Tuesday, May 30, 2006
MILITANT groups in the city on Saturday challenged Church leaders and ‘‘intellectuals ’’in northern Mindanao to join them in asking the Supreme Court to reverse its previous decision on the ‘‘unified multi-purpose identification system," saying the scheme would result in violation of citizens’ rights.
Ryan Guerrero of the local Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said the ID system would become another form of harassment.
During the rally near the capitol, activists sharply criticized President Arroyo’s Executive Order 420, calling it ‘‘anti-people’’ and the ‘‘handiwork’’ of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales.
The ID system, according to Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran’s daughter Oda, would allow the state to spy on citizens suspected of being the government’s enemies.
The KMU and other militant groups said they would launch an information campaign aimed at telling people in the region about the dangers of the planned ID system.
They maintained that EO 420 is the same as Administrative Order 308, which was issued in 1996 by then president Fidel Ramos. The administrative order was an attempt to set up a national computerized identification reference system.
The High Court invalidated AO 308 on the grounds that "a national ID card system requires legislation because it creates a new national data collection and card issuance system where none existed before."
"People are really tired on the government’s position on the right of the people to live in a democratic country like the Philippines," said Guerrero.
Beltran’s daughter Oda said Arroyo’s executive order was tantamount to usurpation of legislative powers.
Guerrero called on Cchurch leaders in Cagayan de Oro and elsewhere in the region to openly criticize the proposed ID system for the sake of citizens whose right to privacy would likely be violated.
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