Did Philippine lawmakers pass the Philippine Cybercrime Prevention law without reading it?

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There is a rumor going around that “sharing content, or even just clicking the ‘Like’ button on Facebook, may be grounds for libel under the recently enacted Cybercrime Prevention Act”. That is the most ridiculous interpretation of the law I have ever heard. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that it was a Senator, Teofisto Guingona III, who made the suggestion. He seems to think that Netizens should now think twice about even clicking the “like” button lest they be the subject of a libel suit.

“The law is very broad,” Guingona, who opposes the new law, said.

“If you click like, you can be sued, and if you share, and continuously re-share information, you can also be sued. Saka sino ang liable? Hindi klaro eh. ”˜Yung original na nag-post? ”˜Yung nag-share? ”˜Yung nag-tweet? Kahit nga ikaw, mag-post ka ng simpleng ”˜hehehe’ di ba? Ibig sabihin nu’n, sangayon ka (And who is liable? It isn’t clear. The one who made the original post? The ones who share? The ones who tweet. Even you, if you post a simple, ”˜hehehe,’ right? Does that mean you agree)? Are you liable? So, napakalawak eh.”

The Cybercrime Prevention law is for onion-skinned crybabies.
I don’t know how he came up with such a notion but perhaps Senator Guingona III simply wants to exaggerate his point about the vagueness of the Cybercrime law just to attract attention. For someone who strongly opposes the newly minted Cybercrime law, Senator Guingona is also scaring people and adding to “the chilling effect” on the speech of others. If he really wanted people to rally behind him in protesting against the new law, he is doing a bad job at convincing people to speak up. He is actually adding to the confusion created by people who are making a lot of white noise about the said law.

Guingona has filed a petition to the Supreme Court to declare void “questionable” provisions of the law that he says, “infringe on freedom of speech and expression”. But he should not use scaremongering tactics just to drive a point. All he needs to do is stick to facts. If the Cybercrime law violates individual rights, he just needs to focus on that. There’s no need to highlight something that is not there.

Scaring people is not helping the situation because ordinary Filipinos who do not know how to interpret the law will automatically believe what people like Guingona say in news conferences. Ordinary folks will not even bother to analyze for example that his statement is not a fact but simply his own interpretation.

Unfortunately, Guingona’s statement is already making the rounds on social networking sites. People are passing it around as if the law actually state that “sharing content, or even just clicking the “like” button” could be grounds for libel”. Frankly, Senator Guingona’s statement is equivalent to old wives’ tales such as going permanently cross-eyed when the wind blows on your face while you are mimicking a cross-eyed person. Yes, similar to old-wives tales, irrational interpretations or explanations get passed around from one person to the next or worse, from generation to generation obviously because people believe it without analyzing if the statement is true or not. The provision on libel does not even mention Facebook or the like button:

4) Libel — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other means which may be devised in the future.

Part of the confusion could be that most Filipinos do not really understand what libel means or what is considered libelous. Criticizing public servants is certainly not libelous but writing false information about them is. The problem is, in a society where critical thinking is discouraged, Filipinos do not even bother to try and understand things on their own.

In the Philippines, the majority quickly shuns anyone who they perceive is thinking outside of the square. That is part of the reason why most would rather not speak up lest they stand out from the crowd. Sadly, that mentality coupled now with the fear of being imprisoned for libel is a guarantee that Filipinos will not be discussing issues that plague the country. If Filipinos were scared of criticizing their public officials then, they must be terrified now. This could be what President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino must have been counting on all along when he signed the bill into law. The President could be successful in keeping the status quo, indeed.

Surprisingly, while some of President BS Aquino’s vocal supporters condemn the Cybercrime law, they can’t seem to put the blame on him even though he was the one who signed it. They are saying that the President may have been “ill-advised” when he agreed to sign it into a law. It seems to me that even in the face of mounting evidence showing the President’s violation of individual rights, his supporters are not willing to admit that they have made a mistake in putting him in power. They cannot accept that President BS Aquino has to take accountability for his actions whether or not he got “ill-advise” from his people.

