What exactly does the law say?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

Number One. That’s what we are now. But it is nothing to be proud of or even happy about and should, in fact, alarm us all. The latest report on TV yesterday said that the Philippines now has the most number of COVID-19 cases in the ASEAN which, is, of course the Association of Southeast Asian Nations! And as if that is not more than enough to worry about, there is also the Anti-Terrorism Law that seems to frighten, rather than assure our people of being safe and secure.

***

What is worrisome about this law is that I am sure it is not quite clear to Filipinos and those of other nationalities living in our country, what it is all about. Have our local government units all been furnished copies of it and can we in the media be furnished copies, too, so we can provide our readers and listeners with information about it? How can we help worrying because even some public officials themselves have expressed apprehensions about it?

***

The latest news we got about it is that there are now ten petitions lodged in the Supreme Court questioning it, or probably seeking its further study before it is implemented on its title, it seems innocent enough, but how do we know what basis it provides for people to be tagged as “terrorists”? For that many persons or groups to be questioning it, one cannot help wondering what they see in it as threats, rather than protection from terrorists. Anyway, let us hope that the High Court will act on those petitions at once and allay our fears and doubts.

***

Are these recent happenings just normal, or are they omens or precursors of worst to come? First the giant network ABS-CBN was shut down by the National Telecommunication Commission and has not been allowed to come back despite the calls of the people and the media groups who see its closure, for the mere reason of a delayed franchise, whatever. Now the PTV, or so-called People’s TV, has also ceased operations, not because of any offense against the powers-that-be, but because the merciless COVID has attacked several of its staff. More and more, the state of Philippine media is becoming more worrisome that ever!

***

I’m sorry that I cannot, at the moment, remember the name of the American poet who wrote that poignant line, “Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in”. That occurred to me after the news came out that LSIs, or Locally Stranded Individuals who returned to Davao were causing concern among the people because of the infections they might cause. But if they are natives of the city or the province itself, there is nothing they can do but welcome them and help them get the proper isolation and treatment. That is the most humane thing they, or any other town, city, or province can do.

***

As if the wicked China-born virus were not enough for them to worry about , it seems some Americans are still getting distracted by such things as riots and protests that could only worsen their health problems! For whoever hear of a riot or protest where participants comply with social distancing or, maybe, even the wearing of masks and other protective gear? A news report said that in the United States, policemen even have to wear disguises while dealing with such disturbances. One would think the threat from COVID would put the fear of death in the hearts and minds of such rioters and protestors!

***

The sad news for our own country is that many of our people who have been working in other countries to sustain their families and send their children to school, have been coming home, not as they had left, but as corpses after having contracted the raging disease while abroad. The other day the bodies of 71 Filipinos arrived from Saudi Arabia. That is without noting those from other countries who had been working for their families back home. But then we also have to think of other people from other countries like ours who have members in similar situations, so let us console ourselves with the saying “Hindi tayo nag-iisa” or “We are not alone”.

***

By the way, wasn’t the Anti-Terrorism Law supposed to take effect the other day? What about the petitions to the Supreme Court questioning it? Will they, or have they managed to hold its implementation? I wish, though that all media entitles are furnished with copies of this law so we can publish it to enable our people to have a clear idea of what it covers, and avoid getting arrested for doing things that were not considered criminal before.*

YOU MAY ALSO READ

Read Article by date

October 2020
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031