Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Published by Bayan Metro Manila

A message to Metro Manila LGU leaders: Reject the Terror Bill, stand up for people’s rights

We ask our Metro Manila LGU leaders to make a stand on the Anti-Terror Bill legislation amid reports that a list of local officials in favor of the bill has been submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte.

We believe that you will also share our concerns if you and other LGU leaders will study the bill using the lens of human rights and people empowerment.

We are against terrorism and recognize its deadly legacy in society. But the government can use existing criminal laws to run after those who spread senseless violence in our communities.

Its passage will revive the ominous features of the Martial Law era.

For example, the bill provides an overbroad and vague definition of terrorism that a lawful protest can be construed as an act of terror. LGU officials who extend solidarity and provide assistance to groups accused of terrorism can be charged under this proposed law.

The bill contains provisions that directly undermines the Bill of Rights, international covenants on human rights protection, and constitutional guarantees on civil liberties.

Amending R.A. 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007 today is untimely while the world is battling a pandemic. Furthermore, our urban poor communities have yet to recover from the distress caused by the controversial ‘war on drugs’ and the strict lockdown restrictions.

We should remind legislators and the Duterte government to focus on passing laws that would enhance the country’s healthcare system, stimulate the local economy, and expand the welfare benefits for citizens affected by COVID-19.

The Terror Bill instills fear at a time when our people need to move forward as empowered citizens in overcoming a public health crisis.

We salute legislators who voted against the bill. We urge them to lead the grassroots information campaign about the dangers of this measure.

We appeal to legislators who voted in favor of the bill to understand why a growing number of voices, including members of their constituency are opposed to the measure.

We call on our city leaders to join us in petitioning President Duterte to veto the terror bill.

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