Do we deserve the current version of the Anti-Terrorism Law?

“The road to perdition is paved with good intentions.”

Proponents of the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 also deserves the benefit of the doubt. Definitely, they have good intentions when they passed the legislative measure. But to whom the good intentions are for, and how will these good intentions be interpreted is another story.

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What’s the rush for the Anti-Terrorism Law?

Who would ever thought that the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is so intimidating that the President of the Philippines would urgently request an anti-terrorism law amidst this pandemic?

Kidding aside, the Anti-Terrorism Bill (House Bill No. 6875) which seeks to amend the Human Security Act of 2007 just passed the third reading in the Lower House as of this writing and will soon be transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature. 173 lawmakers in the House of Representatives (HOR) voted in support of the measure, 31 opposed and 29 abstained.

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Webinar fatigue under Covid-19 lockown

The lockdowns around the world due to Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) created a surge in the usage of digital communications applications (or apps). Zoom, now the dominant video communications app, saw an increase of users from 40 million at the end of 2019 to 200 million in the first quarter of 2020. Skype which used to dominate the digital communications field also recorded a 70 percent increase between February and March that it now claims to have 40 million daily users. Usage of other similar digital communications applications also ballooned not only because of virtual meetings but also because of online seminars or webinars.

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Government needs to flex its muscle on internet connectivity

This administration is characterized by passing on the responsibility to others. For ensuring that the community quarantine regulations are imposed and Covid-19 assistance are distributed, the national government called on the local government units. For the massive Covid-testing, the government is relying on the Red Cross; and, for the proposed mandatory testing of the employees, the government is calling on the employers. For additional help to the workers, including the transportation of employees, the government is relying on the private sector.

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Surfing on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal

After the ABS-CBN franchise renewal snafu, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano would not only like to prolong the TV network’s agony but also would like to emerge as a hero of the mess he himself made. Worse, the “heroic act” would be at the expense of the taxpayers’ money.

After the ABS-CBN franchise renewal snafu, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano tried to make a comeback by threatening Solicitor General Jose Calida and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in a lengthy Facebook post. Sticking to the script, he came out again on May 13 hitting on the NTC for lying under oath during the public hearing but burying the issue that the House of Representatives committed a sin of omission by not religiously doing its job — to legislate.

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