While on Wednesday the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill 6875, Filipinos are now calling for pushback against the passage with its petition, that already gathered 663,313 signatures, on the social media #JunkTerrorBillNow, followed by the statement ‘ACTIVISM IS NOT TERRORISM.’ The bill, which was said to be “essentially adopted the Senate version of the bill that senators passed in February”, can be a tool to use to take away Filipinos’ “voices and basic human rights”
The petition and the campaign is also trending now in the social media, educating people about other possible consequences of the proposed law as it “would allow the Philippine government officials to detain suspected terrorists even without an arrest warrant”. The “Junk Terror Bill” has a page that directs you to “petitions, email protests, and more information on the bill that will”. Despite proponents’ claim that it’s as ‘good as passed’, many people still believe this needs to be stopped.
In the petition, it was written:
“The Anti-Terrorism bill is a clear and direct attack against our academic freedom, right to organize, and freedom of expression to air out our grievances towards the inefficiencies and deficiencies of the government’s mandate to serve its people through government services.”
It was also stated in the petition that:
“It has an over-broad definition of Terrorism, silencing of dissent, it violates the Philippine constitution, and it is a clear violation of our right to privacy”.
The call to scrap the bill is even joined by local celebrities; one of them is Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach who posted with ‘hashtag’ the petitition against the bill or the #JunkTerrorBillNow which started by Defend UPLB. Along with her is actress Liza Soberano who shared the petition and posted:
“Please do not take away our voices and our basic human rights.”
On Wednesday, Kathryn Bernardo, and Actors Enchong Dee, James Reid and other local celebrities, including Agot Isidro, also expressed support for scrapping the bill on social media saying ‘”only cowards are afraid of dissent”.
Meanwhile on the comment section of the post, someone commented quoting the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. This is the user posted:
THE 1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES – ARTICLE III
BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
Meanwhile, Rappler.com also released more details about the bill. It stated:
“How it can affect Filipinos”; then it proceeds to explain that “the bill broadens the definition of terrorism and gives fewer restrictions on law enforcement, making it prone to abuse”.
It continued with the quote:
“This vague overbroad and expanded definition of terrorism and its related crimes will provide the basis for abuse, making it much easier to intimidate, harass, invade the privacy, arrest and detain anyone on trumped up charges.”
Link on the petition against the #JunkTerrorBillNow campaign is listed below.