With the possible signing of the Anti-Terror Bill that many fear could be abused upon implementation to infringe on our freedoms, Independence Day plans this year are a big question mark. How do we celebrate the freedom that might be taken away from us? Our ancestors who lived through the 1896 (and 1986) Philippine revolution would probably tell us one thing: fight for it. It’s been working so far with lawmakers withdrawing their yes vote.
For anyone who wants to express their indignation on Jun. 12, Senator Risa Hontiveros is hosting an online rally called “Ipaglaban Ang Pinas.” The virtual event that will run from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. this Friday will feature guests such as Enchong Dee, Chel Diokno, Ebe Dancel and Noel Cabangon. On the Facebook event page, the organizers wrote “Sama sama natin ipaglaban ang Pilipinas na atin, at atin lamang. Ang kapakanan ng mga Pilipino ay lagi dapat inuuna.”
In a Facebook post promoting the event, Sen. Hontiveros said, “Sa gitna ng pandemiya, inuna ng pamahalaan ang pag-pasa ng Anti-Terror Bill, ang pagbalik sa POGO, ang pag shutdown ng ABS-CBN at ang pag-increase ng election budget! Nasaan ang malasakit sa manggagawa? Nasaan ang puso para sa mga namamatay, nagugutom at nagkakasakit sa COVID-19? Bakit hindi ang Pilipino ang unang nasa isip?”
There have been several protests organized by progressive groups online and on-ground in the past week after the Anti-Terror Bill of 2020 was approved on its third reading. Public outrage has been brewing for several months following the Duterte administration’s much-criticizedcrisis response and several blunders from government officials which displayed double standards when it comes to enforcing the law. Will Independence Day 2020 see the tipping point for Filipinos demanding accountability? We’ll find out soon enough.