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Anti-Terrorism Act targets dissenters, activists – Movement Against Tyranny

The Movement Against Tyranny, an alliance of human rights advocacy groups, on Monday expressed its opposition to the newly approved Senate Bill 1083 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019, authored and sponsored by Senator Panfilo Lacson.

“Pwede talagang tirahin nito yung dissenters, activists, at opposition only to either harass or may chilling effect,” said Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares in a press conference.

The bill also gave state security forces the ability to carry out warrantless arrests and detain suspected terrorists for an initial period of up to 14 day, extendable for another 10 more days.

“Wala silang liability. Talagang general warrant ‘yun to arrest anybody kasi suspect. Ang basis lang nila suspicion. Wala nga silang kailangang malaking ebidensiya diyan e,” Colmenares added.

Aside from dissenters, Colmenares said the bill would also impact journalists who could be tagged as accessories in inciting to terrorism.

“Kapag inciting to terrorism na, pwede nilang idamay 'yung journalist na nagpa-brief. Pwede nilang idamay na you are part of the conspiracy kasi very vague [ang batas],” he said.

Last Wednesday, the Senate approved the Anti-Terrorism Act on third and final reading.

The bill, according to advocates, strengthened the country’s anti-terrorism laws. — Joviland Rita/DVM, GMA News