Aquino urged to certify as urgent bills amending Cybercrime Law-A A +A
Monday, January 14, 2013
A PARTY-LIST lawmaker on Monday reiterated his call to the Aquino administration to certify as urgent pending bills that would amend Republic Act (RA) 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
The appeal of Akbayan party-list Representative Walden Bello came a week before Congress resumes session. The present 15th Congress will only have nine session days to tackle pending bills and resolutions before it goes again on a break for the election period.
House Bill 6630 filed by Bello seeks to amend RA 10175 by repealing the “haphazard” provision on libel and by mandating the procurement of a Court Warrant prior to any act of the state to collect, seize, disclose or restrict access to data on the internet.
The party-list group, an ally of the administration, had also formally requested Malacanang to certify the measure urgent early October 2012.
“President Aquino must join the people in celebrating the internet as a platform of genuine democracy. It is not too late for him to change his position on the Cybercrime Prevention Act and join us in amending its infirmities,” Bello said.
After the concerned committee approves the bill and forwards it to the plenary, it can be voted upon by House members on second and third reading on the same day.
“The popular clamor against it has not waned, and continues, in fact, to gain strength. President Aquino must respond to the call of the people, and publicly recognize the mistakes of the law by supporting efforts to amend it,” Bello said.
For Bello, it is crucial that the Administration understands that RA 10175 can do more harm than good, that because of “unfounded fears” of “too much freedom,” the law effectively prohibits the ultimate expression of democracy.
“The administration should not fear the freedom that the Internet offers the people. Instead, it should celebrate the internet as the “great equalizer” that allows ordinary Filipinos to participate in the debate and discourse alongside the politically influential and wealthy,” Bello added.(Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)