Women’s partylist group Gabriela today slammed proposals to implement a national ID system, dismissing the move of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as an attempt to steer the country towards a police state.
“A national ID system is a repressive mechanism for the creation of dossiers, the intrusion into private lives, violation into our freedom of movement and extensive surveillance. With the Human Security Act, this completes the ingredients of a police state,” said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Maza.
The Gabriela solon also said the revival of the proposal will not fare well among international human rights bodies which have long criticized the Philippines for its human rights record.
Aside from the reports filed by Amnesty International and UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston, Privacy International, a human rights watchdog on surveillance and privacy invasions by governments and corporations based in London, has already classified the Philippines as among countries with extensive surveillance and leading in bad practice in terms of privacy enforcement, law enforcement access and communication interception.
“The PI report released December 28, 2007 specifically raises concern on the Philippine government’s plans to revive the ID system despite constitutional protections and Supreme Court rulings,” noted Maza.
According to Maza the AFP’s revival of the proposed ID system can also be seen as the AFP chief General Hermogenes Esperon’s attempt at saber rattling to bolster his bid for term extension.
“We must not be fooled by this proposal’s promises of efficiency in the delivery of basic services, when this government does not even have sufficient resources or a clear cut policy to even provide health, education and housing in the first place. This has been our experience with the GSIS E-Card and the COMELEC voters’ IDs to mention a few. The intent of this proposal is clear, it is military rule.”#