By J. Jala and Marisol Bo-oc | 11:09 PM June 06, 2020
Some Boholano farmers who are members of the Hugpong sa Mag-uumang Bol-anon-Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Humabol-KMP) urged three Boholano lawmakers —Edgar Chatto (1st district), Erico Aristotle Aumentado (2nd district) and Alexie Besas-Tutor (3rd district) — to withdraw their “Yes” votes to House Bill 6875 or the Anti-Terror Bill.
Chatto, Aumentado and Tutor voted in favor of the bill.
A total of 139 lawmakers voted in the affirmative for House Bill 6875 while 31 voted negative and 29 abstained.
“Daghan na’ng kongresista nga mibakwi sa ilang YES vote sa House Bill 6875, ang Terror Bill sa administrasyong Duterte. Kanus-a mubakwi ang 3 ka kongresista sa Bohol nga pulos miboto pabor sa maong mapig-otong balaodnon?” Humabol asked in a statement on Saturday.
Humabol was referring to Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon who withdrew authorship and voted “no” to the Anti-Terrorism bill that was passed at the House of Representatives on 3rd and final reading on Wednesday night.
Biazon, an advocate of anti-terrorism, is principal author of the bill and defended it “wholeheartedly” as one of the sponsors during the interpellation on Tuesday.
The lawmaker said he had a change of heart because the House bill was a mere adoption of the Senate version and that not all of his colleagues had been given a chance to present their arguments and proposed amendments.
Humabol said that once signed into law, it may “endanger our constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech and other basic civil liberties”.
“Nanawagan ang Humabol-KMP nila ni kongresista Chatto, Aumentado ug Tutor sa pag-atras sa ilang boto. Sa maong balaodnon, lapad kaayo ang depinasyon sa terorismo nga mahimong mulakip na bisan sa lehitimong mga pakigbisog sa katawhan alang sa katungod ug katilingbanong hustisya (Humabol-KMP is calling our congressmen to withdraw their votes. In the law, the definition of terroriam is so vague that it also included those legitimate activism to fight for human rights and justice), ” it said.
House Bill 6875 seeks to penalize those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation, and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.
Humabol said that even without the bill, farmers and environmental activists have been targeted for political motives.
The group added that it even puts non-governmental organizations and development sector workers at risk. It will only take “suspicion” as basis for surveillance, holding of bank account, and even detention. The contentious Anti-Terror Bill will only legalize these violations of human rights.
Humabol cited harassments, unlawful arrests and killings of its members.
“Nanawagan ang Humabol sa tanang mahigugmaon sa demokrasya sa pagbarong alang sa pagdepensa sa tawhanong katungod ug makighiusa sa lapad nga katawhan aron batukan ang daw Martial Law nga balaodnon,” it said.
Congress has not sent the enrolled anti-terror bill to Malacañang for President Duterte’s signature, said Justice Sec Menardo Guevarra.
Congress is urged not to transmit the bill yet in light of withdrawal of votes over questions on constitutionali