Coronavirus cases are now at 40,336 as of this writing. But the Anti-Terrorism Law was apparently given more attention when presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed the President has signed it earlier today.
ICYMI, this law aims to strengthen the Human Security Act of 2007, but its current iteration isn’t without questionable provisions that even the likes of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the Bangsamoro government, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet have called for it to be vetoed.
For one, the law criminalizes instigation of terrorism “by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations.” Suspects can also be detained up to 24 days without charge. Plus, it empowers an appointed “anti-terrorism council” to identify individuals or groups considered as suspected terrorists.
It’s no surprise that some citizens find the bill alarming. ABS-CBN noted how the #JunkTerrorBill hashtag was utilized to express opposing sentiments, while the Inquirer reported how lawyers’ groups, human rights advocates and some lawmakers feared that this bill could be weaponized against political dissent.
Just like everyone else, we can’t help but feel overwhelmed by The Anti-Terrorism Law approval. But we do have a lot of questions.
We’re curious about what our lawmakers, activists and artists are thinking right now. In case they haven’t popped up on your feed yet, here are some reacts regarding the new law that will either make you say “that’s on period” or “put it in the trash.”
If anyone’s curious, this TikTok from @6foot1crybaby summarized most of our current vibes pretty well:
— crybaby (@6foot1badbitch) July 2, 2020
Gabriela Women’s Party
— Gabriela Women's Party (@GabrielaWomenPL) July 3, 2020
Rep. Sarah Elago
PAG-ASA AT TATAG! MAY LABAN PA TAYO: #JunkTerrorLaw
Isulong ang kalusugan, kabuhayan at karapatan ✊?
— Sarah Elago (@sarahelago) July 3, 2020
Sen. Kiko Pangilinan
ON THE SIGNING OF THE ANTI-TERROR BILL INTO LAW
I am not surprised. From Day 1 this Administration unleashed draconian and authoritarian measures as a showcase of its brand of leadership.
— Kiko Pangilinan (@kikopangilinan) July 3, 2020
Sen. Risa Hontiveros
THEY WILL HEAR THE PEOPLE SING
Malinaw ngayon kung ano ang una sa prayoridad ng pamahaalan: hindi ang kalusugan at kapakanan ng mamamayan, kundi ang pagpatay sa ating kalayaan at ang pagkapit sa kapangyarihan.
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) July 3, 2020
Sen. Panfilo Lacson
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) July 3, 2020
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque
— Harry Roque (@attyharryroque) July 3, 2020
Former deputy speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives Erin Tañada
BFF talaga ni PDu30 ang China! Ginagaya yung ginawa sa HK! We will exhaust legal remedies and join other groups in questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-Terror law with the Supreme Court #JunkTerrorBill #Resist #Laban https://t.co/bI2lQrfuYW
— Erin Tañada (@erintanada) July 3, 2020
— Bahaghari #TayoAngLunas (@Bahaghari_Natl) July 3, 2020
Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay
Today, the President signed the Terror Bill into law as the Philippines breached the 40,000 level for COVID-19 cases and recorded the highest single-day total of 1,531 new cases.
Sir, no law can defeat the virus. No law can defeat our will to fight for our constitutional rights!
— Pilo Hilbay (@fthilbay) July 3, 2020
Atty. Chel Diokno
Duterte’s Anti-Terror Law will terrorize our democracy, not the terrorists. Patuloy natin igiit sa mga mambabatas na i-amend o repeal nila ito. Bantayan natin ang laban pag dinala natin yan sa korte. At wag natin hahayaang lalo pang masira ang ating demokrasya. #JunkTerrorLaw
— Chel Diokno (@ChelDiokno) July 3, 2020
Renato Reyes Jr. of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
We will avail of all avenues to challenge the validity of the terror law. We call on the Filipino people: Resist. Protest. Speak out.
It's now #JunkTerrorLaw !
— Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) July 3, 2020
Like it was the solution to the rising COVID-19 cases, yup. https://t.co/Pk9iDC1uOg
— Aika Robredo (@aikarobredo) July 3, 2020
signed back on to leave this here. we cannot and will not be silenced into submission. https://t.co/J3b0Dkknwl
— tw: kakie (@kakiep83) July 3, 2020
I thought the Law was meant to protect the people… not protect itself from the people? #VetoTerrorBilllNow
— inigo ? (@InigoDPascual) July 3, 2020
Juan Miguel Severo
Grabe this government is the best. Its priorities? ??
— Juan Miguel Severo ?️? (@TheRainBro) July 3, 2020
hindi pa tayo tapos. magpakatatag.
— zild (@zildbenitez) July 3, 2020
Harry Roque tries really, really hard to assure us that the Anti-Terrorism Bill won’t hurt freedom of speech
To Sen. Sotto, #JunkTerrorBill protestors are now “epal”
Panelo calls Anti-Terrorism Bill critics “cerebrally challenged”
Art by Tine Paz