UPLB department opposes Anti-Terror Bill, demands release of UP Cebu students | Inquirer News
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UPLB department opposes Anti-Terror Bill, demands release of UP Cebu students

/ 02:24 PM June 06, 2020

SAN PEDRO CITY –– The Social Sciences Department of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) has joined calls against the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill.

In a statement Saturday, the department also called for the release of the seven students of the University of the Philippines Cebu, who were arrested Friday for rallying against the same draft law.

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“We condemn any legislation seeking to expand the reach of the State to areas that may potentially impugn basic rights related to free speech and impose unjust detention of people in an attempt to address an apparently existential, yet poorly defined, threat of ‘terrorism.’”

“Such is a hazard to the protection of academic freedom and civil liberties essential to the accomplishment of the mandates of the University as a learning institution that upholds the rights of its constituents from any form of threat of harassment, abduction, and illegal detention within and outside its premises,” the statement read.

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The statement was signed by division heads Athenee Mercado of Sociology-Anthropology-Psychology; Eugene Raymund Crudo of History; and Miguel Enrico Ayson of Political Science.

House Bill 6875 or Senate Bill 1083 seeks to amend the Human Security Act of 2007, but opposers view it as a potential tool to curtail democracy and human rights.

UPLB’s Social Sciences professors said the bill is also “counterproductive” and an “utter waste of scarce public resources” when the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

“We strongly urge our national officials to reconsider and retract the Anti-Terrorism Bill, cease from enacting potentially repressive legislations, desist from the brutal infringement of human rights, and instead focus all their resources and efforts towards addressing the COVID-19 crisis and its social and economic consequences.”

“We would rather have the powers of the government be used to effectively resolve this crisis than to inflict more fear and pain on our fellow Filipinos,” it said.

LZB

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TAGS: Anti-Terrorism Bill, Regions, Social Sciences Department, University of the Philippines-Los Baños, UPLB
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