“The ball is now in Malacanang’s court. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte must hear and heed the broad people’s clamor to junk the Anti-Terror Bill. The only acceptable move now is to veto the Anti-Terror Bill,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.
Congress has transmitted the enrolled copy of the approved bill to Malacanang this morning to preempt more withdrawals of affirmative votes. Since the weekend, at least 20 legislators have either had their names removed from the list of authors or have retracted or corrected their vote to the Anti-Terror Bill in response to the strong public resistance against the ominous measure.
A broad range of sectors including workers, farmers, the academe, youth and students, Churches, personalities, and many more have expressed concerns and opposition to the bill as its major provisions include the vague and overbroad definition of terrorism, provisions allowing for warrantless arrest and detention of anywhere between 14-24 days, giving junta-like powers to the Anti-Terrorism Council, and the incommunicado like restrictions for house arrest.
“The expanded definition of “terrorism” and its related crimes will provide the basis for abuse by authorities, making it much much easier to intimidate, harass, invade the privacy, arrest and detain anyone on trumped-up charges,” said to Ramos as he also stressed that the Anti-Terror Bill would exacerbate the already severe situation of human rights in the country.
KMP will join the Grand Mañanita activity on June 12 in Quezon City and Manila to fight tyranny and uphold the people’s democratic rights.
Probe HR violations against farmers during the lockdown period
KMP also called on the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the escalating cases of peasant killings, illegal arrests, and detention, threats, harassment, intimidation against farmers and activists.
“We reiterate our request for the CHR to conduct an independent probe on the rising cases of peasant killings and human rights abuses experienced by farmers in the hands of state forces. We have submitted our report and documentation to the CHR and we hope that Commissioner Chito Gascon would act on it,” Ramos concluded. ###