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Today, October 3, 2012, The Philippine Cybercrime Law of 2012 goes into effect.

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The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines

Article III: BILL OF RIGHTS

Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

This past month has left me so speechless that I didn\’t know what to say on this blog. It\’s really so utterly and ridiculously overwhelming to the extreme. As an artist, this law has a long reaching effect on me and the way I wish to express myself in my art and my work. Indeed, this issue is probably the biggest danger to my identity and my freedom as an artist.

Allow me to say first that I believe there is need for a law like this. As a victim of cyber-bullying myself, I do clearly see the need for it. You guys have no idea the amount of hate that I get not only on this blog, but also on You Tube and on my personal email. Try uploading a video on You Tube. If it gets a moderately large amount of views, you will be witness to the most despicable, most hateful kind of human being on this earth. A Cybercrime Law is needed, but as it is now, it is grievously flawed and needs to be amended. AND QUICKLY.

I believe that this law, specifically the provision on libel, is a heavy handed approach to this problem. The most guilty of haters online, those who really strike below the belt are for the most part, anonymous. But of course, they\’re cowards. They don\’t want to be responsible for what they say so they HIDE. What use is the Cybercrime Law against people when you don\’t even know who they are?

Those people who do put their real names out there, those who do stick out their necks and take responsibility for whatever they say are the ones who actually do have something legitimate to say, and they are the ones who will be hit the hardest.

Another aspect of this law that I find detestable is the provision on \”cybersex\”. What two or more consenting adults do in the privacy of their computers and homes is none of anyone\’s and specially none of the government\’s business. It is interesting that Senator Manny Villar is one of the signatories of this law, who previously tried to pass an Anti-Obscenity Law that tried to criminalize depiction of nudity \”regardless of the author\’s intent\”. I wrote more about this here.

It is detestable that they treat adult Filipinos as children who cannot think for themselves and should have \”moral guardians\” like them. It is insulting, and it is degrading.

Because of this, I will not forget everyone who were part of making this law possible. The following individuals are as follows:

Sen. Ed Angara
Sen. Tito Sotto
Sen. Bong Revilla
Sen. Manny Villar
Sen. Lito Lapid
Sen. Koko Pimentel
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada
Sen. Loren Legarda
Sen. Chiz Escudero
Sen. Ping Lacson
Sen. Gringo Honasan
Sen. Pia Cayetano
Sen. Bongbong Marcos
Sen. Ralph Recto

I\’m willing to give Chiz Escudero the benefit of the doubt for he admitted that the law was a mistake. What he does to rectify it remains to be seen. This is true for any other senator on this list who realizes the mistake they have made and take steps to rectify it. I\’ll be waiting.

But as for the rest, I WILL NOT VOTE FOR YOU EVER AGAIN. Don\’t you ever come to me, smiling, offering your hand to me asking for votes because you will not have it. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE IT.

FORBES.COM: The Philippines Passes a Cybercrime Prevention Act that Makes SOPA Look Reasonable
http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/10/02/the-philippines-passes-the-cybercrime-prevention-act-that-makes-sopa-look-reasonable/

Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J. Philippine Daily Inquirer: What’s frightening about the cybercrime law?
http://opinion.inquirer.net/37820/whats-frightening-about-the-cybercrime-law

Cybercrime, Data Privacy Acts a double blow on netizens-Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)
http://pcij.org/blog/2012/09/28/cybercrime-data-privacy-acts-a-double-blow-for-netizens

ANALYSIS | The Cybercrime Law and how it affects your freedom of expression
http://www.interaksyon.com/infotech/analysis-the-cybercrime-law-and-how-it-affects-your-freedom-of-expression

Digital Martial Law: 10 scary things about the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/276434/scitech/socialmedia/digital-martial-law-10-scary-things-about-the-cybercrime-prevention-act-of-2012

Compelling Commentary on the issue, written by Yvette Tan
http://www.wheninmanila.com/cybercrime-law-limits-freedom-of-speech-and-sets-philippines-back-to-the-martial-law-years/#

UPDATE!

Apparently, Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima has stated that there\’s ‘Nothing unconstitutional with Cybercrime Prevention Act’ in this news article from the Inquirer.

Well, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights apparently disagrees with her:

MANILA, Philippines – In a landmark decision just recently released, the United Nation Human Rights Commission says Philippine laws criminalizing libel is \”incompatible with Article 19, paragraph three of the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights (ICCPR)\”, or freedom of expression.
Read more here:
http://www.interaksyon.com/article/23051/unhrc-philippine-criminal-libel-law-violates-freedom-of-expression

Comments

5 Responses to “A Black Day for Philippine Democracy (UPDATED)”

  1. Molly on October 3rd, 2012 9:44 am

    Sir, I believe some of the other senators were in charge of the other parts of the bill. The inclusion of libel was not part of what they signed or they missed it out completely mainly because they were probably rushing to pass it. Apart from Escudero, Pia Cayetano said in her twitter account that she will help revise or repeal the bill. I hope she and the other senators really do.

  2. Charles Tan on October 3rd, 2012 10:07 am

    Hi Gerry,

    I just want to add Senator Edgardo Angara, who is the author of the Bill itself.

    Molly,

    I won’t dictate to you your politics, but I just want to point out that there are other aspects of the Bill which are problematic, and not just the libel part.

  3. JM Lee on October 4th, 2012 9:27 pm

    Talagang walang magawang magaling ang mga politikong iyan, nakakainis na. Paurong na naman itong bagay na ito. Dapat silang umalis na lang sa Pilipinas at tumira sa IRAN. Doon lahat ng paurong na mga utak nila ay swak na swak.

    Kaya nga ang mga botante, mag-isip bago bumoto ng isang kandidato. Huwag ilagay sa puwesto ang mga pulpol at paurong ang mga isipan. Puro na lang kapalpakan. Lagyan na lang nilang lahat ng busal ang mga Pilipino, takpan ang mga mata, pasakan ang mga tenga para lahat ay maging: BULAG, PIPI AT BINGI (with apologies to Freddie Aguilar).

    Ang ganitong mga bagay ang talagang nakaka-discourage sa akin na bumalik sa RP. Mapepeste ka lang sa mga ewan kung ano’ng klaseng mentalidad mayroon ang mga gumagawa ng batas diyan.

  4. AJ Bernardo on October 8th, 2012 12:13 am

    Medyo napahamak ako sa isa sa mga links dito. Medyo napaghalo ng isang interpretasyon ang SEC 15 at 19. Best resource pa rin talaga ang original text: http://www.gov.ph/2012/09/12/republic-act-no-10175/

  5. Benedict Punzalan on October 17th, 2012 10:27 pm

    Baka my provisions dn yata para sa mga cyberpolice….
    with cyberpistols?..ha ha…