Editorial: Temporary victory-A A +A
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
SO THE Supreme Court voted unanimously to grant a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Protection Law. One cheer!
We just hope that the justices voted not because that is how they perceive the public expects them to, but because they are in better grasp of what is really wrong with the law. That said, the SC should now take the next step, to take down the law and to rule that any such law forwarded to the Legislature will have to pass scrutiny and in consultation with the people.
Borrowing from Human Rights Watch Asia Director Brad Adams on the TRO, “Congress, if it still wants to have a law governing online activity, should ensure that such a law will not infringe on civil liberties, human rights, the Constitution and the Philippines’s obligations under international law. All provisions in Philippine law that allow for imprisonment for peaceful expression should be repealed. Congress should also ensure that any discussion on proposed laws be done in a transparent manner.”
But more than that, we should remember the lessons in this experience: That there is power in numbers; that our unified voices can drown out all lame excuses lawmakers can think of, and yes, that no matter how these same politicians try to backpaddle, it remains a fact that only Senator TG Guingona voted against the approval of the law.
That should guide us on whom to believe and whom to listen to with reservation once they are out there soliciting our votes for the 2013 elections.
They’ve tried to deprive us of a basic right, we should never forget that. It should already be enough that until now, our elected legislators have opted not to act on an enabling law to allow us to enjoy our Freedom of Information, we should not allow them to continue to rule over us while plotting ways to deprive us of even more rights that are supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 10, 2012.