Tuesday, August 30, 2005

NR0830:On anti-terror bill

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release August 30,2005


Malacanang’s call for anti-terror law passage aimed at crushing calls for her impeachment and ouster; timing of bombings suspect

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that Malacanang’s renewed calls for the passage of the anti-terror bill bids ill for the public, saying that Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her allies want the anti-terror bill passed so they will have legal grounds to crackdown on protests, their participants and their organizers.

He said that that the recent bombings in Basilan were mostly likely the doing of militarists in the administration. “They’re creating an atmosphere of fear and violence to justify the imposition of more authoritarian measures and restrictions on civil rights and liberties, including the constitutionally-guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and assembly,” he said.

“The timing of the bombings and the raised alert levels couldn’t be more suspect. Malacanang and its loyalists in the armed forces are well-aware that the political tension in so high and directed against Mrs. Arroyo that they’re fabricating stories regarding security threats from terrorists to deflect attention from the calls for impeachment and the burgeoning campaign for Macapagal-Arroyo’s ouster via popular uprising,” he said.

The veteran labor leader turned activist lawmaker said that there was no need for an anti-terrorism law given that there are already existing penal laws and international covenants that will make an anti-terror law superfluous and unnecessary. He said that that given the shocking human rights records of the Macapagal-Arroyo government and its current political desperation to keep protests at bay, it’s call for the passage of anti-terror law is an open and direct threat by the State towards legitimate political activity that does not conform or abide by its pronouncements, programs, and policies.

Beltran slammed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) anew for its failure to put an end to the so-called terrorist threat. “Most likely the AFP has not been able to gain any significant headway in catching any real terrorists or routing out their organizations because there is no real terrorist threat. Their unacceptable and outrageous excuse is that they need an anti-terror law to enable them to catch terrorists,” he said.

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