Anti-terrorism bill: Capiz solon withdraws vote
ILOILO CITY—Capiz Rep. Emmanuel Billones has retracted his vote for the controversial anti-terrorism bill amid calls of the bill’s opponents for legislators who voted for the measure to change their vote.
In a letter dated June 5 made public on Tuesday, Billones asked House Secretary-General Jose Luis Montales to change his “yes” vote to “no.”
Billones, in his letter, said the bill has a “loose definition of terrorist acts.”
“These vague provisions could be easily abused and subject to all kinds of interpretations,” he said.
He said he also disagreed with provisions on warrantless arrests, longer detention of suspects without charges and surveillance activities.
“While any form of terrorism is unacceptable, our national security can never be at the expense of fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution,” Billones said.
In Iloilo, youth groups have launched an online signature campaign calling on legislators representing the city and province of Iloilo who voted for the bill to retract their vote.
The campaign (https://tinyurl.com/IloiloAgainstTerror) is calling on Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda and Iloilo Representatives Michael Gorriceta, Braeden John Biron and Raul Tupas to change their affirmative vote.
“A vote of ‘yes’, even with reservations, disregards human rights. An abstention is a betrayal of your public service to the people. Listen to the call of Ilonggos,” according to the online appeal that has generated 1,365 signatures as of 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after it was launched.
Of the six legislators of the city and province of Iloilo, only Representatives Lorenz Defensor and Janette Garin voted against the measure which various groups of lawyers and human rights advocates said trample on basic rights protected under the Constitution.
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