OVER A HUNDRED YEARS, or 122 years ago, to be exact, have lapsed since we obtained our true and authentic independence on June 12, 1898 at Kawit, from our colonizer, Spain.
We have seen several upheavals since that first unfurling of our tri-color national flag by Emilio Aguinaldo and his first cabinet of government.
We have not changed so much from our first vision of independence: laggard and mediocre lifestyle, always trailing our Asean and Asian neighbors in terms of economy, education and technology.
We’re still struggling as of now as the COVID 19 pandemic has reached our shores like the other developed countries and everything seems to be in tatters.
Today, due to the pandemic and its restrictions, we do not have much choice on how to celebrate independence day, as we have previously done in previous years sans the pandemic. We are forbidden to assemble in activities, hence suffice it is to hold a simple and austere observation of this very important day in our lives and history.
* * *This early, the Anti=Terrorism bill, which still will pass the President for his review and signature before it finally becomes a law (plus the publication) is reaping massive objections and protests from all sectors.
Former Supreme Court Justice Antonio T. Carpio fears that the basic rights of citizens from unreasonable search and seizures (and arrest) may be violated despite the protection offered by the Constitution. Mere suspicion of terrorist acts may empower state authorities to arrest a person and held incommunicado for a maximum of 24 days, maybe more. The members of the Anti-Terrorism Council are select members of the Cabinet and one from the Human Rights Commission. Anything the President commands is followed blindly by the President’s men, we all know that.
The fear elicited by the Anti-Terror bill is very real and could intimidate even the strongest amongst us. Now is the time, therefore, to put our foot down on this dangerous legislation.
Every columnist/opinion writer I followed wrote in the same manner as Justice Carpio about his/her misgivings on the Anti-Terror bill and he/she has every reason to believe and write about it.
Should this bill merit the President’s approval and signature and finally becomes a law, we should all prepare for the worst and say goodbye to our Constitution-guaranteed privileges and inherent rights!