The Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc, a faith-based network of more than 250 humanitarian and civic organizations, urged the government to repeal the new law.
Yolanda Esguerra, national coordinator of PMPI, said the law will “further assault whatever democracy is left in the country.”
“Instead of limiting the democratic space” for humanitarian aid providers, Esguerra said the government must “recognize the vital role” of these organizations.
On the same day that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country breached the 40,000-mark, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the controversial Anti-Terror Bill into law without much regard to the clamor of people for a dialogue and to veto the bill.
The promise to pass a new Heal As One Law II to alleviate the suffering Filipino people due to the pandemic has been overshadowed when President Duterte declared Anti-Terrorism Bill as a priority bill, and yesterday, finally sealing it with his signature. A very misplaced priority indeed.
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Various groups in Northern Mindanao expressed strong opposition to the Anti-Terrorism Act 2020 which they said will trample human rights as the country grapples on the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The church-based group Philippine Misereor Partnership said that Duterte administration’s push for this law overshadowed the more urgent need for Covid-19 measures and policies.
“As we call for systematic, efficient, and humane solutions in this time of crisis, the nation was instead ‘gifted’ with this despicable bill, intended to control and manage the growing dissent of people for the government’s failure to address the problems of the poorest Filipinos during the pandemic,” said Yolanda Esguerra, PMPI national coordinator.