A lawmaker who did not read a law he voted for
Speaking of mistakes, another Senator did not seem to use his head when he voted for the passing of the Cybercrime law in Congress. Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has reportedly admitted that “it was a “personal oversight” that the clause including libel among the crimes punishable under the new law was inserted in the committee report when the Senate voted for its passage”. One has to ask, how in the world could something like an entire section of a law he voted for slip under his radar? It’s really amazing how the country’s public servants make a mockery out of the Constitution. It’s like they don’t even deliberate on these things before voting.

Senator Escudero realized too late the irony in what he did

He said the provision contradicts his position as a principal author of Senate Bill 2162, which seeks to decriminalize libel on the grounds that “a strong media could give great service to the Filipino people in providing an effective mechanism of complete and fearless transparency over the excesses of government in the exercise of its powers and prerogatives.”

One just has to ask again, what the heck happened there?!? How could Senator Escudero not notice that the provision on libel in the new law contradicts his own bill? Could it be that the author of the Cybercrime bill pulled a fast one on the rest of the members of congress? It is becoming apparent that Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III introduced the provision on libel without the knowledge of the other Senators. In another interview, Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, someone who has been ridiculed by Netizens for allegedly plagiarizing a blogger’s work, admitted to introducing the provision to include all crimes under the Revised Penal Code, including libel, in the new law.

A lot of people are saying that it was Senator Sotto’s ultimate revenge for what he thought was “bullying” by the Netizens. Nevertheless, how could Senators like Escudero allow what looks like a personal vendetta pass into a law? Now Senator Escudero is working on having the libel provision repealed. These senators seem to love wasting people’s time and money. They would pass bad laws and then file a petition to reverse it.

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71 Comments on “Did Philippine lawmakers pass the Philippine Cybercrime Prevention law without reading it?”

  1. How many Filipino voters vote for our highest ranking officials and consider the attributes of attention to detail and accountability? Based on what you say Ilda or at least how I read it those two things were lacking here. Then we are just getting what we deserve since the typical voter values other things when casting their vote.

    1. @Gogs

      It seems they don’t pay attention to details at all. They just go with the flow. And then regret it after learning about the consequences of their actions.

  2. In September 2012 the state created Sky-net. The rise of the machines against the humans, their rights and freedoms is at hand. Sky-net’s primary command directive is to control, regulate and censor cyberspace; to GAG, strike fear and suppress free human thought. There can be no opinion and expression under Sky-net. The terminators of freedom will try to do their worst.

    Sky-net may be vague to human view as it is also subject to extended interpretation by the half-human, half machine T-101’s. The IRR prompt of Sky-net could also be constructed to favor state/political abuse without regard to the rights of humankind. This has to be watched to safeguard the freedoms and rights of humankind.

    Let John Connor live in our hearts and minds! Judgement day is coming! The terminators of freedom and their collective tyranny shall never prevail! For as long as freedom lives human victory is assured!

    1. @ Thomas J.

      In reference to your half human…half machine info, I believe the advances in todays technology particularly the “H+” or “transhumanism” happening within this decade is truly frightening. Imagine people as portrayed in the movie “Bourne Legacy” being able to climb on buildings and jumping down from the roof witnout getting hurt is mindboggling, extending human life, bringing the dead back to life and creating “Chimera’s”, half human-half animal is what’s going on in countries with advance technologies.

      The laws of GOD is being trampled upon by the luciferians. scientists.

      1. @LA702

        How is jumping off a roof and not getting hurt “trampling the laws of God”? If you are not aware of the activity, it is called parkour. It just dependent on how you fall and transfer the momentum or force of the fall itself.

        Advances to better man’s physical state can be viewed as a good thing. Are you aware of studies wherein a paraplegic is able to walk through an exoskeleton? This study first started out for military application because of all the gear they needed to carry until such a point they realized it could be used as well to help to walk those who are unable to because of sickness or injury.

        How about advances in technology that allow those who can’t speak be able to communicate through the use of technology? Is that so wrong?

        I think it is extreme when you speak of Chimeras though as that is gene splicing. Maybe that I would agree with you as going beyond what is ethical and not. But the other examples I stated I do not think they are trampling anything but only uplifting life and promoting it.

        1. @LA402

          Yes I did. You gave a lot of statements on the first paragraph which stated the examples and then on the second paragraph made your closing statement which I believe summarized your point.

