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My sister just recently found out that the noisy frogs next door are doing a mating call.
Sister: Do you know why the bullfrogs are so noisy? It's because they want a female girl!
Sister: ... female frog!
Me: That must be how the story of "the Princess and the Frog" came about.
October 3, 2012. Today, RA 10175: The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, but most commonly called as Cybercrime Law, begins its reign in the Philippines.
My issues with this issue has nothing to do with the fear of getting sued and going to jail because of something you did online. My issues are…
1. The fact that you CAN get sued and go to jail JUST BECAUSE you exercised your freedom of speech online. This is in violation of our constitution and rights.
“The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular the freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice.” - United Nations
2. The amount of time it took to get this bill passed as a law. I’m not well researched about this part, but I read that the bill was drafted earlier this year and was passed into law on September of the same year.
… while a promising RH Bill has yet to be passed years after it was first drafted.
3. The vagueness of the law, specifically with the part about libel.
Sen. Guingona explains, “Without a clear definition of the crime of libel and the persons liable, virtually any person now can be charged with a crime — even if you just retweet or share any updates or posts containing criticisms.”
UP College of Law Professor, Atty. JJ Disni explains another situation in which the law’s vagueness woud come to play
In an InterAksyon.com article written by Patrick Villavicencio, University of the Philippines College of Law Professor Atty. JJ Disini said that under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 the so-called “victims” and their lawyers “could argue in court that old libelous posts [that are] still live today can be charged with online libel.” The report further quoted Disini, who explained, “Kasi pwede nilang sabihin na (Because it could mean) by keeping it there today, you’re still publishing it now. So if you’re still publishing it after the law took effect, then you’re liable for its publication today.” (taken from spot.ph)
It boggles me how a bill with such vague provisions was quickly passed into law.
4. You can get imprisoned for 12 years if found guilty of acts against this law (i.e. expressing your thoughts and opinions, which are interpreted as libelous).
… while rapists only get sentenced to 3 years in prison.
5. Allocating P50 million from the government funds, annually, just to implement the act. That’s 50 million pesos worth of taxpayers’ money, which could be used for much better purposes, such as education, housing, feeding programs, and health care!
I don’t know what I could do in order to get this law abolished or at least amended. I’m just posting my thoughts online to somehow educate others, Filipinos and everyone else around the world, about this issue happening in the Philippines, in hopes that someone out there would have a solution to this and also so that those riding the bandwagon of black photos and #notocybercrimelaw posts, without understanding the issue, would be informed about the trend they’re following. So, sue me for trying to exercise my freedom of expression…
“…I’m going to say what I want to say, as long as I know that I’m RIGHT.” - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago