Party-list solons on anti-terror law: ‘Duterte signed death warrant of human rights’
MANILA, Philippines — Several party-list solons in the House of Representatives slammed the enactment of the anti-terror bill into law, with one even saying that President Rodrigo Duterte signed “the death warrant to the human rights of every man, woman, and child in the Philippines.”
In a statement on Friday, House Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro said the public does not need the passage of the measure while in the middle of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Sa panahon ng pandemiya, hindi ito ang kailangan ng taumbayan. Solusyong medikal at ayuda para sa sosyo-ekonomikal para sa naapektuhan ng krisis na ito ang kailangan ng mamamayang Pilipino,” he said.
(In the period of the pandemic, this is what the people need. What solution we need is medical and socio-economic assistance for those affected by the crisis.)
The Kabataan party-list, meanwhile, said Duterte “chooses to further monopolize power and signs a law which easily equates dissent and criticism with terrorism.”
“In a time when the nation needs to be united in solidarity, President Duterte, along with his military secretaries and cohorts, decides to further divide the nation, and display insensitivity and callousness as they turn a deaf ear to the voices of the people,” the party-list group added.
House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Representatives Carlos Zarate said Duterte’s move to sign the measure “did not come as a surprise since he certified it as urgent to concentrate more tyrannical powers in his hands at the expense of the rights of our people.”
Despite widespread opposition from critics and human rights groups, Malacañang on Friday confirmed that Duterte signed the measure.
The new law turned controversial as a provision of which states that suspected terrorists can be detained with charges for up to 24 days.
The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 also criminalizes incitement to terrorism “by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners, or other representations.”
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