Monday, July 09, 2007

anti-terrorism law

The high costs of terrorism to civilization and democracy are too much to bear. Lives are wasted. Fear is disseminated. Barbaric elements come to rule. Freedom, justice and development are trampled upon. No cause, no reason can ever justify any terroristic act.

Terrorists have no place among decent people; have no reason for being in equitable society. Any democratic country by itself or in collaboration with other sovereign nations has not only all the right but also the grave obligation to defend itself from terrorism and to liberate citizens from terrorists.

The carefully chosen title of “Human Security Act” appended to the anti-terrorism law is not without reason. More than just a euphemistic recourse, the law is fundamentally in favor or securing human dignity, human life and human rights. In other words, the substance and spirit of the law or the act are rather much commendable.

But why are many sectors of society openly and strongly questioning the nature, the timing and intent of the anti-terrorism provision? Why are several civil organizations and citizens’ movements deeply worried if not actually fearful of the security enactment?

The question is not really the law. The problem is its implementation. The issue is its execution more than the legislation. The present administration is not exactly known for the protection, much less the promotion of human rights. In effect, the executive department appears either reluctant if not incapable of preventing downright extrajudicial killings and abductions.

In the hands of a much insecure administration or a very suspicious executive department, the anti-terrorism law becomes dangerous. This is when a “human security act” could easily become inhuman, could readily make citizens insecure in exercising their civil liberties.

Thus it is that the anti-terrorism law or the security act can become not only odious but also treacherous when partisan politics are made reference factors in its implementation by the executive department. This is exactly the case when something basically good is used to achieve something radically evil.

9 July 2007