UST joins opposition to anti-terrorism bill

Published June 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Richa Noriega

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) expressed its opposition on Sunday (June 7) to the passage of the Anti-Terrorism bill and appealed to the government to focus on fighting against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic instead.

“We fear that people’s basic civil rights as enshrined in the Constitution will be rendered inconsequential when this becomes a law,” the university said in a statement.

UST underscored that the law is “alarming” as it opens the door to “arbitrary arrests without warrant, detention without charge for up to 24 days before people are presented to the courts, and any abusive law enforcement agent will be exempted from any liability.”

Amid the country’s battle against COVID-19 pandemic, the university said the proposed bill continued to sow fear and divisiveness at the time when Filipinos should be helping one another.

“We hope and pray that whatever decision our government will choose to make, it would be one that will truly unite the Filipino people especially during these challenging times,” UST added.

Certified as an urgent administration bill by President Duterte, the passage of House Bill (HB) No. 6875 is the country’s response to the threat of intergovernmental organization Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to put the Philippines on the “gray” list of countries that are non-compliant with international efforts to fight money laundering and terror financing.

READ MORE: Lower House passes Anti-Terror bill