Farmers, activists could become first casualties of ‘terror’ law

Published February 2, 2021, 4:47 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The farmers and activists who are fighting for social justice could be the first casualties of the Anti-Terrorism Law.


This was according to Danilo Ramos, chairperson of the Kilusang Magbububukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), who cited the case of Aeta farmers Japer Gurung and Junior Ramos who were charged with terrorism before an Olongapo City court last September 14.

“Farmers and activists advancing social justice issues will be among the first casualties of the Anti-Terrorism Act,” Ramos said in a statement Tuesday.

According to the peasant leader, Gurung and Ramos were accused of firing at members of the military on August 21, 2020, resulting in the death of a soldier.

Ramos said the two farmers were “falsely” charged under Section 4 (a) of Republic Act No. 11479. The two were also charged separately with non-bailabe cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

However, the KMP chair argued that the pieces of evidence against the detained farmers were planted.

KMP was among the petitioners against the Anti-Terrorism Law in a petition filed by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and Movement Against Tyranny.

“The petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act are concrete proof of the extreme unpopularity and unconstitutionality of the law that was railroaded and rammed into our throats by Duterte and his militarist cabal,” Ramos said.

“Even the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Act is equally worse, if not more ominous than the actual measure,” he added.

The farmers group were among those who joined the protest outside the Supreme Court in Manila on Tuesday, coinciding with the start of the oral arguments on the contested measure. 

Various progressive and cause-oriented organizations called for the abolition of the controversial law and declare the said legislation as unconstitutional.