The Terrors of Anti-Terror Law

Terrorism must be condemned. That's becoming our fundamental duty as a lawful citizen of the Republic.

With the rising occurrence of terrorist attacks, killing hundreds to several thousands of people, there's no mercy, but to face its consequence with fairness and justice. 

That's the power of the Anti-Terrorism Law signed by President Duterte. Its primary intention is to identify, arrest and to penalize an individual or a group perceived to be an enemy of the state.

However, some provisions on the 'Implementing Rules and Regulations' of the Anti-terrorism Law might be unconstitutional. With false perception and wrongful judgment, anyone can be unjustly accused before the jury of the  9-member Anti-Terror Council acting like a judicial court.  

How is that constitutional?

You'll be served a warrantless arrest with detention in jail for up to 14 days and a possible extension of 10 days for a total  and maximum of 24 days in jail without filing a single case in court.

How terrorising is that? 

Now, you are supporting a certain social and political movement and calling for a positive and meaningful change...

You're an Activist! But not a Terrorist!

Now, with your desire for a change, you join a political rally or a protest which is a right to a peaceful assembly and in accordance with the constitution. You merely express your voice to be heard by the Government; by those in higher political power, who can grant change called by the people.

You're a Protester! But not a Terrorist!

Now, with a powerful voice and influence on social media, you express dissent as a move to let your voice be heard. Your voice created a ripple of awakening, and the desire for a stronger opposition calling for a change.

You're a Dissenter! But not a Terrorist!

Now, you watch a news on TV,  listen to news on a radio or podcast, read news online or through social media. Their story is somewhat critical about the Government, but they report factual stories and follow the ethical standards of journalism.

They're a Journalist! But not a Terrorist!

Yes, Red-tagging is a big possibility...

An individual; ordinary citizen like you and me...

A group of people who's fighting for a social and political change...

A news organization or a journalist whose report lead to civil unrest...

All these could possibly be accused for inciting to terrorism...

Once abused by the implementing officers, it could be a powerful weapon against critics or dissenters, protesters and not merely just for the real terrorist.

How would you imagine one day to be arrested without a warrant for voicing out or posting a critical statement against the Government. You can't resist and call your lawyer, and may not hear the reading of the 'Miranda Rights' since you're presumed to be 'guilty until proven innocent' which is terribly terrorising.

How would you imagine your name, your friend or relatives' name to be tagged as terrorist and published on a national broadsheet including online, without any due process or probable cause? 

That's a big possibility once abused...

Now, you're under arrest and you want to request for your name to be delisted, and so the burden of proof lies on you as the accused. You have to prove that you're not a terrorist within 15 days of publication. If granted, your name will be delisted, but if not, then you'll have to wait for 6 months time to make another request.

How is that malicious and false accusation possible?

A recent incident of Red-tagging happened to a popular young celebrity when she expressed her voice for young women empowerment upon an invitation of a Party-list that protects the welfare of women and young children.

As an influential personality, she raises her voice for a cause and not intended to incite terrorism, but for women and children empowerment. 

She was falsely accused by critics to be a member of local terrorist group, and she was warned by a military officer not to continue on her engagement with the said group.

That's hilarious! A pure intimidation!

Now that people are gaining enlightenment regarding abuse on human rights, people expresses dissent on various platforms including social media. Some Netizens would resort to Red-tagging which is done for purpose of intimidation and harrassment. It's about silencing a critic; a powerful voice put on mask.

Yes! as a law-abiding citizen, we have to be supportive of the laws for a peaceful society. We do not tolerate, but condemn lawless violence and terroristic activities. 

We protect human lives as well as upholding human rights... 

The right for freedom of expression...

The right for meaningful dissent...

The right for a peaceful assembly or protest...

The right to demand for accountability...

The right to call for social justice...

The right to call for political change...

Life is good. We want to live with 'freedom in our hearts' and to express our heart's desire.

Our government is listening, and we the citizens must do our share to protect our democracy. We, the Filipino people are the audience in a massive political sphere. Either we like it and give an applause, change the channel for a clearer view, or turning off if not good to continue.

Our Government is listening. With the petitions filed to the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-terrorism Law, we can be assured of our voices to be heard as long as we fight for our rights for the sake of the majority of the Filipino people.

We protect our Government. We protect our beloved country; the Philippines. We protect the Filipino people. Because in the end, what we're fighting isn't just our own rights, but the rights of every Filipino who has different voices and different needs deserve to be heard and understood. 

As we protect our Government, it is just that the Government has to protect its people. Love, valor and loyalty to the country and to the Filipino people.

©️ 2020 icritq PH


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