Anti-terrorism act may be used to target groups expressing dissent, says Hontiveros

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 27 2020 08:41 PM

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MANILA - Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday said she opposed the Senate-approved Anti-Terrorism Act as some provisions could be used to target organizations expressing dissent against ‘powers that be’.

"Government should do everything in our power to protect our people from terrorism, lalo na yung mga ugat niyan. At the same time, we must never sacrifice or be in danger of sacrificing yung ating mga democratic freedoms and civil liberties in the name of security and safety," Hontiveros said.

On ANC's Headstart, Hontiveros said she objected the provisions on preliminary proscription of suspected terrorist organizations prior to be given the chance to be heard, and on lowering the standard for warrantless arrest and detention.

"Mahirap if we are giving a more powerful instrument that may now or in the future be used by administrations na wala talagang pagtingin sa demokratikong karapatan ng mamamayan," she said.

The Senate voted on Wednesday to approve on final reading the Anti-Terror Act sponsored by Sen. Panfilo Lacson. Senate Bill No. 1083 effectively repeals the Human Security Act of 2007.

Only Hontiveros and Sen. Francis Pangilinan dissented.

"Alam natin na kapag hindi benevolent, kung 'di despotic yung implementors, may mga human rights violations na maaring mangyari, at nangyari noong nakaraan in that process of trying to prove the guilt of a suspect," she said.

-- ANC Headstart 27 February 2020