Group vows to fight anti-terrorism bill
Manila, Philippines — “Why need an anti-terrorism bill if there’s already this entire government machinery that brazenly labels progressive organizations as terrorists?” According to the left-leaning fishers organization Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), lambasting the approval of the Senate Bill 1083 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s security cluster for pushing the “anti-democratic and anti-civil liberties” measure which according to the group, would ‘criminalize simple exercise of people’s democratic rights, including freedom of speech and right to assembly.’
“Filing of trumped up charges, arbitrary arrests, and extra-judicial killings against activists are already rampant across the country. Anti-Terrorism Bill is a tool for authoritarian rule and would worsen the abuse of democratic rights,” Pedro Gonzalez, PAMALAKAYA Vice-Chairperson said in a statement.
“It is being pushed in the midst of prevailing struggles of various sectors against detrimental policies and programs of the Duterte administration. Would that mean that our fisherfolk who will assert sovereign and fishing rights against China will be labelled as terrorists? Certainly it will face a strong collective defiance from the Filipinos who are already sick of another dictator,” ended Gonzalez. ###