      2. Sky-net and the rise of the machines is not just about human freedoms and rights. It is not only about checks and balances and principles of law.It is also about the beginnings of tyranny. The enslavement of the human mind.

        Sky-net is all about controlling human netizens to conform to its restrictive parameters. The terminators of freedom attack the freedom of the mind. They shackle it with the chains of fear and tyranny. But what is the greater good?

        There is nothing more odious than to destroy the free ideas of the mind, the noble ideals it creates and its ability to soar to unparalleled heights above that of mindless machines programmed to obey the bidding of Sky-net. Free humans have the advantage over the terminators of freedom. Their free minds are above and beyond that of programmed machines.

  3. With the elections just round the corner, this should be all about the votes. Vote from netizens who are unaware of these two senator’s pretending to be against a law that they themselves crafted. ‘Sa ma.ilad lang,’ cebuanos would say. One would be foolish to fall for these two guys story.

    1. @Jay

      That could be the case as well. It looks like some are just reacting to the outrage. They probably want to be heard because they are up for re-election.

  4. Cybercrime laws are generally universal with perhaps a few changes to adapt to local circumstances. The lawmakers have probably seen the contents even before the law was passed. No big deal.

    1. I think it is a big deal in the sense of what is then considered as a crime legally speaking.

      To be charged with a supposed crime (even if later on proven without merit) will tie you up in court proceedings and corresponding fees and expenses to basically defend yourself.

      If it is in fact extending to simple tweets/retweets, liking and/or commenting, which it appears it does, then that is just too broad and vague which shouldn’t be the case.

      Think about this, the old Building Code of the Philippines provided a small legal loophole for Civil Engineers to contest and make it “legal” for them to practice architecture. As such, it necessitated the creation of the Architecture Law of the Philippines. Up to now, they are still contesting their right to practice architecture even with the new law and it is still “up in the air” because of delayed implementation of various rulings in courts and appeals.

      The old building code technically did not specifically bar them and gave exclusive right to Architects to practice architecture. Because of that vagueness, the “illegal” practice ensued.

      Just by that example, I think you know how vagueness can impact on lives/professions.

      1. @ 17Sphynx

        Laws anywhere in the world are not written to be perfect, and there is a reason for that. The taxation law for instance has loopholes that can benefit a taxpayer, and at the same time send them to jail.

        1. @LA402

          Yes I know that. But now, since this vagueness is in front of us and the IRR is still not in place, I think the petition to correct/review/revoke is in order.

          Once the IRR is already out there, it is the beginning of the possiblity of exploiting the law and abusing it for some.

          Usually the IRR is released and executed either 30 or 60 days after the law is enacted. I forgot the exact number though, unless it is specified in the law itself.

          And the outright admission of oversight is a cause of concern though. Still, I am not screaming FOUL though, I just think steps should be taken for it not to reach the point where it is abused at this time while it is still early to avoid exploitation.

  5. Thats what the Filipinos get if they vote for a showbiz entertainer / comedian. They put the country in greater risk!
    NEVER VOTE FOR A CELEBRITY!
    NEVER VOTE FOR A COMEDIAN
    NEVER VOTE FOR A DRAMA QUEEN?
    NEVER VOTE FOR A STUNTMAN?
    NEVER VOTE FOR A BOXER!

    They don’t know the hell they are doing. They are clueless.

    1. “Clueless” you must be talking about current events the last three weeks. Certain prominent figures in the news can’t get stories straight. As teacher of mine always says ” bola Lang yan “.

    2. This cybercrime law has rattled off a lot of people even actual trolls are afraid of it, lol!

      Thats what the Filipinos get if they vote for a showbiz entertainer / comedian. They put the country in greater risk!
NEVER VOTE FOR A CELEBRITY!
NEVER VOTE FOR A COMEDIAN
NEVER VOTE FOR A DRAMA QUEEN?
NEVER VOTE FOR A STUNTMAN?
NEVER VOTE FOR A BOXER!
      They don’t know the hell they are doing. They are clueless.

      Seriously, I don’t get it. Do we see those mentioned above on the list below?

      Cyber-crime Prevention Act of 2012 (Senate Bill No. 2796) – (approved by the Philippine Senate on final reading); authored by Senator Edgardo Angara.

