MANILA — Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, who once vowed to use her platform to shed light on important issues, followed through on that promise again on Wednesday as she spoke up on the controversial anti-terrorism bill being fast-tracked by the Duterte government.
Gray on Wednesday joined the growing chorus of high-profile personalities using the hashtag #JunkTerrorBill, the online movement against the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
Its proposed sweeping powers, including warrantless arrests and wiretapping of suspected terrorists, have alarmed rights groups, who fear even legitimate dissent against the administration may be targeted.
In her Instagram post, Gray shared a portion of a statement from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines regarding the bill.
"If a law to fight terrorism is to be contemplated, let the respect and defense of human rights be the paramount consideration," the statement shared by Gray went.
Gray, in the caption of the image, urged her followers to remain vigilant, despite what she described as the "overwhelming" succession of challenges besetting the country, among them the coronavirus pandemic.
"There is so much happening in the world and in our nation right now, and I know a lot of us want to just tune out because it all gets a bit overwhelming. But please, don't allow that to be the reason we revert into silence and turn a blind eye," she said.
"We need to stay engaged because this is where our voices count. So let's help each other by creating spaces that help us keep each other informed and help us understand what's going on."
In her Instagram Stories, Gray compiled information related to the Anti-Terrorism Bill, including provisions of the Constitution on freedom of expression, and the stand of the Commission on Human Rights on the measure.
"I've taken the time to research and digest information and come to my own conclusions and I implore you all to do the same," she said, mentioning her compilation which she made readily accessible.
"I'm not here to influence you to think a certain way, but I hope I can influence you to think for yourself," Gray wrote, with the hashtag #JunkTerrorBill.