Anti-terrorism bill intends the people to be a “flock of sheep” – groups

Anti-terrorism bill intends the people to be a “flock of sheep” – groups

Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas and Anakpawis Party-list slammed the recent approval of the new Human Security Act or anti-terrorism bill by the House of Representative’s joint committee Public Order and Safety, and on National Defense and Security and branded it as a tool to transform the people as a “flock of sheep” or essentially silent and compliant to whatever the government carries out on its policies and programs.

“At present, with the bill yet to be approved as a law, activists, people’s organizations and critics are already being branded by the government as terrorists or worse being killed, what more if they are legally enabled by this. Does this mean that if we oppose reclamation projects in defense of fisherfolk communities, we would be prosecuted using this law?” Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap, Pamalakaya National Chairperson and former representative of Anakpawis Party-list said in a press statement.

The group Pamalakaya, is being red-tagged by the anti-communist task force on its social media as a front to the Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid (PKM), the underground peasant organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), while Anakpawis as a front to the Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions (RCTU). Almost all organizations affiliated with the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) are red-tagged by the fascist task force.

“If we demand immediate production subsidy of P15,000 to fisherfolk and farmers, would that make us terrorists? Or the real type that is alive in the country is state terrorism? As many activists fell victim to extra-judicial killings, with the latest, Ka Karletz Badion, the leader of Kadamay urban poor group. It is clear that EJK intends to sow terror among activists and the people, thus, it is the state who has the motive to become a terrorist,” Hicap elaborated.

Moreover, Pamalakaya said that they are staunchly demanding the immediate expulsion of Chinese military forces in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which is genuinely upholding the Filipino interest and national sovereignty.

“Those who are persecuting us for opposing the Duterte government’s surrender of the West Philippine Sea to China, are the real traitors and terrorists,” he slammed.

For his part, Anakpawis Party-list former representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao slated the bill as violative of the basic principles of the constitution and existing laws.

“It is clear that the Duterte government intends to legalize all authoritarian measures which are deemed prohibited by the constitution. It intends for the people to act as ‘flock of sheep,’ to keep quiet of irregularities and subservient to immoral and unjust measures,” he said.

The bill broadly defined terrorism as “causing death or serious bodily injuries to any persons, or endangers a person’s life” that could brand a common criminal as a terrorist. This is also prone to abuse, particularly against peaceful rallies, at the moment police force instigate violent dispersals. It also provisioned warrantless arrest and detention for at most 24 days; and surveillance for as long as 90 days, according to the former lawmaker.

“This is a cunning work-around against the Bill of Rights in the constitution, on the rights to liberty and due process, to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, to privacy, against self-incrimination, freedom of speech and expression, press, peaceful assembly, and redress of grievances. It is like we are reviving archaic authoritarian and totalitarian rule, all demolishing our democratic rights,” he elaborated.

Moreover, it would serve as legal weapon of the Duterte government against critics and opposition.

“Anyone, may it be ‘pulahan,’ ‘dilawan,’ anti-corruption advocates, patriots against Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea, socially-conscious groups and institutions could be targeted by this bill. This bill’s ultimate goal is an atmosphere of no criticism, no opposition, no rallies but of the ‘dedees’ and lackeys. It is hell for a people aspiring for a free and democratic society,” he ended. ###

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