Dispatch from Crame No. 823: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on Sen. Dela Rosa’s Warning to Critics of the Anti-Terror Bill


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Sen. Bato Dela Rosa said that those who are against the anti-terror bill becoming law have only themselves to blame if it does not become law and they become victims of terrorism.

Rather than chastise a woke citizenry defending their democracy, Dela Rosa’s statement is actually an indictment of the State’s security forces, one half of which he led for a good 2 years into the Duterte administration.

He is actually saying that the PNP and AFP are useless in stopping terrorism inspite of an already existing law, the Human Security Act. For them, without a new anti-terror law, that short of curtailing the basic fundamental rights of citizens, the state is helpless in protecting them from acts of terror.

It should be timely to give Dela Rosa a historical lesson. Not even the most authoritarian regimes in world history, despotic monarchies that recognized no fundamental rights of their subjects, were able to put an end to terrorism. Not even China, with its dictatorship of the Communist Party, is able to snuff out what it brands “as acts of terror” by persecuted minorities and dissidents such as the Uighurs and the Falun Gong.

What is wrong here is Dela Rosa’s advocacy for the classic satrapist trade-off, that we surrender our liberties to the State in exchange for our safety and protection. History has also taught us this has never worked. What happens is the exact opposite. The more rights people surrender, the more they are terrorized, not by terrorists, but by the very same state apparatus that is supposed to protect them from terrorism.

It goes without saying that what the State sees as terrorists, more often than not, are not actual terrorists in the breed of ISIS, Al Qaeda, or their local extremist expressions in the Muslim South, but people’s movements and organizations fed up with government incompetence and state repression. It is therefore no wonder that the terror bill is introduced at a time when the people’s grievance is at its height due to government incompetence in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, such incompetence that made us sacrifice 3 months worth of our liberties in exchange for nothing but an increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

No Sen. Dela Rosa. The anti-terror bill is not for our protection. It is to protect this incompetent and unjust government from the anger of a frustrated and fed up citizenry. The terror that the people feel is from leaders that cannot even plan well the fight against COVID-19, instead risking the life of every Filipino. On the other hand, the terror that the State envisions is the anger of the people fed up with incompetents and clowns in government, especially those who think “ang sarap ng buhay, sana ganito na lang tayo palagi” in the middle of a pandemic that continues to kill our citizens and starve our population.

Tama na ang pagpapahirap at panggigipit sa sambayanan!


(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 823, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_823)

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