Fishermen group vows to fight anti-terrorism bill

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Left-leaning fishermen’s organization Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Tuesday lambasted  the approval of the Senate Bill 1083 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.  

“Why need an anti-terrorism bill if there’s already this entire government machinery that brazenly labels progressive organizations as terrorists?” said PAMALAKAYA in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s security cluster for pushing the “anti-democratic and anti-civil liberties” measure which according to the group, would “criminalize simple exercise of people’s democratic rights, including freedom of speech and right to assembly.”

“Filing of trumped up charges, arbitrary arrests, and extra-judicial killings against activists are already rampant across the country. Anti-Terrorism Bill is a tool for authoritarian rule and would worsen the abuse of democratic rights,” Pedro Gonzalez, PAMALAKAYA vice-chairperson, said in a statement.

“It is being pushed in the midst of prevailing struggles of various sectors against detrimental policies and programs of the Duterte administration. Would that mean that our fisherfolk who will assert sovereign and fishing rights against China will be labelled as terrorists? Certainly it will face a strong collective defiance from the Filipinos who are already sick of another dictator,” said Gonzalez. /Stacy Ang

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