The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) lambasted on Wednesday the government of President Rodrigo Duterte for using the hostage crisis in Virra Mall Greenhills, that already injured a security guard and endangered the safety of about 30 hostages, as a reason to approve the Human Security Act amendments.
In a statement, the KMU warned “the hawks and peace-spoilers in the Duterte Administration” not to use and play up the incident to justify the fast-tracking and passage of the amendments to the Human Security Act.
Hostage incidents as well as other common crimes are already covered by existing laws, and well within the bound of the duties and responsibilities of the police forces, not to mention the bigger budget already allocated to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and intelligence agencies, said the KMU.
The KMU expressed fears that opportunists could use the hostage crisis to justify bigger intelligence funds, abuse of power to conduct surveillance both physically and on cyberspace, and pursue their interest in instituting a more draconian measure with an amended anti-terrorism law.
“We call on the people to take a critical stand and action in the protection of our basic rights and civil liberties, as the House of Representatives is set to hear the proposed amendments to the Human Security Act,” the KMU said.
The KMU will lead a protest rally in front of Congress, to try to stop the Duterte government to weaponize the laws as a legal cover in persecuting critics and opponents of its dictatorship, and the people in general who want to enjoy freedom./Stacy Ang