      House Bill number 5808 or the Cybercirme Prevention Act of 2012 (approved by the Philippine House of Representatives on final reading); co-authored by Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara, Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson, Marikina City Rep. Marcelino Teodoro and Tarlac Rep. Susan Yap

      Clearly, there is a disconnect there.

  6. Reading and comprehension are very different concepts. Not surprising considering the limited talents of most of our lawmakers…..

    1. @Lord Chimera

      There seems to be a pattern in our lawmaker’s behaviour. It was also alleged that they did not read the articles of impeachment against Renato Corona before signing the complaints. Hmmm…

    1. We must be responsible for what we deliver on the internet. The current government shows that they are strict to this kinds of things.

      1. The current government shows that they have all the grace of a the fat clumsy kid in the school yard with no friends always being picked on, that’s why they run to daddy because of profusely crying everyday in the playground. Can’t answer their critics because there is no answer to incompetency short of amputating it. Sorry Dondon your boss is over his head. Not doing anything in life does have its consequences when you are given a real job. And the world is seeing that train wreck,

  7. The law was examined carefully before being signed by the president. You must not be scared if you dont commit libelous statements.

    1. @dondon

      Blanket control, regulation and censorship of the internet by the state is subject to the Philippine Constitution of 1987, its underlying principles, principles of law and judicial precedents.

      The state power to legislate a highly defective cyber-crime law that tramples rights and freedoms is not absolute in a free democracy and is subject to Judicial inquiry.

      “The law was examined carefully before being signed by the president.” If this is the truth then why were so many petitions filed against the cyber-crime law in the Supreme Court?

      1. That happens all the time, some will complain about the enactment of the law especially this that will benefit and protect every Filipino in the world wide web. Wait until the Supreme Court processes and set asides their petitions.

        1. Sigh.. we have another one. Those stupid trolls from malacanang just don’t know when to quit. They are just like the zombies in resident evil.

        2. Hey, you’re still Fishball, I knew it.

          You will be subject to LIBEL for your fraudulence and your ‘libelous’ acts. 😛

    2. Hehe, I can’t be sued for libel since it was only for people who keeps on reporting false information.

      Most of Rappler and Raissa Robles will be subjected to this. You jelly? 😛

      1. As is taught in law, anybody is open to file suit against anybody, all you can do is defend yourself in court. It is the judge who determines the falsity of information, and his judgment is issued with the decision at the end of the trial or judicial procedure. However, the truth of the statement is not even the issue, but the maliciousness of the intention, and intention can only be deduced after a hearing of the evidence. Can anybody be sued for libel? Sure. Will they be convicted if the information is true? Yes, if malice is proved. How to prove absence of malice? Get yourself a good lawyer and pay the fees, and maybe in five years’ time or more the Supreme Court will clear your name on appeal if you’re lucky. But of course, by that time you would have lost your job, been ostracized, etc. 🙂

  8. Ilda,

    There’s just one teeny weeny problem with how our politicians think: for them, criticizing them is always equal to writing false information about them. But this mindset isn’t something Filipinos gain when they become politicians; it’s something already present in other places in Filipino society.

    In some discussion groups it was pointed out that if lawmakers didn’t read this law, then it only follows the previous “oversight” which was the Corona impeachment complaint. I guess reading something before agreeing to it isn’t going to be a regular practice anytime soon. What this shows is some sort of lack of attention span, or maybe a manifestation of that balat-sibuyas thing. If something is read through, it has a chance to be criticized, and you know how Pinoys take criticism – not very well.

    “Napaka-KJ mo naman! Wag mo na basahin, basta umoo ka na lang!”

    1. @FallenAngel

      Yes, they don’t seem to bother reading and understanding stuff especially the ones that have greater implications. It goes to show most of the members of congress are more preoccupied with form and not substance. Which is part of the reason why they are allergic to criticism.

  9. Libel has been in our law books as far as we can remember. Can anybody here, clearly define or clarify why we have to get nervous about a law, particularly libel, that is actually and already was in effect before the approval of Cybercrime law?

    Would be it easier now to convict? Was the definition of what libel is clearly established ? Is there really a basis for the apprehension and agitation about the cybercrime law or the guilty parties just making their opposition obvious? Or was it just an over-reaction on the part of some people?

