Cops take down PUP students’ #JunkTerrorBill banner

Photos from SAMASA-PUP.

The group said the police’s action is clearly a direct attack on people’s right to expression and assembly, which the group said, what the anti-terror bill seeks to do.

By AARON MACARAEG AND REIN TARINAY
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Six policemen removed and confiscated on June 20, Thursday, a banner which read, “Komunidad ng PUP, makibaka para sa kalusugan, kabuhayan at karapatan! Ibasura ang anti-terror bill!” (PUP community, struggle for health, livelihood and rights! Junk the anti-terror bill!)

The banner, hanging in front of Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) main campus gate in Sta. Mesa, Manila, was initiated by United PUP, an alliance of students and employees calling for the junking of the Anti-Terror Bill.

Student leaders who staged a program outside the campus were also harassed by policemen. According to political party Samasa-PUP, the police told them that “rallies” are prohibited under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

The students, however, argued they were observing physical distancing and minimum health protocols.

“The state has been relentless in silencing the voices of Filipinos,” Samasa-PUP said in a statement.

The group said the police’s action is clearly a direct attack on people’s right to expression and assembly, which the group said, what the anti-terror bill seeks to do.

Photos from SAMASA-PUP.

The bill, which was railroaded both in the Senate and Congress and labeled as urgent by Malacanang, seeks to amend the Human Security Act. Critics said the bill if enacted could be used against dissenters and ordinary citizens.

The bill is now awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature. If not vetoed after 30 days, it will automatically lapsed into law.

United PUP has been pushing for their five demands amid the worsening situation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. These are:

1. Mass promotion;

2. Sufficient adjustment period and alternative classes;

3. Aid and security of tenure for teachers and employees;

4. Free and immediate mass testing; and

5. Active cooperation and clear alternative program which should be a product of democratic participation of members PUP community. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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