That Seems Great, So What’s Wrong with It?
If the Anti-Terrorism Bill is passed, the government and its forces would be granted the power in defining the meaning of terrorism, who terrorists are, and what they can do with them. This will be done assuming that the entire state is rational since any suspicions by the police and other state institutions are enough basis to warrant arrest and punishment.
The said bill will allow the military, law enforcement, and police to do warrantless arrests without any liability. This negates Article 125 of the Philippine Revised Penal Code. What’s more? Anyone can be a target.
This bill’s vague definition of terrorism includes people who cause damage or attempt to cause damage to government facilities and properties, people who commit an assault or attempted assault, those who carry or buy a knife which can be used to kill, donating to relief organizations and drives which are not recognized by the state, and participating in a rally or movements that cause risk to public safety.
The bill also dubs those who meet up with friends as a terrorist due to the possibility that they may be secretly plotting a government attack, as well as writing, posting, sharing, and retweeting posts that are related to terrorist activities. Considering this caveat, dissent on social media can be used as grounds by the authorities to charge people with inciting to sedition.