By Raissa Robles
Ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her two sons have proposed a law banning rallies outside their mansions.
Her two Congressmen-sons, Diosdado “Dato” Jr. and Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, joined her as co-authors of House Bill No. 1220 which sought to uphold the right of residents to privacy from mass or concerted actions not directed to the public.”
It was quietly filed shortly after the trio had barely warmed their congressional seats last year. I just stumbled on it while trolling Mikey Arroyo’s page in Congress.
His name does not appear in the original measure but he added it onto his page as one of the bills he co-authored. (You can look at his bills here.)
Their bill seeks to amend the right of citizens to hold peaceful assembly – a right guaranteed by the Constitution. At present, Article 131 of the Revised Penal Code even imposes a short jail sentence on any public officer or employee who interrupts or disperses such assemblies.
Ironically, the Arroyo amendment – which consists of inserting this one long sentence below – will dramatically curtail this right to peaceful assembly.
The Arroyo proposed amendment states that:
Actually, the Arroyos don’t really need this law because they live inside gated private enclaves. Of course if their neighbors rally in front of their gates that’s another matter.
It’s their allies, like Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who will need this law.
By the way, sidewalks and streets are considered public property unless these are inside private subdivisions like La Vista where Mrs. Arroyo and Mikey Arroyo live.
Don’t be too sure this measure won’t pass. There are many congressmen who would try to sneak this into quiet approval because they, too, will benefit from such a law.
Click on the link below to read the proposed law or download it. Happy reading!
Proposed law banning rallyists in front of the Arroyo mansions (PDF)