    1. @ahehe

      The sad part is, majority of Filipino voters won’t care about what the minority say about Tito Sotto. They just know he is popular and will support him anyway.

  10. “chiz” did not read it properly due to lack of bloodflow due to his perma-boner these days since he is dating heart LOL

    scumbag iskul bukul senator : caught in translated plaigarized speeches? last-minute libel provision it is then! that’ll show ’em!

  11. People are prone into sharing false info when they are outraged and when they realize that everyone else has a common enemy. Sorry for being so fatalistic, but I think this would be just one (out of many) “in and out” mass stimuli where people just suddenly give a damn, after that they’ll forget it completely.

  12. The Section 5A of Cybercrime Law can be interpreted as making likes, retweets, and shares deemed libelous a crime.

      1. Aw. You’re cute. Have you heard about abetting libel?

        And oh, your statement, “Criticizing public servants is certainly not libelous, but writing false information about them is,” made me blush like a 10-year-old school girl! Did you know that libel is defined as “public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, REAL OR IMAGINARY …”?

        One more thing: “The provision on libel does not even mention Facebook …”? You’re adorable! I mean, you did not expect the provision to enumerate all online platforms/websites it could possibly encompass, did you?

        Anyway, this blog entry cheered me up. Good on you! 😉

        1. @FrancisF

          Did you know that libel is defined as “public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, REAL OR IMAGINARY …”?

          Give us an example of a libelous statement, please.

          You took my statement about Facebook out of context. It was in reference to what Guingona said – that sharing content and clicking the “like” button could be grounds for libel. The law does not say anything about that. And it’s a ridiculous interpretation.

  13. Today is judgement day. The state created sky-net has been forced to the highest ground. This is where the battle of humans/netizens minds versus half human, half machine T-101 cybernetic organisms will be decided.

    The programmed terminators of freedom will try to use every trick to win the day. Sky-net has pre-programmed the terminators to destroy every human’s unique ability to think for themselves. Total control of the human organism is translated to the total repression of human rights and freedoms. Enslaving every human mind completes the final objective. Total control of Philippine cyberspace and beyond.

    Beware of the other terminators of freedom. Their AI circuits are also programmed to expediency and opportunism. This is necessary to tactically exploit the humans/netizens perceived weaknesses. All for their evil objectives.The shape shifter types will pretend to be for human rights and freedoms.

    Sky-net will be stopped on the highest ground. There are turned terminators walking among us. They are for the humans/netizens cause. I hope to live long enough to see it. A turned terminator saying: sky-net you are terminated!

    The human spirit shall never be conquered by programmed, heartless and mindless machines! Freedom and rights shall win the day in the highest ground! Long live freedom! Death to the tyranny of sky-net!

  14. For the record, the following senators voted to pass the law:

    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

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

    Recto na naman?? Yung promotor ng E-VAT! Aysus…

  15. @Ilda Firstly, I’m not Filipino… so the gross racial stereo-types applied by the article author don’t apply to me.

    Secondly, the concerns generated by this law and those so evident on social-networking sites are not due to an exaggerated understanding of the laws themselves, but rather an accurate understanding of how a self-serving elite may corrupt those laws for their own ends – through the manipulation of a police and legal system that has proven itself malleable to political and power corruption.

    Unless, of course, you are saying that those effected by the cybercrime bill should rest easy… safe in the knowledge that their state will perform flawlessly to protect them from missuse of the laws in place?

  16. Senator Santiago confirmed that merely liking or sharing will enable criminal liability to attach. Quote:

    “For example, the senator said, Section 5 cites aiding and abetting cybercrimes as one of the acts punishable under the new law. Ordinary Facebook and Twitter activities such as liking, sharing and retweeting could make one accountable under the law, she said.

    “Simply repeating things, you made a comment, you liked, you shared, you’re already guilty, because you’re aiding and abetting. You can interpret it that way. That’s why I’m saying it is too vague,” Santiago told her audience.”

    http://technology.inquirer.net/18378/cybercrime-law-unconstitutional-says-santiago

    1. @Gene

      The inclusion of the word “could” in Senator Santiago’s statement means she is also not sure if “liking” or “sharing” posts on Facebook is punishable under the new cybercrime law.

