Karapatan reiterates call to junk terror bill amid another arrest of an activist

Twenty lawmakers reportedly withdrew their "yes" votes on the Anti-Terrorism Bill. This is a big and unprecedented number. There is a visible and growing clamor to junk the Anti-Terrorism Bill, and yet the rubber stamp Congress has now sneakily transmitted the bill to Malacañang yesterday, June 9, serving it on a bloody silver platter, just awaiting the president’s signature.

Once again, the fascist Duterte administration has decided to pull its puppet strings in the Senate and the House of Representatives through Senator President Vicente Sotto and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano in order to further railroad its passage. This is a blatant mockery of legislative independence and democratic checks and balances. Hindi na sila nahiya at mukhang wala naman talaga silang hiya.

The Congress is refusing to listen to the people they supposedly represent — precisely because the people they represent are the ones above, the bloodthirsty militarists who want to see this bill passed so that the fascist regime can finally unleash all-out State terrorism and repression upon the growing broad opposition against it.

The president can immediately sign the bill, or he can allow it lapse into law if he does not sign it within 30 days. It is clear now that the only way to block the passage of this monstrous and draconian measure is for the president to veto it. Karapatan firmly stands that the Anti-Terrorism Bill should be junked. No ifs, no buts.

Even without this measure, arrests of activists and critics have been rendered normal by this administration. Current laws, through trumped up charges, are being used to criminalize dissent. Another Negrense peasant leader, Gaspar Davao, was arrested last night. According to the police, a grenade was found in his bag. But since 7 p.m. last night, no charges have been filed against him. He is currently detained at the Cadiz City Police Station. At least 3,399 individuals have been arrested under the Duterte administration. 

We call on our lawmakers to raise their voices to oppose the railroading of the terror bill. We urge all freedom-loving Filipinos to not let their voices be silenced despite machinations to sow fear. Let us continue to struggle for our rights and hard-won freedoms.