KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS : Cybercrime Law challenged at SC PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:39

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised…” (Hebrews 10:35-36, the Holy Bible).
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RA 10175 NOW FACING CHALLENGE AT THE SC: The constitutionality of Republic Act 10175, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Law, is now directly challenged before the Supreme Court, with the filing of a petition by a group of newsmen and other advocacy groups last Monday, September 24, 2012.
The petition is seeking a temporary restraining order against the implementation of the law.

Particularly challenged in the case, docketed as G.R. No. 203306, are three provisions of the law: Section 4 ( c ) 4, dealing with “cyber libel”, Section 4 ( c ) 3, dealing with “unsolicited advertisement”, and Section 6, dealing with the applicability of RA 10175 on all other crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code.

Among those who filed the petition were journalist-lawyer Toto Causing and editor-publisher Jerry Yap. Joining them are advocacy groups Alab ng Mamamahayag (which is seeking accreditation as a party list) and Hukuman ng Mamamayan (which is seeking the adoption of the jury system of trying cases in the Philippines). Named as respondents were the Office of the President through President Aquino, the Senate of the Philippines, and the House of Representatives.
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RA 10175 CONTAINS CONTROVERSIAL PROVISIONS: Here are some parts of the petition: “This petition is of transcendental importance because it involves oversweeping and highly controversial provisions of Republic Act 10175, recently passed by Congress—consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives—and signed into law on September 12, 2012 by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

“One of these provisions is one loosely called cyber libel that is Section 4 ( c ) (4)… Another provision is `unsolicited advertisement’ that is Section 4 ( c ) (3)… Another provision that is too encompassing too vague is Section 6…

“The petition is transcendental because the subject matters—online libel, unsolicited advertisement and the sweeping provisions upgrading the penalties for crimes under the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws committed by the use of the Internet—will affect the lives of Filipinos…
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CYBERCRIME LAW CURTAILS FREEDOMS: The petition also noted that the objectives of the State in coming up with the cybercrime law, particularly in safeguarding the integrity of computer systems, networks and databases and the confidentiality and integrity of communication, do not warrant the curtailment of the citizens’ rights to free expression, free speech, liberty, and free press.

“For sure, no matter how scathing the remarks or opinions that maybe posted on Facebook, twitted on Twitter, or posted on blog sites, through videos, graphics or text, they can never ever affect the (computers’) efficiency, its hardware or software,” the petition explained.

“For sure, no matter the libel, no matter the `unsolicited advertisement’, and no matter the exercise of the rights involved in any of the crimes under the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws, all the existing computer systems will function efficiently or defectively, independently of how those fundamental rights are exercised,” the petition said.
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REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193 or 0922 833 43 96. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com.