of the nation.
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For press inquiries, please contact the following:
#WeTheFuturePH: 09951033706 | wethefuturephilippines@gmail.com
DAKILA: 09155833364 | mabuhay@dakila.org.ph

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All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[Joint Statement] We Reject the Terror Bill -NUJP

[Joint Statement] We Reject the Terror Bill

Why do our government officials always think law and order, peace and security can be realized only at the expense of our rights?

We, journalists, media organizations, civil society groups, academics, and other concerned individuals unequivocally reject the anti-terror bill that the House of Representatives railroaded through the wholesale adoption of Senate Bill No. 1083, to do away with the bicameral committee conference hasten its passage and enactment into law.

Let us be clear about one thing: We are against terrorism.

However, bad as the Human Security Act of 2007 is, this bill, should it become law, would be much worse, so much that it would be more apt to call it the Terror Bill.

Not only does this proposed law grant an “Anti-Terror Council” the power to designate, on mere probable cause, persons or entities as terrorists or terrorist groups, it also allows the Anti-Money Laundering Council, an ATC member, to freeze the assets of these persons or groups, all without granting them the opportunity to defend themselves and refute any information against them.

Worse, the proposed law would also allow the ATC to authorize the detention without a judicial warrant of arrest of suspects for up to 14 calendar days, extendible by another 10 days.

These clearly violate the Constitution’s guarantee to due process and constitutes a usurpation of judicial power.

Worse, this bill would worsen the impunity with which many of our laws and rights are violated by the very ones sworn to protect and uphold these by doing away with the stiff penalties intended to prevent any abuse of this legislation’s most draconian measure, the extrajudicial arrest, and detention of suspects.

The bill also poses a mortal danger to the principles of freedom of the press and of expression in Section 9 defining the crime of “inciting to terrorism,” which can be committed “by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations of the same” and is punishable by 12 years in prison.

This provision is, however, prone to broad application much like this and previous administrations have used the existing offenses of inciting to sedition and rebellion to quell free speech and intimidate critics.
In effect, reportage on persons and groups deemed terrorist, or even merely repeating what they say, could be interpreted as committing inciting to terrorism.

While we all agree that the fight against terrorism is important and needs the participation and cooperation of everyone, we maintain that the proposed law is open to abuse by despotic governments to visit terror against critics and the people in general.

If a law to fight terrorism is to be contemplated, let the respect and defense of human rights be the paramount consideration.

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