We the undersigned are united in voicing our opposition in the strongest possible terms to the enactment at this time of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (House Bill 6875) recently approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading, and a similar bill approved by the Senate (Senate Bill 1083) last February.
In these trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, what we need is national unity. We are all suffering and fighting for survival: businesses are closing down, people are losing their jobs, those who still have jobs find it impossible to find safe transportation to work, our children are going hungry and the continuity of their education is under threat. We need to come together, united around a set of relief and recovery measures that will help us come out of this pandemic a stronger and more resilient nation.
We fully appreciate the need for peace and security in building a stronger nation. Current threats to national security are well addressed by existing laws and policies, and as such do not require urgent new legislation. And the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is highly divisive – because it poses clear and present danger to human rights enshrined in our Constitution – at a time when our nation needs to come together as one.
We strongly urge our national leaders and the private sector to be focused fully at this time on what really matters; developing policies that will address multiple socio-economic shocks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening our health systems, improving the investment climate to create more jobs especially given many thousands of returning OFWs. These are what our country needs to pull us out of our crisis and get back on our feet.
Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development
Cebu Business Club
Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA)
Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines
Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP)
Investment House Association of the Philippines (IHAP)
Institute for Solidarity in Asia
Judicial Reform Initiative (JRI)
Management Association of the Philippines (MAP)
Makati Business Club (MBC)
Philippine Business for Education (PBEd)
Philippine Ecozones Association (PHILEA)
Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN)
Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA)
Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc. (SHDA)
Women’s Business Council Philippines