Decriminalisation or repeal of libel law: It’s about time the Philippines becomes a modern country

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It is not surprising that Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III wholeheartedly supports criminal libel in the Philippines. Luis Teodoro, BusinessWorld columnist and former dean of the College of Mass Communications of the University of the Philippines, wrote in a 2003 article about how the spectre of harassment-by-libel emerged in the Philippine scene so soon after the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos. Back in 1989, then Philippine President Cory Aquino sued the late Luis Beltran who, in his Philippine Star column “playfully (and inaccurately) described Mrs. Aquino as the first commander-in-chief in the country’s history to hide under a bed” during a coup d’etat being mounted at the time by renegade soldier Gringo Honasan.

Despite subsequent apologies from Beltran and the Star, Aquino pusued the suit and won it — remarkable, considering that, in Teodoro’s opinion, Beltran was likely more guilty of sexism than libel and that Philippine courts, in general, tend to “favor a liberal interpretation of the law.” An account of the circus published on the Los Angeles Times in 1987 pretty much summarised the technical pillars of the suit…

Offering evidence, the miffed Aquino invited several members of the Malacanang Palace press corps into the presidential bedroom. Dramatically, she walked to the bed, raised the edge of the coverlet and revealed a carpet-to-mattress wooden base.

“It was impossible for me to hide under my bed,” she insisted. “I think he wants to make fun of me. . . . He won’t get away with it.”

A precedent had been set and the nightmarish scenario of a whole industry gripped by the fear of being sued for libel was painted as Teodoro further relates…

Coming so soon after the overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship, and during the term of someone who had vowed to be Marcos’ exact opposite, the fear was that both the suit itself as well the Beltran conviction would intimidate the media and establish a precedent in which Presidents — armed with such undeniable advantages as their power to appoint judges — would henceforth go after journalists whose work they didn’t like, or whom they just didn’t like, period.

One of the results of this fear was a spate of workshops and seminars on libel law in which media groups sought to broaden journalists’ understanding of libel as well as find solutions to what was then perceived as the libel law’s potential for the harassment of dissenting journalists. One of the recommendations of the libel lawyers in a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility at the Development Academy of the Philippines was for the decriminalization of libel, which under Philippine law carries both a fine as well as a jail term in case of conviction.

libel_philippine_cybercrimeIndeed, many of the world’s more progessive countries have decriminalised libel. The United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) had declared that laws criminalising libel are “incompatible” with “freedom of expression” as articulated within the tenets of the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights (ICCPR). The United States, for its part, enshrines freedom of expression in the First Amendment which prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. There are no criminal libel elements in US federal law.

US courts also tend to regard as paramount the “importance of the free flow of ideas and opinions on matters of public interest and concern” and, as such, are sympathetic to private individuals who parody public figures and publish content critical of them and their personal lives. This is an aspect most relevant to Filipinos today as debate surrounding on the recent Philippine Supreme Court upholding of Republic Act 10175 or the “Philippine Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012” which supposedly extends the Philippines’ current criminal libel laws to include digital media channels where much of this content propagates rapidly to the chagrin of many Filipino public officials.

Teodoro, in the same 2003 article, points out that the threat of being sued for libel alone is already enough to put off journalists and content publishers…

Libel laws are meant to protect the subjects of reporting and comment from media abuse. Being sued for libel is a risk every journalist accepts as part of the territory, and libel an offense for which there are penalties. But it has also been a convenient way for those in power to silence opposition, and in the Philippine experience also an effective means of harassment.

This is obviously not an ideal legal framework in a country where the abuse of political power is well-enshrined in many government institutions and their agencies — including those law enforcement and regulatory agencies to whom the duty to protect the interests of the general public have been entrusted. As confidence in the integrity of government institutions flagged over theyears, mass media has been increasingly considered to be the more sensible channel through which ordinary citizens could elevate their grievances. Nowadays, even politicians and affluent Filipinos look to the media, and not the police, as their protectors.

The situation today is especially critical as old-timers increasingly lament the sad state of Philippine society under the Second Aquino Administration as one where wala nang masumbungan (one where “there is no authority to turn to for resolution of problems”). Just about every government branch and institution is seemingly infested with crooks. And with many big media organisations under the influence of powerful politicians and oligarchs, Filipinos increasingly rely more on the Darwinian dynamics of “citizen journalism” to tease out the truth. Unfortunately, this is a community made up of small organisations and private individuals who lack the resources to battle a libel lawsuit.

