Militants call Cybercrime Act as ‘repressive’

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


A MILITANT group reiterated on Tuesday that the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is considered as repressive.

"Again, this is a violation of freedom of speech and privacy," Sheena Duazo, spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Southern Mindanao, said.

The Supreme Court (SC) has declared constitutional the major provisions of the Anti-Cybercrime Act, including penalizing Internet Libel.

This means the authorities can now implement the law.

Lawyer Fatima Irene Adin, convenor of Pagbabago! People's Movement for Change-Davao, echoed the same sentiment with Duazo, opposing the declaration of the SC.

"We, in Pagbabago Movement for Change, still consider the said act as Repressive. Its major provisions necessarily restraints several rights of the netizens, such as the freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It may even be used to violate netizens of their right to privacy," Adin said.

Stricken off the Republic Act 10175 were section 4(c)(3) regarding prohibition on transmission of commercial electronic communication to advertise, sell or offer products and services; section 5, which lists "aiding or abetting in the commission of cybercrime" such as child pornography and Internet libel as an additional offense; and section 12 or the real time collection of data.

Section 19, where the Department of Justice (DOJ) can take down websites that it suspects -- upon initial observation -- to be violating the law without court order, was also declared unconstitutional, said SC spokesperson Theodore Te in a press briefing.

Journalists and bloggers had opposed prosecution for online libel (Section 4(c) (4)), saying the provision is an attack to freedom of speech and violation of due process and double jeopardy principle, where a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice. (With report from Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 19, 2014.

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