Even with the massive call of many Filipinos to junk the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill, President Rodrigo Duterte still approved it into law on Friday, July 3—the same day the Philippines reached 40,000 coronavirus cases. (Read: PH Overtakes Singapore, China in Most Cases in Western Pacific Region)
The hashtag #JunkTerrorBill has become a trending topic on social media in the past couple of months as many Filipinos have been very vocal on the internet—and even on the streets—about their disagreement with the newly approved law. (Read: Church Leaders Unite To Take Stand Against Anti-Terrorism Law)
It comes as the Anti-Terror Law consists of vague and questionable ways of justice, such as the authorization of warrantless arrests and wiretapping. This has caused concerns from netizens claiming that the law is stripping away the basic human rights of the people and that it might cause abuse. (Read: 3 Prayers of Guidance and Enlightenment for Government Leaders)
Shortly after the bill was signed into law, many citizens, politicians, and even celebrities took to the internet their dismay and disgust about the decision. Part of the protests is the release of a Filipino version of the famous final speech from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, which stars prominent celebrities, human rights advocates, and other political figures in the Philippines.
The Great Dictator
The black and white video was posted by director Chuck Gutierrez on Friday, July 3, right after the anti-terror bill was signed into law by President Duterte. The video features a wide array of artists, politicians, journalists, and personalities performing Rody Vera’s Tagalog translation of The Great Dictator. (Read: What Will Happen If The Anti-Terrorism Bill Gets Signed Into Law?)
Among the participants are National Artist Ben Cabrera, former Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, actor John Lloyd Cruz, director Lav Diaz, lawyer Chel Diokno, and journalists Maria Ressa and Inday Varona. (Read: Rappler Editor to Serve as Panelist in Global Conference on Fact-Checking)
The other volunteers in the video are professor Randy David; actors Janine Gutierrez, Jasmine Curtis Smith, Lotlot de Leon, Mae Paner, Nanding Josef, and, Bibeth Orteza; Singer Bituin Escalante; Human Rights Lawyer Neri Colmenares; directors Baby Ruth Villarama and Carlitos Siguion Reyna; Chairman of the Commission of Human Rights Chito Gascon; bar topnotcher Mae Diane Azores; lawyer Ted Te; Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate; businessman Charlie Yu; Quezon City Congressman Kit Belmonte; economist Winnie Monsod; gender equality activist Queenmelo Esguerra; and Sister Mary John Mananzan.
Watch the Filipino version of The Great Dictator speech below:
Under the Philippine Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, surveillance, warrantless arrest, and detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days will be implemented. It will also amend the 2007 Human Security Act which protects citizens from damages and threats of unjustifiable arrests.
The Anti-Terrorism Law will take effect 15 days after publication. As of writing, Filipinos only have a week left to speak up against its passing before the law is officially enforced in the country.