By Ellson Quismorio
The collective voice of local female celebrities against the enactment of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill–which include that of two former Miss Universe beauty pageant winners—has been praised by pro-women group Gabriela Party-List.
The group’s lone nominee in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Arlene Brosas, recently hailed the efforts of these female showbiz stars and personalities as the public campaign to junk the controversial measure continues.
“We are lauding our women celebrities na nagsalita (who have spoken) on the junking of the anti-terror bill like Angel Locsin, Pia Wurtzbach, Kim Chiu, Janine Gutierrez, Catriona Gray, Anne Curtis, Kathryn Bernardo, Nadine Lustre, Liza Soberano ang many more,” Brosas said in a recent virtual press conference.
The lady solon praised the A-listers for voicing out their opposition to the Anti-Terrorism Bill, which she described as “anti-poor and anti-people.”
“Thank you for using your influence and platform to raise awareness on social issues. We encourage more women and men [of course] to speak up and stand with the oppressed,” added Brosas, who is a member of the six-member Makabayan Bloc in the Lower Chamber.
Out of the stars mentioned by Brosas, arguably none shine brighter than Wurtzbach and Gray, who won the 2015 and 2018 Miss Universe crown, respectively. They are also two of only four Filipinos to win the annual pageant.
“Holding the stance of #JunkTerrorBill DOES NOT EQUATE to being pro-terrorism. Making the stand of #JunkTerrorBill does NOT equate to supporting violence or terrorists. Nor does it imply that we ignore or condone the damage, hurt and conflict that exists,” Gray recently tweeted.
Wurtzbach followed suit with her own tweet using the hashtag #JunkTerrorBill, while sharing with her followers the realization that was neither powerless nor alone in the fight.
The measure, already given final approval by both the House and the Senate, will be submitted to the office of the President.
President Duterte has three options, namely, approve, veto or simply allow the enactment to lapse into law after 30 days.
The 302-member House had essentially adopted the anti-terror measure passed by senators last February. This eliminated the need for a bicameral conference, since there’s only one approved version of the bill.
Brosas earlier said that the measure, which replaces the Human Security Act of 2007, is dangerously broad as it removes the predicate crimes under the current law and puts in place vague conditions for determining terrorist acts.
“The Anti-Terrorism bill widens the net by which the police and the military can haul legitimate organizations and critics of the government to jail on mere presumption and suspicion of being linked or having association with entities labeled as terrorists,” she said.
Another worrisome provision of the proposed law is the power of law enforcers to conduct warrantless arrests and detention of up to 24 days. This has been deemed as unconstitutional by the Makabayan Bloc and several other House members.