Posted by: Jae | February 19, 2007

Due process and McCarthyism Redux

A few hours ago, the House of Representatives, after convening in special session, approved the Anti-Terror Bill. JDV called it “a commitment by the Philippine government to the international community.” The newly-approved bill, while admittedly a sanitized version of its more draconian “first edition”, has been criticized for a variety of reasons by human rights advocates.

My deep bias for due process and the rights of the accused, however, narrows my fundamental objections to two: first, it allows the police to detain suspected terrorists for three days without filing charges (murder and rape suspects, in comparison, may be detained for up to 36 hours only before charges should be filed); and second, it mutilates beyond all recognition the right to bail crystallized in the 1987 Constitution.

Sasabihin ko muli: a society will eventually be judged by the way it treats its most reviled.

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