Enactment of Anti-Terror Law ‘horrific’ but not a surprise, says Bayan Muna | Inquirer News

Enactment of Anti-Terror Law ‘horrific’ but not a surprise, says Bayan Muna

/ 11:38 PM July 03, 2020

Zarate bayan muna

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate. INQUIRER.net file photo / Noy Morcoso

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing into law of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill presents a “darker era” for the country, but it is not an unexpected move according to party-list group Bayan Muna.

According to Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, this is because it was the President who also certified the House of Representatives’ version of the bill as urgent last June.


However, Zarate vowed that the enactment of the controversial legislation would not deter them from contesting and speaking against it, adding that they will question the law’s constitutionality at the Supreme Court as soon as possible.


“This is indeed a horrific day for the country as another darker era for human rights looms. Malacañang naman din ang nagmamadali ng terror bill na iyan kaya di na nakakapagtaka (Malacañang was the one responsible for accelerating the bill, it didn’t come as a surprise),” Zarate said.

“We would have to continue the fight in all fronts until this terror law is junked. We will question its constitutionality at the Supreme Court at the soonest time possible,” he added.

According to Zarate, they believe the signing of the anti-terror bill is a political move for the President to “concentrate more tyrannical powers in his hands at the expense of the rights of people.”

Previously, Zarate and other members of the Makabayan bloc — the group of progressive party-lists organizations — have called for the junking of the bill as they fear that it may be used to tag them as communist rebels.

Makabayan lawmakers recently featured in several Facebook posts allegedly belonging to police offices, where they were tagged as supporters of the communist movement for contradicting the anti-terror bill.

Meanwhile, the progressive group remind the public to remain vigilant and report any and all violations against human rights.


Earlier, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed to INQUIRER.net that Duterte has signed the law, despite massive opposition from various circles including the international community.

Recently, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority also recently approved a resolution asking Duterte to veto the anti-terror bill as it may lead to discrimination and abuse of Mindanaoan Muslims.

But for Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and other supporters of the said bill, Duterte’s signing is very timely as it amends the Human Security Act of 2007, which is allegedly prone to abuse by terrorists.

Terrorism has been a growing threat in the Philippines, which faced several armed uprisings in the past — from Muslim rebels in Mindanao pledging allegiance to various extremist groups and the communist insurgency in the countryside.

In May 2017, Marawi was laid to siege by militants from the Maute group, resulting in a battle that lasted for over five months.

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While critics have condemned the law, Lacson and other supporters of the bill like Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana have insisted that there are enough safeguards to prevent abuse of human rights.

TAGS: anti-terror bill, Bayan Muna, BTA, criticism, Philippine news updates, Rodrigo Duterte, Terrorism, UNHRC

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