Fil-Am activists hold San Francisco rally to condemn the Philippine Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

SAN FRANCISCO — Filipino American activists and their supporters gathered at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco to denounce the recently-passed Philippine Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 — saying it gives the Duterte administration more power to silence its critics.

The bill aims to replace the existing Human Security Act of 2007 to supposedly strengthen the country’s measures against terrorism.

Some activists said this takes things too far, and protested some of the bill’s provisions, which includes allowing authorities to arrest people they label as ‘terrorists’ without a judicial warrant and to detain them without charge for up to 24 days before they get to see a judge.

It also makes it a criminal act to ‘incite others’ to commit terrorism ‘by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems and banners.’

“We want to basically show that this isn’t just an attack on our activists and on our organizers, but this is an attack on ordinary people, right? It is an attack on our workers. It is an attack on our teachers, an attack on the indigenous peoples, who’ve already been fighting for their rights,” said Nel Garcia.

These activists said this anti-terrorism bill would hinder them from practicing their constitutional right to free speech because any form of dissent could be seen as a terrorist act.

“The Duterte regime is infamous for a drug war, 30,000 people killed. It’s infamous for bombing indigenous communities. It’s infamous for violently dispersing worker strikes. And so how is the government that’s responsible for so much terror against the Filipino people going to say that it’s trying to pass an anti-terror bill when they themselves are the ones who are for pushing terror upon the Filipino people?”

The Philippine House of Representatives passed the anti-terrorism act of 2020 on June 4th, after President Rodrigo Duterte urgently endorsed it.

The Senate passed its version back in February.

Despite condemnation by international human rights groups and critics threatening to take their concerns all the way to the supreme court, Duterte is expected to sign it into law.

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  • Mario
    12 June 2020 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    This rally called “SUNTOK BUWAN” you are trying to hit the moon.. This is an act of cowardice, go home and face DUTERTE…. Solicitor General JOSE CALIDA was the brain on the disqualification of ABS-CBN franchise, he said, GABBY LOPEZ was born the USA. This is what happens during the election of Garcia-Macapagal era, CHANNEL 7 was owned by BOB STEWARD and American citizen. The Legislature passed a law that only local-born Filipino can own a Radio, TV, Newspaper network. CHANNEL 7 was auction to a new owner. SolGen J CALIDA was the one who put DE LIMA into prison. He already gave a warning on Filipino Movie Actors, like KOKO MARTIN, KIMSHU and the rest of the ABS-CBN super stars who insulted SolGen CALIDA, advise them to get a good lawyers, for future libel suit.