CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Amendments to the Human Security Act will worsen human rights situation and put the entire country under virtual martial law, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) has warned.
The KMP said it was referring to proposed bills for the amendment of Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act.
“House Bills 7141 and 5507 are twin bills that will complete Duterte’s de facto Martial Law. The proposed amendments will only make worse an already bad law. The Human Security Act must be junked altogether,” KMP said in a statement.
Both bills are being fast-tracked by the House Committee on Public Safety and Order.
“These bills will put an end to human rights and civil liberties as we know it.”
The group noted that the proposed amendments “want blanket authority and full force against what it categorizes as terrorism.”
“With the track record of this administration in its public order and safety policies, speaking against the government can be considered as an act of terrorism,” KMP warned.
The amendments “will broaden and expand so-called ‘acts of terrorism’ and will empower law enforcement authorities in confronting terrorism,” it added.
KMP noted that “already in place is Martial Law in Mindanao, National ID System, Oplan Kapayapaan, Oplan Tokhang, Operation Double Barrel, Oplan Galugad and the recent Oplan Tambay.”
KMP said “these policies clearly aim to suppress and kill. A more menacing Human Security Act will be the final nail in the coffin of human rights in the country.”
It stressed that the proposed amendments “are dangerous because it will allow for the proscription of individuals and organizations as terrorists and seizure of assets without trial; criminalization of mere membership or intended membership in proscribed organizations.”
They would also “remove safeguards against abuse of surveillance powers granted to law enforcement officials; remove safeguards against abuse of prisoners while in detention; extend the period of detention without charges under certain circumstances from 3 days to 30 days; and introduce restrictions on free expression,” the group said.
“Critics of Duterte and the government can be targets of these proposed laws,” said KMP secretary general Antonio Flores.
The KMP called on “civil libertarians as well as freedom and democracy- loving Filipinos to oppose the said bills.”