The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) today called on labor solidarity against the anti-terrorism law, which takes effect today and declared support for moves to bring the Constitutionality of the law to the Supreme Court.
“There is a thick blanket of fear in the air with the threat of the anti-terror law against all freedom-loving Filipinos,” warned APL Secretary-General Josua Mata. “The Human (In)Security Act is prone to abuse as it operates under a deliberately vague and broad definition of ‘terrorism’, which undermines our freedom of association, assembly and movement,” he warned.
“The HSA cannot – and does not – address terrorism,” Mata added. “It is aimed at stifling legitimate political dissent,” he added.
“Terrorism is perpetrated both by the state and non-state actors. Unfortunately, the HSA is not only silent on state terrorism, it may even abet state terrorism,” he said.
The HSA expands the power of warrantless arrest, and allows for unchecked invasion of our privacy, liberty and other basic rights. Persons merely suspected of engaging in terrorism may be arrested without warrant and detained without charges. They may also be subjected to surveillance and wiretapping, as well as examination, sequestration and freezing of bank deposits and other assets, on mere suspicion that they are members of a “terrorist organization.”
Under the guise of fighting a vaguely-defined notion of “terrorism”, the law will undermine our right to liberty, to be presumed innocent, to due process of law, to equal protection under the law, to a fair trial, to travel and to privacy of communication and correspondence.
Worst, HSA creates an Anti-Terrorism Council that has the power to: proscribe any organization as terrorist; order the arrest of terror suspect without any warrant; open bank accounts; listen in to your private conversations; and, build and profile anyone or any organization it sees fit.
“Concentrating power to a faction of government officials, who we have seen has not shown any reasonable respect for human rights, is a clear and present danger to whatever is left of our democratic, human and trade union rights,” Mr. Mata said.
“We have seen labor leaders who have fallen prey to extra-judicial killings,” explained Mata. “And against the rising tide of these unresolved killings, having the anti-terror law will only result in more killings in the future, and workers will definitely be targets.”
“But workers will not be cowed by this law. We will intensify our resistance and continue opposing the brazenly dictatorial means by which the Executive continues to run this country. We will continue to work for the rescinding of this monstrous law,” said Mata.
Related link:The Human Security Act (anti-terror law) – download RA09372.pdf 1.11mb