Commentary

2020 Terror Bill

A pattern I noticed is this: Most of those who were against the 2007 Human Security Act (at least from what I could discern from my former interaction with them) are also against the 2020 Terror Bill. On the other hand, many of those who were never in mass actions to denounce the 2007 Human Security Act, or are not members of organizations denouncing the said act, or only became opinionated due to the popularity of Facebook (i.e. did not maintain their own blogs in or around 2007, when Facebook was just starting to become popular in the Philippines), invariably would say that there is nothing wrong in the 2020 Terror Bill.

I bet our neighbor’s dog they would not also find something wrong with the 2007 Human Security Act.

As I see it, the most dangerous provision of the 2020 Terror Bill is the warrantless arrest exception, found in the 2007 law, but extended in the 2020 law.

Another useful lens we could use to analyze this 2020 law is this: What was not enough with the warrantless arrest exception in the 2007 law that we have to expand it in the 2020 law? The proponents of the 2020 law should be the one to justify this, and I honestly fail to see how they could justify the expansion when apparently the limits under the 2007 law was never a hindrance in our fight against terrorism.

As much as any Filipino, I am for the security of the Filipino people. True, we could sacrifice a little of our rights for our collective security. But the onus of proving that the sacrifice is worth it is on the State, and the State, through Congress, has failed to do so in the 2020 law.

Besides, this Congress and this administration cannot seriously claim that they have our collective security in mind. They even failed to assert our territorial claim to a contested territory an international tribunal had already ruled portions to be hours and their hegemon’s claims to be without basis in international law.

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