The House Bill No. 6875 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is now a step closer into becoming a law after the House of Representatives approved it on third and final reading despite criticisms from Human rights groups over its broad provisions.
The bill is currently under criticism from lawmakers and even netizens who made “#JunkTerrorBill” climb up the trending topics on Twitter Philippines, calling it an attack on freedom of speech and another way to stifle dissent.
Miss Universe queens Catriona Gray and Pia Wurtzbach, together with Miss International Philippines 2019 Patch Magtanong joined the calls to junk the Anti-Terrorism Bill and is urging the public to be informed, speak for themselves, and stay engaged with the issue.
After personally studying the Anti-Terrorism Bill, Catriona posted a quote on her Instagram from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines saying: “If a law to fight terrorism is to be contemplated, let the respect and defense of human rights be the paramount consideration.” Along with the hashtag #JunkTerrorBill.
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 Gray (@catrionaelisa) June 3, 2020
The beauty queen also brought the issue to her Twitter account, urging her followers “to stay engaged because this is where our voices count.” She then retweeted articles and shared links to the full Senate Bill as well as to the Philippine Constitution. (READ: Catriona Gray takes stand on racism, joins ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement)
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also shared her own thoughts regarding the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill on her own Twitter account. She first used the hashtag #ActivismIsNotTerrorism, and then shared that she was hesitant at first to speak up because she felt like she “didn’t know enough.”
Sa lahat ng nangyayari ngayon sa Pilipinas at sa mundo.. overwhelming. Diba? Parang di mo alam kung maiiyak ka o magagalit. Parang pakiramdam mo minsan powerless ka. Parang sasabog yung puso mo. Yung feeling na parang may gusto kang sabihin. May kailangan kang sabihin.— Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (@PiaWurtzbach) June 3, 2020
The beauty queen went on to say that it’s easy to feel powerless amid what is happening, but one should not be afraid. “Narealize ko na hindi ako powerless… kasi hindi ako nagiisa,” she tweeted. (READ: Church Leaders Unite To Take Stand Against Anti-Terrorism Law)
In her Instagram stories, Miss International Philippines 2019 Patch Magtanong, who is also a lawyer, took her time to dissect the controversial bill and point out parts of the bill that may raise concern.
Beauty queens in the Philippines truly have a voice. Here's a little lecture & message from Bb. Pilipinas-International 2019, Atty. Bea Patricia Magtanong @patchmag She's a lawyer, girl, so you can't use your "BASAHIN MO KASI ANG BATAS!"#JUNKTERRORBILLNOW #JunkTerrorBill— Jani Vinsentti (@obiasjohn) June 4, 2020
The beauty queen-lawyer said that while the first part of the bill definition excludes activism from being counted as terrorism, the second part makes it prone to state abuse. (READ: What Will Happen If The Anti-Terrorism Bill Gets Signed Into Law?)
Patch also compiled “some of the unconstitutional/ contentious/ ‘Draconian’ provisions” of the bill, pointing out the “vague definition” of terrorism and how that makes it open to abuse. Then, the beauty queen urged the public to be vigilant and seek news articles, infographics, and analysis by legal experts that may provide a deeper understanding of the bill.