The Philippines is in a big wet mess, specially now after a monumentally inept effort was put into crafting its anti-cybercrime capability resulted in what is essentially a crap law. I defer from hereon to our commentor Johnny Saint who pretty much nailed it in a recent comment

RA 10175 was poorly thought out and sloppily written. And now it is proven to be, as per ruling of the Supreme Court, a legally defective law. With the decision that major parts of the law are unconstitutional, it falls to the Executive to ‘tweak’ the law — likely through the implementing rules and regulations. But the IRR cannot sufficiently and validly cure those substantial defects. The IRR cannot amend the law itself.

On the other hand, amending RA 10175 through the regular legislative process will be very messy, requiring many of the sections to be rewritten. With such massive rewriting, the law might as well be repealed and a better crafted substitute measure passed.

Formulating a substitute, however, requires considerable time and resources. Besides, the repeal and enactment of a new law would hurt the pride of the lawmakers who passed it and the President who signed it into law. On the whole, this is probably the best choice, painful though it may be.

From the beginning the Penoy and the sponsors of RA 10175 bungled the affair by their clumsy insertion of sections violating or tending to violate freedom of expression, due process, and equal protection and privacy of communication. As a result, even the more laudable objective of giving law enforcement agencies the proper tools against child pornography, cracking, identity theft and criminal spam was compromised. Now, all these well-meaning measures will be flushed down the drain.

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from the Wikipedia.org article “First Amendment to the United States Constitution” in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site.]
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49 Comments on “Decriminalisation or repeal of libel law: It’s about time the Philippines becomes a modern country”

  1. To those interested in the decriminalization of libel, you might want to follow up the Department of Justice effort to (further) revise the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. Latest news (as of June, 2013) is that they have started with book 2. The DOJ link to the project itself though seems dead. I hope the people working on it haven’t been sleeping in the water.

  2. I will be interesting to also see if the INC church utilizes these laws and takes actions against GRP for speading lies about and defaming their church. Businesses, organisations and people stand to benefit from having protection from libel by making those who engage in such acts online accountable.

    It is good to see GRP is much more guarded and careful with its posts now, that alone shows the laws are working as intended.

    Can’t wait until our dear president annoints his successor to continue his great crusade. We have been truly blessed by having such a wonderful president, a true hero among our people in these uncertain times!

    1. “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”

      —–Harry S. Truman

    2. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. It is far from over. The government may have seemingly won against their detractors but they have opened the gates leading to their downfall.

    3. @Tony

      “Can’t wait until our dear president anoints his successor to continue his great crusade.”

      LOL! What great crusade are you talking about troll? He gave all the advantages and benefits to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front criminal, bandit terrorist group! We stand to lose our territories in Mindanao!

      “We have been truly blessed by having such a wonderful president, a true hero among our people in these uncertain times!”

      LOL! leave God out of this troll! We are not truly blessed by this president. You obviously have not read the news commentaries and editorials about his many blunders and boo boos. He was called a dictator by many people. A true hero? What heroic deeds did he do for this country and people? He is still alive. Most of the heroes in the history books are dead heroes. Do you have the authority to declare your president as a national hero? Spread your yellow propaganda elsewhere! We are aware of what is happening to this country! You are unaware of the rising poverty, unemployment and criminality? What about foreign direct investments and capital flight? Brain drain?
      Even the Yolanda typhoon victims are not receiving proper attention from this president! If substandard, over-priced wooden bunkhouses seen as death traps are being constructed then there is really something very wrong about the national leadership… The list is too long for me to post. Get real yellow troll!

    4. The law isn’t working at all.
      Its just another failed attempt at scaring the government’s critics.
      Your attempt at spreading your president’s pathetic propaganda has failed just like what happened with the past malacanang morons like you had attempted before.

      1. The law will be un-enforceable outside the borders of the Fils. That is a good thing because it takes less than 3 minutes to find out who the registrar of a web-site is.

        The people who run this web-site are not dummies and should be OK…..They obviously do not use their own names and are most likely not inside the country. Like most ‘democracies’. the rights of citizens are slowly being taken away.

