By Joey Natividad
When Albay Congressman Joey Salceda (2nd District) voted Yes on the anti-terror bill, active proponents in the idealistic youth movement in Albay Province have been lobbying among democracy stakeholders to junk Congressman Salceda in his next reelection bid in 2022.
A youth leader of UST-Legazpi vowed that, being a part of the youth movement, he will not stay silent.
“Because of your willingness to blindly follow what the President wants, you have allowed the Duterte regime to wipe their shoes on the Philippine Constitution like a doormat,” said Angelo Perete, the President of the UST-Legazpi Supreme Student Council, pointing to Congressman Salceda.
Student leader Perete in his FB post said: “Your tagline “Constant Kindness” will no longer be your saving grace. Not this time. Your constituents will not be blindsided. When the human rights violations reach Albay, we will remember you and your pitiful submissiveness to the lapdog of China.”
Perete vowed: “Vote Salceda out of Congress. Do not let him near any seat of public office. Give it to the person who can give all three (3)nd go beyond for his people.”
Perete is referring to 3 principles the youth are seeking for the model-leader: What we deserve is better representation. What we deserve is quality public service. What we deserve is our rights protected.
“To the people of Albay: True change starts within ourselves and re-molding the way we think about our society and politics. Let us fight for what is right. Incompetence and corruption have no place in our government,” Perete vowed.
Meanwhile, while the youth movement in Albay has been seething anger at Salceda’s “Yes” vote on the anti-terror bill, Salceda did a dramatic turn-around on his “faux pas”.
Media reports on Saturday, June 6, said Congressman Salceda had withdrawn his “Yes” vote and had it converted to an “Abstain” vote.
Backtracking from his “Yes” vote, Congressman Salceda said: “Without a bicameral conference, there will be no opportunity for House members to help address the mentioned reservations.”
Salceda said some sections of the bill may affect the right to privacy of individuals.
“Section 3(i) thereof includes the tracking of individuals, and not just members of organizations declared as terrorists.”
“Section 16 of the measure also expands the list of persons who may be subjected to surveillance or wiretapping by including persons who are merely ‘suspected’ of committing any of the crimes penalized under the proposed law,” Salceda said.
The Albay congressman said the creation of an Anti-Terrorism Council, composed of Cabinet officials with powers to order the arrest of suspected terrorists, may violate the separation of powers, in particular with the Judiciary’s functions.
Salceda referred to another possible constitutional issue on the detention of suspected terrorists.
Salceda said: “Under Section 29 of the measure, a person suspected of violating the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act may be detained for 14 days, extendible for another 10 days. Article 7, Section 18 of the Constitution, provides that even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended, the maximum period that a person can be detained without charges is three days.”
It was unclear if Salceda’s withdrawal of his “Yes vote” for “Abstain” vote had any bearing since the railroaded anti-terror bill had been signed and awaiting approval for President Duterte’s signature.