The bill has sparked online and street protests, although quarantine restrictions apply to communities due to the coronavirus outbreak. There has also been a multi-sectoral response, but supporters of the bill continue to lobby. Like many leaders before him, Duterte now has the tools to use the law as a weapon and systematically suppress dissent. Of course, there is always the possibility that the anti-terrorism law will not be misused to silence freedom of expression and undermine civil rights. After all, Indonesia passed a similar anti-terrorism law in 2018 and has yet to see mass arrests of opposition leaders, critics or journalists. The Counter-Terrorism Council, made up of members of Duterte`s cabinet, can order the arrest of anyone it considers a terrorist without a warrant. Hundreds of Filipinos took to the streets Thursday against a widely rejected anti-terrorism law that has now been swept aside by Congress. The controversial law, which has drawn opposition from the United Nations and even pop star Taylor Swift, was approved by lawmakers as an « urgent » measure just days after it was confirmed by President Rodrigo Duterte. Think of Egypt, which passed an anti-terrorism law in 2015 that allows police to detain suspects without a warrant for eight days and criminalize incitement to terrorism « by any means. » After peaceful protests erupted in April 2016, Egyptian security forces arrested 382 people for incitement, posting fake news on social media and promoting terrorist crimes. Police also cracked down on criticism of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during the 2018 election season. At least thirty-six prominent activists and journalists have been arrested and prosecuted for peacefully criticizing Egypt`s anti-terrorism law. Some of the accused were associated with opposition parties and movements.
Egypt is now the third worst prison guard for journalists (linked to Saudi Arabia), according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. With the exception of one journalist detained in Egypt in 2019, all have been charged with terrorism. Human Rights Watch notes that « the government of Sisi.. The text states that incitement to others by « speeches, writings, proclamations, emblems, banners and other representations that serve the same purpose » could result in a sentence of 12 years in prison. The anti-terrorism law is the latest in a series of power grabs passed under the guise of national security amid the coronavirus pandemic, posing a serious threat to Philippine democracy. The new law, which replaces the 2007 Human Security Act, criminalizes a new ambiguous offence: incitement to terrorism « through speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations … without participating directly in the terrorism commission. » Article 29 empowers law enforcement agencies to arrest and detain any person suspected of having committed a terrorist offence without a warrant and for fourteen to twenty-four days, including persons accused of incitement. .