  17. http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/ the oral argument may be downloaded to the Supreme court home page

    In between 20 to 35 minutes of the first oral argument there is an interesting interpolation between one of the presiding Judges and Atty. Roque on the issue about overbroadness and vagueness of provision under chapter 4 of the act…

    I believe the Judge was able to made Atty Roque to concede that actually there are fundamental basis to prove that there are libelous materials that exist on the internet. Even detailing the specific where author can be alluded to bloggers and publisher as well to those who abet in the proliferation of the malicious content. and that the law was indeed needed…notwithstanding the punishment as detailed on the act to be discussed on the latter part of the oral argument

    now it is interesting to note that on overbroadness one important topic discussed was on the context of LIABILITY…ATTY. ROQUE brought out that on the plenary sessions aside from actual author of libelous materials part of the virtual network of the internet including the Telecom Company, web sites, and the like including internet cafe’s may be even held liable of abetting cybercrime…

    and indeed the IRR of the Act could actually point to LIABILITIES INCURRED BY ALL OF THESE PLAYER OF THE INTERNET… vaguely Atty. Roque presume this stringing of liability as against the provision of the Act as overbroadness or overbreadth…but actually it is not…in terms of an IT practitioners viewpoint there is actually shared responsibilities between all of these internet players..

    all of these players are actually can be implicated on the notion of TRACEABILITY.. that indeed all information shared using the infrastructure of internet can be traced back to the original source…and each of the player between the original computer source and all networking devices that the materials was passed including gateways between nations keep an audit trail that can be retrieved by capable individuals….

    The liability arises on the fact that these trails could be tampered with or even destroyed…on the lowest level a cybercafé must be held liable for not keeping record including but not limited to basic personal and computer rental information… in the event that we can no longer held the author of the libelous material accountable because the internet café failed to, or do not actually keep record…on the same note Internet Service Provider (access provider) and web sites (content provider) can be held liable against the law…including the negligence to keep network traffic trail free from external hackers who can tampered with audit trail.

    It is important to note the difference between access, presence and content provider of the libelous material because the Act alliude to the Penal Code which detailed the rudiments about Libel..

    Between 40 to 60 minutes of the of the first oral argument the discussion goes legal than cyber and the broad reference of the Act to the Penal Code became a good discussion not against the Cybercrime Law but the Penal Code itself…it was actually detailed by Judge Carpio that the Penal code was originally adapted from the French since 1810 and current international statutes in effect in particular the ICPR have rendered part of the Penal Code inconsistent with its provision….

    Now is it correct that on the basis of a single indirect provision of the Penal Code which penalized imprisonment for libel the cyberlaw could be shelved for more than a year by the Supreme Court????

    Cyberlaw is badly needed…Supreme Court Please….

    hour one of the audio highlights.. that because of social media account on cyberspace individuals who have multitutes of followers had the potential to destroy others…even worsen by the fact that unlike print journalism they will have no editors nor proofreader…”and therefore is there not a right of the government, a state interest, in coming in, in order to remove the megaphone to some individuals who are careless – Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen

    After hearing at least 1 hour and thirty minutes of the first transcribed audio from the oral arguments on the Cybercrime Law within which the conclusive rhetoric by Atty. Harry Roque was brought forth the following points I believe was being raised by the respondent as a facial attack against the Law.

    Over-breath
    1.1 misuse of terminology (ie.. lascivious and favor under definition of cybersex)
    1.2 extent of coverage on over-all IT infrastructure
    Chilling effect
    2.1 Chilling effect against freedom of expression
    2.2 chilling effect – social behavior

    and as a counter arguments against any cybercrime law for that matter; according to the respondent that currently cyberspace are set-up towards
    Self policing / Self regulation

    Now I believe on both 1 and 2 Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen counter-argument properly address these concerns

    on misuse of terminology:
    “but with this provision which is a case of first impression this court can therefore laydown the proper interpretation of prima facie…at it deed on the laydown on reasonable searches…”

    on chilling effect against freedom of expression:
    “We should also be protecting the ordinary people who are silenced, who are afraid to speak out because their opinions run in opposition to the influential cyber celebrities.

