Araw ng Kalayaan: #JunkTerrorBill (+ #BlackLivesMatter)

Hello! How are you all doing? This pandemic has really taken its toll on every single one of us so I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe during these scary times.

I know that we’ve all had a very rough year so far. I understand how physically and mentally exhausting 2020 has been and all you probably want to do is curl into a ball and shield yourself away from all the bad stuff. However, as much as you want to do that right now, we are still in need of your help.

Most of you are likely to know of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, aiming to take down white supremacy all over the world. Meanwhile, another movement—which is #JunkTerrorBill happening here in our country, all the way in the Philippines—is lobbying for human rights as leaders of our country try to take advantage of the law to silence those who oppose of their inhumane acts.

Today, June 12th, is the Philippine’s Independence Day which commemorates our country’s independence from Spain in 1898. Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan, my fellow Filipinos. But our fight isn’t over yet. I would like to take this opportunity to use my platform for awareness and as a small stepping stone towards change. Here, I share to you different resources and ways for you to help contribute to #JunkTerrorBill and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Please read this blog post until the end.

I am in no way considered a professional in these matters. I am simply a concerned individual who detests oppression in any form, and am in the never-ending process of educating myself. If you feel like I have been insensitive here on my blog, or in any of my other social media handles, please let me know and I will be better.


#JUNKTERRORBILL

The Philippine government continues to abuse their power by weaponizing the law to silence the masses whenever criticism has been hurled towards them. They do this by passing the House Bill 6875, also known as the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, this month of June. The results show that 173 of the House Representatives have voted in favor of this bill, 31 not in favor, while 29 have abstained.

WHAT THIS ENTAILS

The provisions under this makes it possible for the government to strip us of our freedom and rights as humans and Filipino citizens:

  • The president will have the power to appoint an Anti-Terrorism Council, wherein members of the council will be able to enforce this law and identify anyone as “terrorists”, even those still under suspicion alone, and punish them even without the proper trials or proceedings.
  • There was no concrete and clear definition of “terrorism” under this law. This enables possible loopholes that enables those within power to declare anyone, even innocent people, as terrorists.
  • The military and police force will be given more undue power and will be able to violate our privacy, with only suspicions as their foundation, with the law on their side. Now, they will be able to legally carry out surveillance, espionage, wiretapping and proscriptions to anyone under their suspicion of being “terrorists”.
  • With this, warrant-less arrests will also be allowed to anyone only under suspicion of being “terrorists”. Yet again with the suspicions. This means that the police will have the power to imprison the accused for 14 to 24 days despite having no formal case filed against them. This just goes against the Human Security Act of 2007, which states that a person arrested should have a file cased against them in court within 3 days, or else they must be released.
VIEW THE FULL SOURCE HERE (TAGALOG)

And here I thought that the law is supposed to uphold our human rights and defend us from those who violate it.

Here are links of helpful resources and compilations to show your support for this movement and help our country fight the government’s efforts of oppressing its citizens:

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement aims to build a world where anti-Blackness is expunged, therefore creating an inclusive society for every Black person to thrive. However, even after almost 7 years from the founding of this movement, hate crimes and unadulterated violence against Black people continue to be rampant.

Now, more than ever, has this movement become formidable as more and more Black people get stripped off their human rights, dignities, and worst, of their lives. How would you feel if you (or your loved ones: sons, daughters, siblings, parents, friends) gets killed just for being who you are? All because of centuries-old white supremacy. All because some racist white dude/gal decided to play God and shoot every Black person they see and paint it out as self-defense.

It is both astounding and scary to see that protesters have come together to publicly lobby for this in the streets of the United States and even in the United Kingdom. The death of 46-year-old George Floyd, in the hands of four white policemen has sparked many protests all over the world. Floyd died during an arrest, and while he was unarmed, one of the policemen knelt on his neck for almost 9 minutes, completely disregarding Floyd’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.

This, along with the rising body count of Black people, especially those victimized by police violence, instigated peace protests which a lot of people participated in, despite the risk this presents to their own lives, either from the pandemic or the police force itself.

In light of this, I want to share with you some resources that I deem relevant, helpful and enlightening for this matter:

MAIN LINKS (Carrds)

EDUCATE YOURSELF

WAYS TO HELP

Please do not donate to Change.org petitions as your money would not be reaching the cause, but instead is going directly to Change.org for promoting these petitions.

MORE PETITIONS TO SIGN

MENTAL HEALTH

OTHER RESOURCES


I have and I am continuously doing my best in signing petitions, sending out email protests and donating to support these movements and strive for a better Philippines and a better world for Black people.

If you’re like me and you are unable to participate in any peaceful protests, I encourage you instead to use whatever platform you have to speak up about these and to show your support, helping in any ways that you can. Let’s all be better.

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