Sheena Duazo, secretary general of Bayan-Southern Mindanao said, they are calling for the junking of the whole law because provisions already exist in our Constitution. The law only broadens the scope of libel.
BY MARILOU AGUIRRE-TUBURAN
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Seven petitions were filed against the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 but the Supreme Court, in an en banc session Tuesday, did not grant the Temporary Restraining Order saying, the petitions are still up for further study.
The law’s most controversial provision is the libel clause allegedly inserted by Senator Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III. But, he denied the allegation despite the January 24, 2012 Senate Journal which indicated him inserting the controversial rider.
But militants here are not just opposing some provisions.
Sheena Duazo, secretary general of Bayan-Southern Mindanao said, they are calling for the junking of the whole law because provisions already exist in our Constitution. The law only broadens the scope of libel, she said.
“The main purpose of cybercrime law is to repress critics, conscious or not, of the Aquino administration,” she said, adding that its passage is “planned” based on the dictates of the US government.
Cyberspace has been a significant tool in disseminating information. It’s proven influential in raising consciousness and even mobilizing the people against any form of tyranny and oppression around the globe from the Arab Spring in North Africa and the Middle East, to the mass movements versus austerity measures in Europe and the Occupy Movement in the United States.
“This is not just merely filing libel against cyberusers. It is to totally silence the critics of this government, especially with the upcoming elections,” she pointed out.
Suazo furthered that Aquino is “pikon nga Presidente,” that, he can’t take constructive criticisms, to the point of dictating the media on what and what not to report about his government.
“We call all netizens and citizens to heighten the militancy versus the draconian cybercrime law,” urged Cherry Orendain, spokesperson of the youth group Anakbayan.
Critics of this newly implemented Law vowed to continue their “black protest” online and in the streets, until it’s fully junked by the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Sen. Francis Escudero filed Senate Bill 3288 which seeks to repeal Cybercrime Prevention Act’s provision on online libel.
Makabayan Coalition senatorial bet Teddy Casiño and Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino also filed House Bill 6613 or the Alternative Internet Access Bill.
In the bill’s explanatory note, Casiño and Palatino noted that the bill will have a “chilling impact” on bloggers, online journalists, advocacy groups and normal netizens, as any website can be shut down through accusations of infringement, without due process.
“The passage of the law, poses serious threats to internet freedom, the right to privacy and other essential civil liberties including the freedom of speech, expression, and the press. The insertion of provision regarding online libel and vague sections on data collection and sanctions is essentially an online censorship law,” the militant lawmakers noted. (Marilou Aguirre Tuburan/davaotoday.com)World