The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women slammed the Senate’s approval of Senate Bill 1083 amending the Human Security Act of 2007.

“The bill is filled with vague definitions of the crime of terrorism which is subject to law enforcement interpretation, thus, could lead to abuse of civil and political rights, as well as dissent and critical thinking. Even by being a member of progressive organizations and joining protests could be considered as terrorist acts punishable by 12 years to life imprisonment, Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said after the Senate’s approval of the bill last February 26.

“This will only arm the Duterte government and its fascist forces to target its critics and the political opposition to preserve the status quo. It will only legalize and escalate human rights abuses being committed by the Duterte government through the AFP and PNP against activists, human rights defenders and peasant communities as it contains provisions legalizing surveillance, warrantless arrests and arbitrary detention,” Soriano added.

Provisions of the bill seeks to impose 12 years to life imprisonment against those who “propose, incite, conspire, or participate in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation of “terrorist” act as well as those who “finance or provide material support and recruit members to “terrorist” groups, while previous safeguards against the abuse of the law were removed.

“We are urging the public to defend our civil and political rights and stand against the enactment of the anti-terrorism bill and other efforts of the Duterte government to criminalize dissent and preserve the oppressive status quo,” Soriano ended. ###

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