Miss Universe Queens Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray speak up against the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill. The said bill includes provisions allowing for people to be detained longer even without a charge. This has caused an alarm among rights groups and the #JunkTerrorBill has even trended and gained traction in social media.
According to CNN, President Duterte wrote a letter to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano that it must be immediately passed. He said that the aim is to address the urgent need to strengthen the law on anti-terrorism. This can also effectively contain the menace of terrorist acts.
With the country grappling on the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic, this issue should not even be talked about. This bill will not only create fear and anger, but it will also add to the high level of anxiety we are facing. Should we mention the recent closure of Network Giant ABS-CBN?
What did Pia and Catriona say?
The two Miss Universe Queens can’t be silent and are using their platforms to stop the bill. They are trying to give light to what seems to be vague and broad provisions in the bill, which may later be used to violate human rights. Pia posted a black photo with a #BlackOutTuesday. She said, “I’ve been overwhelmed with emotion lately and I’ve been struggling to put it into words. I may not always have the right words to say but I can’t deny how this makes me feel. One thing I know for sure is I want to keep learning.
“I want to keep growing. And I want to see and be part of a change. Stop hate, injustice, and racism,” she added.
Catriona is shedding some light and is asking us to be vigilant. “There is so much happening in the world and in our nation right now, and I know a lot of us (just) want to just tune out because it all gets a bit overwhelming. But please, don’t allow that to be the reason we revert into silence and turn a blind eye. We need to stay engaged because this is where our voices count. So let’s help each other by creating spaces that help us keep each other informed and help us understand what’s going on“, Catriona said.
Why should we stand against the Anti-Terror Bill?
The government has a longstanding history of human rights abuses and a corrupted way of using its power. With what has been going on, this bill seems to stop anyone who will express a dissenting opinion. It seems like a grand attempt to silence its critics. We are trying to stand together as a nation because of this pandemic, but this bill can rip old wounds and tear the very fabric of our democracy.
Public opinion is important in a democracy because the people are the ultimate source of political power. Should we allow the bill to push through, it will not only target suspected terrorists but also activists or perhaps anyone who dares to speak up. Politicians swore to protect and serve us but what’s happening recently seems like a testament to their vested interest. In these agonizing times, we ought to speak up and stand our ground. #JunkTerrorBill