Bayan Presses on with Protests vs Terror Law: ‘We’re Prepared for Intense Legal and Political Battle’

News Release
July 13, 2007

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today held a demonstration in the city of Manila as it called on “freedom loving Filipinos to rise up against the tyranny embodied in the anti-terror act.” The protest was held just two days before the scheduled effectivity of the new law.

The protesters marched from the University of Sto. Tomas to the historic Plaza Miranda, a freedom park, where they held a short program before going to the communities of Quiapo and Sampaloc. In the communities, the activists gave out pamphlets and flyers with information on the new terror law.

Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr. said that the impending implementation of the new law sans any implementing rules and regulations “underscores the arrogance and impunity by which the Arroyo government wishes to exercise its power.”

“The nation must unite during this very crucial period when civil liberties and our basic freedoms are being assailed by a tyrannical regime. We must make a stand against this patently unjust terror law. We must make a stand against a government that wishes to terrorize the nation into submission,” Reyes said.

“It’s bad enough that the law is vague and overbroad. Without any clear implementing guidelines, the chances of abuses are multiplied ten fold. There are now a million ways to interpret and implement the law,” Reyes said.

Challenge to the Senate

Bayan also said that it supported moves for the repeal of the terror law even as it is preparing to challenge the new law before the Supreme Court.

“We call on the Opposition inside the Senate to get its act together, put aside squabbles and unite behind the bill to repeal the terror law filed by Sen. Jamby Madrigal. It is important that they get the ball rolling in this important piece of legislation,” Reyes said.

“The bill to repeal the terror law is the first real and urgent challenge to the Opposition-dominated Senate. Were hoping they do not fail the people in this regard,” the Bayan leader added.

Bayan also announced that a “barrage of suits” awaits Malacañang when the terror law takes effect. “We calculate that there will be more oppositors to the terror law compared to Proclamation 1017, calibrated preemptive response, EO 464 and the people’s initiative to change the constitution. The legal and political challenge will be intense,” Reyes said.

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