    On chilling effect on social behavior
    Not only regulation or law affects social behavior much worst will be the behavioral chaos resulting from the current unregulated cyber scenarios.

    And based on previous post as well where Justice Leonen elucidated that the internet contained libelous content directed against private individuals or even groups.

    On the same manner what Atty. Roque alleged as an infringement of freedom of expression and grave abuse of discretion probably because netizens would be thwarted by the law on speaking out against public officers was according to Justice Leonen is not going to happen because our jurisprudence was clear on the difference of libel as directed towards public officer/figure and private individuals. That all laws for that matter have chilling effect and was in effect would result to responsible individuals and acceptable social norms.

    It might sound awful but it seems to me that the respondent was undermining the netizens of this country that on the contrary as is demonstrated on the last activity against Pork barrel the Filipino netizens are the new intelligensia . it is a reform class that not only geared toward combating corruption and injustices and promoting positive social reforms but also are professionals on their own right. The Filipino Netizens are collection of professionals and enthusiast who is brave enough not only to demand what is right but also understand such right was provided for them under the law.

    And contrary to what is being brought out on news-feed against the law still the proper court under its very provision actually will determines guilt as well as issue warrants, seizures and other mandates.

    Now on the notion that cyberspace in general is self-regulating or specifically a social networking site is self-policing let me dwell on the impossibility of this on two counts Administrative and Cultural
    3.1.r Administrative

    “there is so many dangerous things that happens on the internet…” Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen

    Based on statistic that can be found on the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook_statistics as of May 2, 2013 there are about 1.11 billion user of Facebook. And on Philippines alone the same page declares 103, 775, 002 facebook users. Imagine the explosive number of exchanges of users using facebook services between Philippines alone. Now let us look for the sake of the argument consider that all of the 5,794 facebook employees http://newsroom.fb.com/Key-Facts needs to evaluate at least 5% of users complaining against offending content will mean that on an eight hour work day each employee needs to handle at least 23,947 complaint per hour or per minute of 399. Gee…the numbers don’t lie mga Sir!!!

    3.2.r Cultural
    Even only within the Philippine what is offending may vary among culture and individual imagined the cultural havoc it will cause when someone from half the world away would determine between acceptable or not…

    The way I see it the real problem is not about the law itself but more akin to the IT industry in general… specifically traceable to confusion brought forth by loose understanding or definition of ICT terms.
    actually the same problem haunts the professionalization of computer science and information technology professionals…although an umbrella organization can be achieved to comply with the PRC requirement of an APO there is yet the ever daunting tasks to define generally and specifically the BODY OF KNOWLEDGE under the profession…

    Unfortunately, the paradigm extends across the entire world… globally the IT industry still was in its early stages where by its complex nature industry leaders either separately or jointly define standards with all the resulting inconsistencies and even conflicts.

    The actual scenarios are made worst by the facts that these player with their own professional ranking and accreditation races between discoveries that makes standardizations almost impossible. As an on-going trend obsolism was a rule and there is no stopping them in the near future. And to make the matter worst aside from these more than in any other industry the line between public and private domain was most obscure in IT.

    …premise on these grounds does it follows that the conclusion we would have be that we could have a perfect cybercrime law.

    and as earlier pointed by Justice Abad on the imperfection of our penal code and of Justice Leonen about the capacity of jurisprudence by our court to mitigate such imperfection . And that on these grounds Justice Leonen even saw opportunities on the question raised against the law. Why is it then may we asked that still the decision was to INDEFINITELY SUSPEND THE LAW?

    It seems that the decision to indefinitely suspend the law was a decision made to prolong the Feudalism prevalent on cyberspace where the strong tramples the weak… and where anyone can create an account using another private person name and post sweeping malicious statement directed to an already ailing group as is the case of Mhaine Herrera without even the slightest notion of accountability under the law nor traceability under the current unregulated use of the internet.

    My God! Are we to let all the good intention under the cybercrime law to be indefinitely shelved and leave the like of Mhaine Herrera without any redress nor infrastructure that if could not prevent the proliferation of malicious content was at least capable of reaching every single one of those who was brought to anger against not of one’s own doing.

    Congress had done their part…if it seems that what Associate Justice Leonen gallant defend is not enough…what else we can as a common people can plea in this regards..

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