BAYAN USA, Migrante USA, Gabriela USA and Anakbayan-USA vehemently condemn Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of the unconstitutional Anti-Terror Bill. While it is no surprise that Duterte has signed the bill into law, we are outraged by the implications this Anti-Terrorism Law will have on the Filipino movement for liberation and democracy, and the dangers it imposes on Filipinos across the world. The bottom line is, this law allows the government to tag anyone who expresses dissent against the Duterte regime as terrorists, no matter how legitimate their concerns and demands are. We have already seen political repression through mass arrests amplify under the COVID19 lockdown conditions and can only expect the fascism under Duterte to worsen under this law.
This latest move toward consolidating Duterte’s dictatorship gives us all the more reason to continue fighting and elevating our struggle to newer heights. We must remember who fears whom. It is Duterte who fears the power of the Filipino people who are already fed up with the government’s utter neglect and outright political repression. We must exhaust all means to put a brake on its implementation before the 15-day waiting period lapses. We must persevere in educating our families, communities, elected officials and allies on the foreseeable impacts of the law on Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad. We must quickly and creatively disseminate all forms of condemnation in the streets, online and everywhere to register the people’s united voice against Duterte’s fascism and his looming dictatorship.
Even when this law comes into effect in 15 days, the people will continue to fight the US-Duterte regime and the rotten system that it represents. If the history of the Filipino people has proven anything, it is that dictators have never determined the destiny of our country. Rather, they have only expedited the people’s struggle for genuine democracy and social change.
We call on all Filipinos in the U.S. to channel our rage against Duterte’s fascism and ultimately our love for our people toward revolutionary collective action. It is the unity and organized strength of the Filipino people that will topple the Duterte regime once and for all, toward achieving genuine independence, democracy and the socialist alternative that our movement has struggled for for decades.
BAYAN USA joins the Malaya Movement and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines – US (ICHRP-US) in an emergency online protest rally tonight at 5:30pm P/8:30pm E to condemn this fascist move of the US-Duterte regime. We will highlight how we can rise up collectively to resist and take action. Together, we can show the Philippine government that Filipinos and their allies all over the U.S. are united against the fascist Anti-Terror Law!
Register now: tinyurl.com/resistterrorlaw
Date: July 3, Friday
Time: 530pm PT · 730pm CT · 830pm ET
MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT!
JUNK THE ANTI-TERROR LAW!
ACTIVISM IS NOT TERRORISM!
OUST DUTERTE NOW!
June 26th, 2020
Contact: email@example.com, Rhonda Ramiro, Chairperson, BAYAN USA
firstname.lastname@example.org, Nikole Cababa, Secretary General, BAYAN USA
On June 26th, the Philippine National Police (PNP) violently dispersed and arrested 20 people as they were commemorating International Pride Month. GABRIELA Women’s Partylist, Bahaghari, Children’s Resource Center, and Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns were among the 20. Ten of those arrested are LGBTQIA+ and were calling for free mass testing, non-discriminatory financial assistance for Filipinos affected by the pandemic, and respect for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition, the PNP forcibly commandeered a civilian van, manhandled a staff member of GABRIELA Partylist, and told protesters they would be brought to the District Headquarters. BAYAN USA condemns this violent attack on peaceful protesters who were practicing social distancing measures and wearing masks while raising their demands for the Philippine government.
The US-Duterte regime’s blatant disregard for people’s constitutionally protected rights, such as the people’s right to peacefully assemble, will only continue to increase if the Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATB) becomes law. This fascist government has been stockpiling human rights violations with more than 30,000 extrajudicial killings, over 41,000 quarantine arrests, and now with the ATB soon to pass into law by July 9th, it will in effect legalize mass arrests of anyone considered a terrorist (as vaguely defined in the Bill), or anyone with “intent” or “inciting” terrorism. BAYAN USA fears that the ATB will cast a wide net upon all those in opposition to the US-Duterte regime as a swift attempt to silence and violently suppress already exploited and oppressed groups, like LGBTQIA+ people.
“We are witnessing martial law tactics imposed on community groups simply providing genuine relief and amplifying the calls for mass testing. Is Duterte afraid of 20 protestors armed with the truth and the conviction to rise against his fascism? The real criminals are Duterte and the fascist police harassing our community and making waves of illegal arrests while thousands suffer from hunger, disease, and displacement.” said Nikole Cababa, Secretary General of BAYAN USA.
She continued to connect it to the militant history of the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 in New York, NY, “Pride originated as a protest, and must continue as a unifying stand against state violence and terrorism inflicted on LGBTQIA+ communities, until we win full equality, healthcare, livelihood, and genuine liberation for all.”
