MANILA, Philippines – Two former Miss Universe titleholders from the Philippines have spoken up against the anti-terror bill, which human rights advocates and lawyers fear could be “weaponized” by the state against its people.
Both beauty queens took to Twitter to air their views against House Bill (HB) No. 6875, which was approved by the House of Representatives on 3rd and final reading on Wednesday, June 3.
On the same day, Catriona posted an image with quote from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines saying: “If a law to fight terrorism is to be contemplated, let the respect and defense of human rights be the paramount consideration.” Along with the image, she used the hashtag #JunkTerrorBill.
In a series of tweets that followed, Catriona said that with so much happening in the world at the moment, she knows that many people are overwhelmed and want to tune out. But she implored her followers to “stay engaged because this is where our voices count.”
We need to stay engaged because this is where our voices count. So let's help each other by creating spaces that help us keep each other informed and help us understand what's going on.— Catriona Gray (@catrionaelisa) June 3, 2020
“Let’s help each other by creating spaces that help us keep each other informed and help us understand what’s going on.”
She said that she’s taken time to research and learn to come to her own conclusions on the issue, and encouraged others to do the same.
“I’m not here to influence you to think a certain way, but I hope I can influence you to think for yourself,” she said. She then retweeted articles and explainers on the bill, and shared links to the full Senate Bill itself, as well as to the Philippine Constitution.
What are our constitutional rights? Read here: https://t.co/MEpFJ7hBWk— Catriona Gray (@catrionaelisa) June 3, 2020
Pia retweeted one of Catriona’s tweets, and went on to share her own thoughts. She first used the hashtag #ActivismIsNotTerrorism, and then went on to admit that she was never confident enough to speak up about politics because she felt like she “didn’t know enough.”
“But I realized that I need my voice back…and I need to use it,” she said.
She went on to say that it’s easy to feel powerless with everything that’s happening around the world and in the Philippines.
“Parang sasabog yung puso mo. Yung feeling na parang may gusto kang sabihin. May kailangan kang sabihin (it feels like your heart is about to explode with the feeling of wanting to say something, of needing to say something),” she said.
Sa lahat ng nangyayari ngayon sa Pilipinas at sa mundo.. overwhelming. Diba? Parang di mo alam kung maiiyak ka o magagalit. Parang pakiramdam mo minsan powerless ka. Parang sasabog yung puso mo. Yung feeling na parang may gusto kang sabihin. May kailangan kang sabihin.— Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (@PiaWurtzbach) June 3, 2020
“Pero narealize ko na hindi ako powerless…kasi hindi ako nagiisa (but I realized that I’m not powerless…because I’m not alone),” she tweeted, along with the hashtags #JunkTerrorBill #MassTestingNowPH and #ActivismIsNotTerrorism.
Pia also retweeted actress Anne Curtis, who posted a link to the House Bill along with a note where she said that after reading the bill, it’s “quite broad and vague” and is open for interpretations that could be used to take away people’s freedom and speech and the right to protest.
Pia and Catriona are among the celebrities that have used their platforms to amplify cries against the proposed bill. Some of the country’s biggest stars, including Kathryn Bernardo, Nadine Lustre, and Liza Soberano, have also spoken up against it.
The proposed bill was certified urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 1, which means it no longer needs to go through bicameral conference hearings, and can be sent to Malacañang for Duterte’s signature if lawmakers see no need to revise anything else in the text.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) raised concerns over the bill, warning against its broad definition of terrorism, and fearing that this could be abused by the state. – Rappler.com