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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, June 15, 2020
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LCCians ask Duterte
to veto anti-terror bill
BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA

 

More than 150 students, faculty members, and alumni of La Consolacion College Bacolod have expressed their opposition to the anti-terrorism bill.

They signed a statement appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the bill, and asked solons from Negros Island to publicly withdraw their ‘yes’ votes and instead support human rights and social justice initiatives.

Among the signatories was former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, a Negrense, and LCCB Elementary Batch 1972.

In the statement, they said they have been taught “Christ-centeredness, community of friends, stewardship, excellence, and diversity” at LCCB and “it is our obligation to embody and share these values to build a nation based on Christ’s teachings of social justice and peace.”

“As LCCians, the anti-terrorism bill is an assault on these five values,” they said.

Despite the good intentions of the bill, they said they believe it can be “weaponized” against those who share their own experiences of the social injustice.

“Poor, powerless and marginalized communities who only wish to register their calls for social change will be the most afflicted by this bill,” the statement added.

“As members of ‘Community of Friends,’ it is also our moral responsibility to defend and support LCCians who have chosen to practice stewardship through public service, human rights advocacy, and climate justice activism. We recognize that there are human rights defenders and climate justice advocates who can be targeted by the anti-terror bill because of their moral stances, political opinions, and constant engagement with communities, civil society, and government,” they said.

They added the anti-terror bill can impair excellence and diversity as members of an academic community can be discouraged to share crucial and relevant insights as these can be categorized as “terrorism”, given by the loose and arbitrary definitions of terrorism provided by the bill.*

 

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