FREEDOM WARRIORS CONTINUE TO DELAY ENACTMENT OF SB 1869
CCH On-The-Ground Report for Days 4-6 of the Senate Protests,
May 15 to 17, 2023
From twenty five (25) to one hundred (100) Freedom Warriors, demonstrating for three straight days at the Senate, successfully delayed the passage of SB1869 into law. They succeeded despite significant external and internal obstacles hurled against them. (See video here and here.). Their success in Week 2 followed on the heels of their significant victory in Week 1.
For the purpose of these reports, we count Week 1 as beginning from May 8, 2023, the day the Senate reconvened after their recess.
Freedom Warriors at the Senate vow to continue to battle to the legal end. No retreat, no surrender.
Senate and Police Harassments
Week 2 saw increasing hostility and harassments from the Senate itself. Per instruction of the Senate President himself via its Senate Sergeant at Arms (SSA), the Pasay Police force and the Senate Security made two attempts to harass and disperse the tents of the protestors at the Freedom Park in front of the Senate. See video referred to above.
The protestors were not intimidated. They argued and resisted until the protestors convinced the police and senate security, in continuous dialogue, to stop their harassments of the protestors.
The Senate security cited potential threats to the Senate power plant which was situated near the tents of the Freedom Fighters. The security force also admitted that the Senators and their staff were getting intimidated by the loud protests that greeted them as they exited out of the Senate gate.
As a result of their second concern, the police also placed barricades to prevent protesters from placing themselves clearly within the view of exiting Senators and their staff. This attempt to curtail the impact of the protest failed as Senate insiders increasingly became paranoid that protestors may become violent towards them.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth as our protests were always peaceful! And these peaceful protests started to impact Senators as can seen by their increasingly desperate measures to suppress the presence of protestors.
Disinformation Agents Infiltrate Ranks of Digital Freedom Fighters
As for internal challenges, some of the leaders of the Freedom Fighters were the targets of disinformation campaigns launched against them in social media. Yet, none of the accusations turned out to be true. This clearly was an attempt to dissuade other concerned Filipinos from joining the protests. Read more about this here.
In addition, disinformation agents released fake news spreading the lie that the Senate had already passed SB 1869 into law, with a vote of 24 Senators in favor of the bill. Depressing, right? But only if it is true. Read more details about this here.
It is clear from these developments that intelligence operatives have infiltrated the social media group chats. They are using fake news to sow doubt and distrust among Freedom Warriors.
Healing Behind the Scenes
While the information and advocacy war rages with the Senate and its agents of disruption, outside and inside, significant healing of rifts among Freedom Warriors were also quietly taking place in the background. People who have not spoken with each other for months, even years, have patched up differences.
They all understand that SB 1869 is the greatest threat to our health, truth, freedoms, and democracy. Therefore, it is important to set aside tactical and strategic differences among the resistance in order to focus all energies in the defeat of SB 1869. They fully know that the opposing side will use divide and conquer tactics to obtain their victory. This must be avoided.
In this regard, it was brought up publicly in the protest that people who call for unity should walk their talk. If they want unity, they should show up at the protest rallies and practice what they preach. Otherwise, they will start sounding empty, hollow, contradictory and unpersuasive.
Formation of Coordinating Group
As a step in a similar direction, Freedom Warriors realized that part of the problem with the police and Senate security was that the protestors were sending different messages as different leaders were independently speaking with the police and the security guards. They therefore formalized the formation of a temporary Coordinating Group among Freedom Warriors tasked with handling dialogues with the police and security forces of the Senate.
The spontaneous assembly of Freedom Fighters then appointed one among this Coordinating Group to become the Coordinator of the former group. In this way, lines of representation and functions became clear. CCH facilitated this organizing process which was quite volatile and heated at times. But in the end, significant agreements were reached.
The following day (Thursday of Week 2), this Group, minus one member who did not show up, managed to have a productive dialogue with the policy and the security of the Senate. This has led to significantly reduced tensions between the protestors and the police and security forces. Those who slept at the Senate grounds were no longer threatened with dispersion.
By all means Legal
On May 16, one of the speakers mentioned that enactment of SB1869 would lead to civil war There were negative reactions to that statement. CCH therefore approached the speaker concerned and explained that the priority means of Freedom Warriors to achieve their ends were through legal means. Several more legal steps can be done if Senators approved SB1869, And these legal steps will be discussed and tweaked according to the emerging situation.
Protests are having an Impact!
These developments clearly indicate that the protests are having an impact. Instead of having a dialogue with the Freedom Warriors, the Senate is unleashing totalitarian measures to harass the Freedom Warriors.
These unprofessional moves, including infiltrating and spreading fake news in the social media networks of those protesting against SB 1869, can only backfire on them. Meanwhile, digital Freedom Fighters should be wary of negative news. They should immediately research the truth for themselves and come to their own conclusions.
No Retreat, No Surrender. Legal Resistance to the End
Meanwhile, Freedom Fighters have vowed that they will neither retreat nor surrender. They will resist legally to the end in order to defend the people’s health and freedoms as well as the country’s democracy.
2 thoughts on “FREEDOM WARRIORS CONTINUE TO DELAY ENACTMENT OF SB 1869 ”
Keep on fighting Sir Nicanor Perlas and all freedom fighters. The Filipinos need you more than ever. God knows your heart. May God protect you from all evil.
Millions of thanks to all Freedom Warriors! We admire your doing fighting against the passage of that horrible HB1869! MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU IN GOOD HEALTH!