NPC joins SC fight vs. libel PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 14:55



LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just…” (Proverbs 37:30, the Holy Bible).

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NPC JOINS SC FIGHT VS. LIBEL: I yield this column to Mr. Joel Maguiza Sy Egco, the president of the National Press Club: “Through the efforts of Atty. Melanio Batas Mauricio, Jr., the National Press Club represented by yours truly will appear as amicus curae or as an intervenor in a separate libel case, petitioning among others to decriminalize libel based on international law and for the said libel law to be declared as utterly unconstitutional.

“As to be petitioned, the right to free speech and free press are guaranteed both by the Constitution and, considering the Constitution’s adoption of international agreements as being part of the laws of the land and since our existing libel laws are violative of the Constitution and of these international agreements, it is to be considered as `outlaws which should be slain at sight; and should not be given effect at any point in time.

“We will appeal the Supreme Court (yes! the SC) to declare the Revised Penal Code provisions on libel as Constitutionally-offensive and, therefore, should be set aside or nullified and declared without force and effect and, the international treatises or agreements entered into by the Philippines on libel and on the freedoms of the press and free speech be declared to have force and effect in the Philippines and must be complied with.

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INT’L LAWS VS. LIBEL APPLICABLE IN RP: “Under Art. III of the 1987 Constitution, the rights to free press and to free speech are guaranteed in this manner: Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

“Art. II of the 1987 Constitution recognizes treaties and other international agreements where the Philippines is a signatory, and adopts these treaties and international agreements as part of the law of the land, thus:

“Section 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.

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“WE’VE BEEN HAD”: “Among these treaties and international agreements is Paragraph 3, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides as follows:

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

“The principal ground upon which we seek this ruling is that the law of libel is unconstitutional; that the right to free speech and free press are guaranteed both by the Constitution and the Constitution’s adoption of international agreements as being part of the laws of the land.

“P.S. I was charged for libel for writing a series about `defective’ UH-1D helicopters that were bought at a discount (kuno) by the DND. One of the seven (7) choppers `accepted’ by unscrupulous DND officials’ minions at the Air Force crashed only recently and almost killed 9 soldiers. It happened just seven months after we exposed this anomaly. What other proof should we ask for? We’ve been had!”

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