Janine Gutierrez was among the hundreds who took to the streets on Independence Day to stage a rally calling for the junking of the controversial Anti-Terrorism bill.
On Instagram, the actress shared a photo of her with her sisters Jessica and Max taken during the manañita-styled protest at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in Quezon City. The party theme is a dig at a recent birthday serenade for Metro Manila police chief Gen. Debold Sinas that allegedly violated restrictions against mass gatherings to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Happy manañita, Philippines! We love you so much it hurts,” she wrote in the caption.
Responding to a follower who said she “refused to understand the [bill] and its purpose”, Janine said that “on the contrary, [she] has actually read the bill, attended talks and webinars about its inclusions led by senators and lawyers, asked questions, discussed it with my friends, and sent letters to my house representative and discussed it with a congressman.”
“I would never speak on something I have not fully studied,” she added. “I would never tell anyone what to think but I do urge everyone to make an informed decision for themselves as well.”
Lawmakers, activists, and celebrities alike have expressed apprehensions about the new Anti-Terrorism bill as some of its provisions, they said, might lead to human rights abuses.
The measure, which is up for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature, will allow the government to wiretap suspects, arrest them without warrants and hold them without charge for up to 24 days, among others provisions.
Other celebrities who have called for the junking of the Anti-Terrorism bill include Kathryn Bernardo, Nadine Lustre, Liza Soberano, Enchong Dee, Iza Calzado, Pia Wurtzbach, and Catriona Gray.