(SPOT.ph) The Philippines is nowhere near beating the COVID-19 pandemic, but House Bill No. 6875 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is one step away from final approval in the House of Representatives after lawmakers approved the proposal during the second reading on June 2. Lawyers and human rights activists have raised the alarm over this, especially after President Rodrigo Duterte certified its immediate and urgent approval in legislation. Senate President Vicente Sotto III, in addition, hit critics of the controversial bill as "epal."
In an effort to arm us with information about the ins and outs of the 43-page document, Atty. Chel Diokno of the Free Legal Assistance Group and Atty. Mimi Banayat of the Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking will be participating in a free online session to discuss how the Anti-Terrorism Bill "threatens our democracy and civil liberties." Democracy Academy Online: Dissecting the Anti-Terrorism Bill is happening via Zoom on June 3 at 4:45 p.m.
A copy of House Bill No. 6875, which was sponsored by Representatives Narciso R. Bravo Jr., Raul "Boboy" C. Tupas, Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon, Jericho Jonas B. Nograles, and Luis F. Villafuerte, Jr., is also available online through the House of Representatives' website.
"While the name of the proposed law attempts to imply that it is meant to protect Filipinos, it harms us more by stripping away legal restrictions against abuse by the military and police. Moreover, the broad definitions of what will now constitute 'terrorism' threatens to criminalize our constitutional right to express discontent and dissent," YouthResist—a movement of young people and youth organizations against populism and fascism, drug war killings, and political persecution in the Philippines—said in a statement.
Kabataan Partylist Representative Sarah Elago will also be a guest on an episode of Quarantalk: Power of Youth Amid the Pandemic, where she'll be talking about the now-trending #JunkTerrorBill.
Quarantalk: Power of Youth Amid the Pandemic with Rep. Sarah Elago is on June 3 at 11 p.m. The online session goes live on Quarantalk's Facebook page.