HomeNews AlertPhilippine church groups warn against proposed anti-terror law

Philippine church groups warn against proposed anti-terror law

AN ecumenical network of church leaders and organizations expressed opposition to the proposed anti-terrorism law now pending in the Philippine Congress.

The group One Faith, One Nation, One Voice said the proposed measure “will cause further shrinking of democratic space” in the country.

In a statement issued on June 2, the group said the “overly broad and amorphous usage” of the word “terrorism” can be used to carry out “attacks on dissent and curtailment of human rights.”

The group said such law cannot be enacted because the country has a “weakening” judicial system that is failing to act as “check-and-balance.”

“We believe that the Anti-Terrorism Bill will insidiously strip away respect for human rights and other civil liberties,” the statement read.

Several legislators are optimistic that the bill, which has been certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte this week, “is as good as passed.”

“It will just need my signature if it comes back to us after ratification then I will transmit to the president,” said Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

- Newsletter -

The proposed measure repeals the Human Security Act of 2007 by giving more surveillance powers to the military and police.

It imposes 12 years of jail time to any person who shall threaten to commit any act of terrorism, propose any such acts or incite others to commit terrorism.

Life imprisonment may also be imposed on those who will facilitate terrorist acts or recruit people to terror groups.

The bill also allows surveillance activities such as tracking down individuals or organizations, wire-tapping and recording of discussions and other communications of individuals supposedly engaged in terrorism.

It seeks to extend too the number of days suspected terrorists can be detained without a warrant of arrest – from three days under the current law to up to 14 days.

Church leaders warned that the “militarists” in government “have the ear and possibly the heart” of the Philippine Congress.

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Support LiCAS.news

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.