Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday rejected accusations that those opposing the Anti-Terror Act of 2020 are launching a massive disinformation regarding the newly enacted law.
“Wala pong disinformation na nangyayari (There is no massive disinformation happening),” Hontiveros said during an online press conference.
“Pati ngayon sa paglawak na pagtutol ng iba’t ibang sector, ng iba’t ibang institusyon dito sa anti-terrorism law—definitely walang disinformation doon sa sunod-sunod at dumadaming paghain ng kaso sa Korte Suprema tungkol sa batas na ito (Even if many sectors and different institutions are now opposing this anti-terrorism law—definitely there is no disinformation with regards to the number of individuals filing cases before the Supreme Court questioning this law),” the opposition senator reiterated.
Earlier, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa—proponents of the said law—had earlier acknowledged that disinformation and mistrust against the government is fueling opposition to the anti-terror law which President Duterte signed earlier this month.
Hontiveros disputed the allegations, saying that those who were vocally opposing the anti-terror law had done their part in reading and understanding the provisions of the whole law before they expressed their sentiment on the issue.
“Kaya mas makatutulong kung i-encourage namin lahat ng nagta trabaho sa gobyerno na patuloy na basahin, intindihin at alamin ng ating mga mamamayan itong bagong (That’s why we encourage everyone who works in government to continue reading, studying and learn about this new) anti-terrorism law,” Hontiveros said.
“At kumpyansa ako na kapag nagpatuloy ang proseso lalo pang lalawak at lalakas ang pagtutuol ng mamamayang Pilipino based not on disinformation but based on knowledge, understanding (And I am confident that if we continue this process, more Filipinos will oppose this law based not on disinformation, but based on their actual knowledge and understanding) of the law,” she pointed out.
Hontiveros said that on July 27, the opposition and other socio-civic, and religious groups will gather for a “Mass for Justice and Peace” at the Manila Cathedral as they draw inspiration from Jesus Christ, who himself “was also an activist.”
“While He walked this earth, He not only fed the hungry and healed the sick but he also challenged authorities by exposing their hypocrisies and making people imagine a world that is both just and ideal,” the senator stressed.
At the same time, Hontiveros said she hopes that with the upcoming fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President more people will band together to prove to the government the Philippines do not need an anti-terror law at this point in time of a COVID-19 pandemic.
“Pang-limang taon na na State of the Nation Address ng Pangulo, ngunit sa halip na napapanatag tayo sa estado at kinabukasan ng ating bansa, tila mas nananaig ang takot (It’s already the fifth SONA of the President, but instead of being assured about the state and future of our country, it seems that everyone is scared),” she lamented.
“Sana sa darating na SONA, inaasahan natin na ang mga mabibitawang salita ay maipanatag ang publiko, na maipakita na may talino at karunungan ang mga plano at solusyon ng gobyerno; na may hustisya at katarungan ang lahat na nagawang pang-aabuso; na may respeto at dangal sa buhay at dignidad ng bawat Pilipino (We hope that in the upcoming SONA, we can hear some words of encouragement that will allay public fears, that the government can show that its plans and solutions to the current problems is guided by wisdom and knowledge; that justice would be meted out for those who abused power, that there is respect and dignity for every Filipino),” the lawmaker reiterated.