THE VOTE:  I   have   to   wait   for   a   better   proposal   that   can   both   prevent terrorism and protect our people from abuses

[Rep. Yasser Alonto Balindong, 2nd district of Lanao del Sur, explains via Zoom, his “No” vote to HB 6875  (the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020) at the House of Representatives’ session on 3 June 2020]

Mr. Speaker, I am faced with a dilemma. As a Meranao, we know that we are the most affected when it comes to terrorism as shown to us by the Marawi Siege of 2017, among others.

On the other hand, we, together with the other Muslim Filipinos, are also the most vulnerable when it comes to abuse of authority.

Lanao del Sur 2nd district Rep. Yasser Alonto Balindong delivers his privilege speech on the third anniversary of the Marawi Siege during the House of Representatives’ session on 03 Juen 2020. He submitted his explanation of his “No” vote to HB 6875. Screengrabbed from livestreamed session

We want to stamp out terrorism but we also want to prevent abuse of authority.

There are many proposals to fine-tune the Bill to make it constitutional and prevent the proposed law from being used to perpetrate evil against our people.  But those proposals were turned down.

Therefore,   I   have   to   wait   for   a   better   proposal   that   can   both   prevent terrorism and protect our people from abuses.  I regret to cast my vote in the NEGATIVE, Mr. Speaker.

READ: Mindanawon reps warn anti-terror bill won’t eradicate but exacerbate terrorism 

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