NEW YORK — For these Fil-Am activists, the recent passage of the Philippine Anti-Terror Law truly killed democracy in their homeland.
Members of the Malaya Movement who gathered at the Philippine Consulate in New York said the controversial measure gives the Duterte administration sweeping powers to silence critics and punish opposition.
With President Rodrigo Duterte signing the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 into law, these activists said any form of dissent against his administration could now be stopped.
They said history is clearly repeating itself, and that it’s the president’s way to impose martial law.
When 20 queer activists were arrested at the Mendiola Pride event last June in the Philippines, Sige! LGBTQIA members said the Duterte administration is using the same tactics of fear that have been used throughout history against mass people’s movements.
Protesters from Anakbayan Rutgers said, even overseas Filipinos, including dual citizens speaking up against the Philippine government could actually be implicated.
In a statement to ABS-CBN News, Philippine ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez it took years of study and deliberation by lawmakers before the bill was passed.
The anti-terror law will be in full effect in the Philippines beginning July 17.