Progressive solon says Duterte special powers prone to abuse

House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Wednesday expressed fear that Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020 maybe prone to abuse.

Aside from giving President Duterte a ‘presidential pork barrel, Zarate said the proposed law has an anti-fake news provision that can be used to silence critics and the opposition.”

“This provision is restriction of free speech and borders on censorship of criticism. People may be honestly reporting what they are experiencing during the lockdown or contesting the government’s approach on the pandemic but this law or its implementers like the Philippine National Police (PNP) may brand such as fake news,” Zarate said.

“With the supposed fake news provision the Duterte administration it appears is just trying to silence the discontent the Filipino people are feeling on how they handled this crisis. Gusto lang nilang patahimikin ang mga tao,” he added.

Zarate, one of the nine lawmakers who opposed the measure continued:” This is actually one of the reasons why we voted no to the recently signed law. “

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