Anti-terror bill to curb recruitment of youth combatants — youth group

The passage of the proposed anti-terrorism bill would help address the recruitment of young people into terrorist outfits, a youth group said.

“The passage of the bill will definitely benefit the future generations — us, the youth,” Amorsolo Guerrero, chairman of the Youth for Peace and Development (YPAD) coalition, said in a statement on June 9, 2020.

He said the youth should not be swayed by “emotional and political rhetorics” being implored by militant organizations that are exerting efforts to block the passage of the bill.

These organizations, he said, are just “using political dramatizations” to intimidate the government.

Sino ba yung naniwala sa (who would believe that) political power grows from a barrel of a gun, na ang tanging solusyun sa lahat ng usaping bayan ay digmaang bayan, insureksyun at welgang bayan (that the only solution to everything is people’s war, insurrection or strikes?),” he said, noting that those pushing for democratic rights are the same people violating the law.

Guerrero urged the youth not to believe in the deceptions of groups who are explicitly helping rebel groups spread wrong ideologies.

He said there are many groups in the country impudently spreading violent extremism, exploiting youths, and indoctrinating minors into radicalism.

Huwag po nating hayaang magpatuloy ito. Ito na po ang pagkakataon natin na gumawa ng kasaysayan bilang mapagpasyang pwersa ng lipunan, mga kabataang Pilipino (We should not let this continue. It’s now our time to make history as a united Filipino youth force of this society),” Guerrero said.

He said the anti-terrorism bill, if enacted into law, will address armed insurgency, atrocities, and killings of innocent people caused by the terrorist groups.

Alisin po natin ang ating pangamba sa sinasabi nilang pang-aabuso o paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa nasabing bill. Wala pong mangyayaring ganun, dahil nandyan naman ang anti-terrorism council para bantayan ang lalabag na otoridad (the fear of possible abuses and human rights violations on the bill should be discarded. It will not happen since an anti-terrorism council will watch over authorities abusing power),” he said, adding that a strong Philippine Constitution is in place whenever a violation committed by a government authority is done.

The coalition, composed of out-of-school youth organizations, young professionals, and student organizations, among others, urged President Rodrigo Duterte to sign the bill.

“On behalf of the 107 youth national organizations under YPAD coalition, we plead to you Mr. President Duterte, please sign this anti-terrorism bill,” Guerrero said. (Lade Jean Kabagani, PNA)

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