From Our Member People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), South Korea – Philippine Government Should Immediately Repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which harms Human rights and Democracy
7 July 2020 4:01 pm

We Condemn the Duterte government for Continuous Suppression of Human Rights

On 3 July 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

The government enforced the Act that posed a serious threat to human rights and democracy of the Philippines, regardless of concerns from the international community as well as the Philippines.

Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, the retrogressive revision of the 2007 Human Security Act has absolute power to regard all activities against the Duterte government as ‘terrorism’.

The Act defines terrorism as acts endangering a person’s life, causing damage or destruction to the public or private facility and property, and manufacturing or transporting weapons and explosives. Also, it punishes actors who incite terrorism by means of speeches, proclamations, banners and etc.

Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines already opines that this regulation on terrorism is ambiguous and could be applied too extensively. That is, if government critics are defined as terrorism, it means that posting a statement on SNS as well as demonstrations could be subject to punishment.

If a new Anti-Terrorism Council, consisting of members appointed by the president, designates people as terrorist suspects, it is able to detain them up to 24 days without a judicial warrant and do surveillance or wiretapping unlimitedly. Also, the ones who violate the Act could be imposed life imprisonment without bail to the maximum. Like this, the Act itself is full of elements that seriously threaten human rights. However, the most critical point is that it is obvious that the Act would be abused by the Duterte government.

Since the inauguration, President Duterte has been undiscriminatingly killing lots of people in the cause of ‘war on drugs’. The fact that those extrajudicial killings have been conducted by the nation is a serious challenge in itself on human rights norms that humankind has agreed upon and kept. Besides, the grave state of human rights in the Philippines that human rights activists, indigenous people, union leaders, lawyers and others who oppose the Duterte government have been “red-tagging” and even murdered has emerged as a severe human rights problem in the international community for a long time.

Further, before passing the Act, including UN High Commissioner for Human rights Michelle Bachelet, UN human rights special rapporteurs already clearly expressed an opinion that even if there is a reason for national security, suppression of human rights or interruption to acts of human rights activists should not be tolerated. However, Korean civil societies have no choice but agree on concerns of the Philippines civil societies that the purpose of the Duterte government who push ahead of the Act even though the Philippines business groups oppose is reinstating dictatorship during the Marcos administration.

We call on the South Korean government to express a clear position on the Duterte government’s activities that degenerate democracy and human rights. While promoting New Southern Policy, the South Korean government hasn’t expressed a position on suppression of human rights by the Duterte government. After all, with the situation that the Act against humanity has been enforced, serious consideration is necessary whether cooperation under the principle of New Southern policy, “People, Peace, and Prosperity” could be held. We cannot but asking who coexistence is for in the situation that human rights are trampled and peace is destroyed.

Korean civil societies call on as follows: 

  • The Duterte government should immediately abolish the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020!
  • The Duterte government should follow International Human Rights Standards and stop the suppression of human rights!
  • The South Korean government should express concern about the human rights situation, including the anti-terrorism law in the Philippines, a New Southern Policy Partner

July 7, 2020.

Yongsuk Lee


Jeju Peace Human Rights Institute WHAT

Kim Jinsu

Seoul Human Rigths Film Festival

NCCK Humam Rights Center

Incorporated Organization Silcheon Bulgyo

Hwang, Namduk

osan migrent center / jang chang weon

Choi HyungMook

Media Christian Solidarity


Joint Committee on Freedom of Expression and Press Suppression

Fake News Check Center Promotion Committee


Christian Institute for the Study of Justice and Development

Korea Women’s Associations Untied (KWAU)

Solidarity of LGBT Human Rights of Korea

Solidarity for Another World

Jun ji-yun

MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee

Advocates for Public Interest Law

Korea Alliance of Progress Movement

Nan soon you

Migrant trade union

Ecumenical Youth Council in Korea

ks choi

PROK/SookJa Chung

Migrant workers movement supporters group

People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy(PSPD)

GongGam Human Rights Law Foundation

The National Youth Association of The Presbyterian Church in the RepublicOf Korea (PROKY)

The Priest Council of Justice and Peace in Anglican Church-Korea

Min Sook hee

pax christi korea


Columban Mission

Choi Geonhee


Heaseong Park


For a PDF version of this statement, click here