Davao Groups Denounce New Anti-Terror Law

Mar. 07, 2007

Progressive organizations in Davao City have denounced President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos signing of the anti-terrorism bill into law. They said the law, which Arroyo signed on Tuesday, would worsen the already worrisome human-rights situation in the country. It would also allow the government to brand as terrorists those groups who have legitimate political dissent, according to Ariel Casilao, secretary-general of Bayan in Southern Mindanao. There will be no more distinction between terrorism and political offenses and legitimate dissent, he said. With the new law, the government becomes more powerful and will strike harder against those who question it, Casilao said. Suara, a partylist group of Moros, pointed out that the state itself has been guilty of terrorism. Carlos Zarate of the Union of Peoples Lawyers in Mindanao said his group would ask the Supreme Court to abolish the law. (Text by Grace S. Uddin/Photo by Barry Ohaylan, davaotoday.com)

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