There is something hysterical about the reaction of the Philippine Left (and a few Catholic bishops) about the implementation of the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007. This act is so watered down (compared to similar laws in other countries) that it puts the burden on the law enforcers to immediately build a convincing case on a "terrorist" suspect. In other jurisdictions a terrorist suspect can be detained for a month without charges. The HSA however says that a suspect can be detained only for 3 days without charges or a warrant from a judge. Police are immediately required to present the suspect to a Judge.
At least the HSA does not define "unlawful combatant" unlike the world's only Superpower.
The penalties for the law enforcers violating the rights of the detained are quite heavy from hefty fines to prison terms of up to 12 years. Furthermore all acts of law enforcers in prosecuting suspects are subject to judicial control. Only a competent court can order surveillance, opening of bank records etc.
The HSA has a lot of safeguards and to some extent it is toothless. But we would rather have a "toothless" law rather than a law that tramples on civil rights.
The HSA is correct in defining the most basic aim of terrorism and that is "to create widespread fear and panic among the populace". Any ideological party cannot be guaranteed its liberties as long as it seeks to use force of arms in its objectives. The HSA lists crimes in the Penal Code by which terrorism may be used. These crimes can only be committed by force of arms.
The Left and its main organizations such as the CPP-NDF-NPA are hysterical since it is plainly obvious to see that these organizations BY NOT DISARMING are terrorists. The mere fact that they DO NOT RECOGNIZE our system of LAWS and THE CONSTITUTION and are ARMED is enough to sow fear among the citizens of this republic. The Republic will have to have to necessary legal tools and armed force to crush these organizations that refuse to disarm. These armed groups include religious fundamentalists, coup plotters and the like as long as they are armed.
Another problem with the Philippine Left is that they are ideologically stuck in the 20th century. The definition of terrorism has evolved since Lenin and largely has been divorced from ideological leanings. Thus any party that incites violence on unarmed civilians are terrorists whether they are militant capitalists, communists, religious fundamentalists or a whole gamut of loony fringe groups. Our lefties stuck with romantic Maoist notions be it in Utrecht or in Diliman have largely missed the point. That's the problem with Marxism, it can't evolve.
It is plain to see that if the Left needs to reassess itself, react in a non-hysterical manner and DISARM. By doing so they will cease to be terrorists and be protected under the liberties provided by the Constitution. Before negotiations for a political settlement can be started, they must disarm.
As for citizens of the Republic, the best thing we can do is to NEVER GIVE IN to terrorists.