Defend ESCR, repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act

July 3, 2024

by IBON Foundation

IBON joins the clamor to repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (ATA), now on its fourth year, which has been arbitrarily used against individuals and organizations who are not terrorists but have been pushing for economic and political reforms that the government finds disagreeable. The people’s assertion of their economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) is threatened by this law whose overbroad definition and witch-hunting spirit has been used against those that the government wants silenced.

Sustaining the ATA belies the Marcos administration’s posturing as a human rights champion. Marcos perpetrates policies that neglect the country’s economic foundations, worsen citizens’ poverty and joblessness, destroy the environment, enrich the super-wealthy, and rob the people and the nation of its resources in favor of local oligarchs and their foreign partners.

The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression Irene Khan and on Climate Change Ian Fry (who recently stepped down) confirmed the harm that the ATA brings to the Filipino people, and called for amending its abusive provisions or its repeal.  The Filipino people must not be prevented by weaponized laws from asserting their rights to livelihood, decent wages, adequate standards of living, social services and protection, unionization, a healthy environment, self-determination, and the range of civil and political rights and of economic, social and cultural rights.

We join voices calling to defend ESCR, we amplify voices calling to repeal the ATA.