Anti-Duterte protesters rally against newly-signed anti-terrorism bill in Philippines

Protesters gathered at the grounds of the University of the Philippines in Quezon City on Saturday, to rally against the anti-terrorism bill, a day after President Duterte signed it into law. The crowd, observing proper distancing and wearing face masks held placards that read “Oust Duterte” and “Junk terror bill” as they urged the government to scrap the controversial bill which allows the police to arrest suspicious individuals without a warrant, bypassing the judiciary system. Renato Reyes, Jr., Secretary-General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) said: “It comes at the worst time. We are in the middle of a pandemic, the infections are going up, unemployment is so bad, the economic crisis is worsening and I think those are the reasons why they need this bill—to scare people, to terrorize people so that they won’t be opposing the regime and demanding much-needed reforms from the regime. This is a legal sledgehammer that will have far-reaching effects on the people so generations to come will feel the effects of this kind of instrument in the same way that martial law had the scarring effect on generations of Filipinos after the dictatorship.”