0247B: Darker Days

Dark Tower: Marten Broadcloak

Metro Manila Community quarantine - Day 111

Much to no one's surprise, the President signed the Anti-Terrorism Bill (RA 11479) into law today. Despite a fair amount of public backlash both online and even through dangerous in-person protests despite quarantine, he played true to form and finally pushed the bill into law today. I mean seriously, he had certified this urgent and so our lawmakers made sure to get it done despite other things that probably should have mattered more, like I dunno, dealing with COVID-19 or something like that?

To be fair, I've already been paranoid about my online presence because of the Maria Ressa case and how the Anti-Cybercrime Law was used against her. Hence how this blog is private and all my major social media accounts are also locked down. So I guess I'm already on a defensive posture when it comes to controlling my digital footprint. There are still risks of course since who knows which of my contacts might turn out to be a lot more supportive of this turn of events despite my best efforts to weed through my contacts on a regular basis. But we deal with these things as they come.

The new law will go into full effect within a month, so we'll just have to see how things will go. In the meantime, the more immediate concern remains to be this pandemic and making sure we all remain safe. As much as we don't have to be single-issue citizens who can only focus on particular issues at a time, priorities remain important. And while I'm concerned about how this law could lead to significant abuses of power, there's no getting away from the continued rise of COVID-19 cases in the country and how our official response feels lacking.