BAYAN USA calls for the immediate release of the Pride 20 and for all charges to be dropped. We join the call of Gabriela USA: “We urge all who are in solidarity with the struggle against state violence, fascism, and U.S. Imperialism and who stand for human rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and the liberation of oppressed peoples to join actions against Duterte’s Anti-Terror Bill.” Join BAYAN USA’s call to action against the ATB on June 29th and July 8th. (See call to action for more details).
For more updates: fb.com/gabriela.alliance, fb.com/bahaghariLGBT, fb.com/bayanusa
#FreePride20 #DefendGabriela #JunkTerrorBill #OustDuterte
CALL TO ACTION- JUNE 29 & JULY 8 2020
BAYAN USA is joining global days of action against the Anti-Terrorism Law to show international outrage and opposition to this law recently signed by President Duterte in the Philippines, which would result in increased repression against all Filipinos including overseas Filipinos. The Anti-Terrorism Law is dangerous not only for activists but for all those who criticize the Duterte regime and will legalize mass arrests of anyone in opposition to Duterte by tagging them as a terrorist.
JOIN BAYAN USA and other organizations in actions near you, or plan an action in your area (Stay tuned…more information will be updated):
ACTIONS ON WEDNESDAY JULY 8TH
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA:
Santa Cruz, CA:
Los Angeles, CA
ACTIONS ON MONDAY JUNE 29TH
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA
TAG @BAYANUSAPage on Facebook or BAYAN_USA on Instagram.
Hashtags: #JunkTerrorBill #ActivismIsNOTaCrime #OustDuterteNow
In the Philippines, the leadership and committee of the Lower House railroaded the approval of the new and brutal anti-terrorism bill, which was initially passed by the Senate. Without a doubt, this move was dictated by the US-Duterte regime. We can expect Duterte to sign the bill into law in the following days, unless the mass movement is able to force him to backtrack on its passage. Another possibility is for Duterte to wait 30 days (July 9) without taking action, after which the bill would automatically become law.
Stronger draconian powers, even worse than martial law and blatantly in violation of the Constitution, were given to the military, police and the government. These will be used to suppress and intimidate not only activists and critics but also against the people. Anyone can be targeted by the regime and be victimized by the abuses of the police and military. State Terrorism is the essence of the “Anti-terrorism law”.
What would the Anti-Terror law do?
The new “anti-terrorism law” must be exposed and opposed as a law establishing state terrorism. The “anti-terror law” gives the state oppressive and excessive powers to suppress any form of dissent, to violate people’s civil rights, and to spread fear among the people. These powers even exceed that of martial law, which still has limitations under the Constitution.
The definition of “terrorism” in the “anti-terror law” is very vague and excessively broad. It also grants repressive powers to the government. This will certainly be abused by Duterte, the fascistic dictator, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the whole government. Similar to how the Bayanihan Act was abused to arrest ordinary people , it can be expected that the same will be done through the “Anti-Terror Law.” Anyone can be a victim.
The definition of terrorism covers a wide range of common crimes such as murder, destruction of facilities and infrastructure, bearing of arms, hijacking, kidnapping, and other crimes punishable under the penal code.
The above mentioned common crimes can be easily transformed into acts of terrorism. The authorities only need to link the acts on any of the very broad list of objectives/goals – to intimidate the public, to spread messages of fear, to threaten the government, to destroy and destabilize the economy, political and social structure, to create public emergency and to undermine public safety. The penalty would be life imprisonment without parole.
Related acts such as engaging in threats, plans, training, and inciting and facilitating and facilitating the commission of terrorism, as well as recruiting, and joining terrorist organizations and providing material support to alleged terrorist organizations shall be punishable with 12 years to life imprisonment.
It gives powers to the anti-terrorism council, the military and the police to conduct surveillance, wiretap, access of databases, examine bank records and freeze of assets of organizations and individuals, even on mere suspicion of having connections to or funding terrorists.
The courts are given the power to immediately issue, within 72 hours, a 6-month preliminary ex parte to groups or individuals that are accused by the anti-terrorism council to be terrorists or those affiliated with terrorists. Ex parte means without notification and hearing on the side of the accused.
The most vicious feature is that it allows for arrest without any court order and imprisonment of 14 days, which can be extended for 10 additional days for anyone suspected of being a terrorist or having any connections with terrorists. This goes beyond and blatantly violates the Constitution which states that anyone accused of committing serious crimes may only be detained for a maximum of 72 hours or 3 days.
Section 49 of the bill also covers Filipino nationals “who commit any of the acts…outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines”.
For additional information click HERE.