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‘Highly divisive’ in midst of pandemic: PH business groups oppose anti-terror bill

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Eight of the country’s top business groups have come together to oppose the passage of a new anti-terrorism law that critics say will pave the way for more human rights violations.

In a statement released Friday (June 5), the business groups said there’s no need for new legislation to be passed urgently to address threats to national security as there are already existing laws and policies for them.

“We the undersigned are united in voicing our opposition in the strongest possible terms to the enactment at this time of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (House Bill 6875),” the statement read.

The proposed new anti-terrorism law is “highly divisive” and poses danger to human rights, the business groups said.

They said what is needed amid the pandemic are policies focused on helping businesses and workers, as well as addressing hunger and problems with education.

“In these trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, what we need is national unity. We need to come together, united around a set of relief and recovery measures that will help us come out of this pandemic a stronger and more resilient nation,” the business groups added.

The proposed anti-terrorism law of 2020 is up for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature after its passage by the Senate and House of Representatives.

The business groups which signed the joint statement were:

Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development

Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IT-BPAP)

Investment House Association of the Philippines (IHAP)

Judicial Reform Initiative (JRI)

Management Association of the Philippines (MAP)

Makati Business Club (MBC)

Philippine Business for Education (PBEd)

Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc. (SHDA)

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