Karapatan blasts Senate’s approval of anti-terrorism bill

Karapatan denounces the Senate’s approval of the anti-terrorism bill, calling the said measure a monster legislation that will provide a pretext for de facto martial law in the Philippines. 

The bill, laden with the same vague definitions of the crime of terrorism as well draconian provisions that will certainly violate the people’s constitutional rights and civil liberties, will not solve the root causes of terrorism. It will only redound to graver human rights violations against communities, groups and individuals that may lead to crimes against humanity. 

We have witnessed how the powers of the State and its security forces have been used to trample on basic rights and fundamental freedoms. We have no doubt, that especially under the Duterte administration with an anti-terror legislation, such powers will be used with impunity against critics and political dissenters to preserve the current oppressive status quo. 

The Senate version contains provisions that will legalize surveillance, warrantless arrests and arbitrary detention, cruel and disproportionate punishments, and violations on the right to freedom of association, free expression, right to privacy, mobility, and to due process. It also removes provisions from the present law regarding the rights-based approach to counter terrorism as well as the compensation for wrongful detention. 

We call on the Filipino people to resist all moves to enact the anti-terror bill, as well as all measures that will intensify the rule of State terror in the country.