The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women has expressed support for Makabayan bloc’s proposed measure to repeal Republic Act 11479 (Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020) and urged lawmakers in Congress to heed the people’s demand to uphold and protect people’s civil and democratic rights which the draconian law disregarded.

“The two years of Anti-Terror Law is nothing but state terrorism targeting farmers, peasant women, fisher folks, agricultural workers, human rights and land reform advocates, progressive organizations and alternative media organizations. The law has been an instrument used by the Duterte government to silence and sow fear among the people and organizations calling out the anti-people policies of the government and pushing for legitimate demands and alternatives,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

The peasant women group said human rights abuses intensified after the implementation of the Anti-Terror Law, which resulted in illegal arrests and detention based on trumped-up charges, extrajudicial killings, red-tagging and terrorist-tagging, harassment and intimidation, and militarization of peasant communities.

Amihan, its leaders and members, have been victims of intensifying red-tagging and trumped-up charges.

Amihan’s bank accounts have been frozen since last year by the Anti-Money Laundering Council based on mere allegations of violations of Terrorism Financing and Suppression Act of 2012.

The law was also used by the National Telecommunications Commission and the National Security Council in order to block access to websites allegedly “found to be affiliated to and supporting terrorists and terrorist organizations,” including Amihan’s website and 27 others.

“Dapat nang matigil ang paglabag sa karapatan ng mamamayan batay lamang sa walang batayang mga alegasyon at red-tagging. Dapat matiyak ang karapatan ng mamamayan lalo na ng mga maralitang sektor na magpahayag at mag-organisa na siyang tanging pagmumulan ng kanilang lakas at pagkakaisa,” Soriano said.

“We are urging the public to stand with the peasantry and the marginalized sector and support the call to repeal the ATA (Anti-Terror Act). We must remain vigilant and critical of government programs and policies as the country continues the struggle against Covid-19 and the socioeconomic crisis. We must ensure that our civil and political rights are recognized and respected under the leadership of Marcos Jr.,” Soriano said.