ILOILO CITY – Patriotic lawyers under National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) make a stand against the proposed amendments on the Human Security Act or Republic Act 9372 of 2007, saying that it will endanger the basic rights of the people.
According to NUPL, the proposed bill by Senators Panfilo Lacson and Imee Marcos, and Congressman Jericho Nograles involves more constraint on the rights of the people such as right to free speech and to organize. It will also make the authorities who wrongfully accuse a person as terrorist to not be held accountable for it.
With the aim to change the name of the law into Anti-terrorism Act and expand the scope of Human Security Act, Sen. Lacson and the other proponents wanted the alleged terrorists to be arrested and detained for 14 days even without a proper case filed.
NUPL added that it also eliminated the section of the law that protects the rights of the accused. In the proposed amendment, a person arrested need not be present in court, a logbook that includes the details of the arrest will no longer be used, and worst, authorities who wrongfully arrest a person will no longer be held accountable.
Anyone who are suspected harmful by the government such as rallyists and simply those who express their dissent against the government may also be arrested.
If passed into law, the Anti-terrorism Act will kill the basic rights of the people, the existence of democracy itself, and the disregard for due process will intensify, NUPL added.
That is why, according to NUPL, the people must strongly oppose such move of the government and continue to assert their rights to express, organize, and mobilize against the anti-people policies of the government./PT