    5. Bong revilla is an INC member. ( birds of a feather….)
      Hope INC gives back the ‘tithe’ money arising from ill-gotten gains

      As far as sueing.
      That is very interesting for INC to issue threats. One of their tactics by all accounts.
      As some-one said “INC like to threaten and bully. They do it to their members all the time – attendance,donations -, and think it works in the outside world, but it actually gives a glimpse into their real character and motivations”
      Such a pleasant christian organisation!!
      Am sure the army of INC lawyers are busy helping bong revilla!

      One thing you and your insidious colleagues have amply demonstrated here is that there are clearly many invidious, nasty people belonging to INC, and having bong revilla as poster boy of INC! How appropriate.
      Not to mention supporting adulterer lito lapid, and his money laundering wife.( ? Another INC member). How stupid.

      As someone else commented so many similarities between INC and the PBMA cult of ruben ecleo – another divine master/prophet, and congressman, until he was convicted on murder, but not in jail!

      INC – A scam masquerading as a religion and operating on mafia business principles. Part of the US televangelist approach to money making

      For anyone to use disasters as money making and/or publicity stunts is sick and shameful. Clearly paying for guinness world records to attend ( they do not attend otherwise) shows the prime motivation. No respect, dignity, or honor. There are ambulance chasers in the legal profession, and clearly coffin chasers in the charity scam sector.

      I think you need a better PR department/trolls

    6. Bong revilla is an INC member. ( birds of a feather….)
      Hope INC gives back the ‘tithe’ money arising from ill-gotten gains.

      As far as sueing.
      That is very interesting for INC to issue threats. One of their tactics by all accounts.
      As some-one said “INC like to threaten and bully. They do it to their members all the time – attendance,donations,obedience -, and think it works in the outside world, but it actually gives a glimpse into their real character and motivations”
      Such a pleasant christian organisation!!

      One thing you and your insidious colleagues have amply demonstrated here is that there are clearly many invidious, nasty people belonging to INC, and having bong revilla as poster boy of INC! How appropriate.
      Not to mention supporting adulterer lito lapid, and his money laundering wife.( ? Another INC member). How stupid.

      As someone else commented so many similarities between INC and the PBMA cult of ruben ecleo – another divine master/prophet, and congressman, until he was convicted on murder, but not in jail!

      Iglesia ni cristo – INC – A cult masquerading as a religion and operating on mafia business principles. Part of the US televangelist, and charity scam sector, approach to money making.

      For anyone to use disasters as money making and/or publicity stunts is sick and shameful. Clearly paying for guinness world records to attend ( they do not attend otherwise) shows the prime motivation. No respect, dignity, or honor. There are ambulance chasers in the legal profession, and clearly coffin chasers in the charity scam sector.

      I hope the real NGO’s will hold you to account for the 500 million pesos you say INC will donate to yolanda victims.
      Calling oxfam, unicef, red cross

      I think you need a better PR department/trolls.

      P.S whats with all the anti-catholic rants ( i am not a catholic so water off a ducks back to me), but it just seems another perverse aspect of a perverted cult. The anger and hate is very evident. Guess once again it reflect the Iglesia ni cristo members and philosophy, as evidenced here.

        1. I did not say lito lapid was a member , just that he was supported by INC.

          bomg revilla is a different matter.
          Maybe he plays for both sides.
          Apart from the financial contributions INC made to his campaign, he was meeting regularly with INC executive, and was even due to play manalo in an INC film, until pork barrel. Would a staunch catholic do that.

          Bong revillas only religion is money. Everything else is an act, and a bad one at that.

        2. Not to mention supporting adulterer lito lapid, and his money laundering wife.( ? Another INC member). How stupid.

          – oh you didn’t say Lito Lapid is a member? You were questioning… i see..

          Bong revilla is an INC member. ( birds of a feather….)

          – Now your telling me MAYBE he is a member of both religions?

        3. You clearly need this to be taken one step at a time so i will indulge you.
          Step 1
          Was bong revilla due to play manalo in INC centennial film.

        4. You are so naive to think that these actors are doing it for free. Wake up, son! Not everything has to be spoon-fed.

          “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”

          ― Socrates

        1. Since you didn’t answer step 1 – as expected. Try step 2.

          What percentage of bong revilla’s staff in the senate are INC members.

          We will soon see if you are just an ignorant troll.

          If you don’t have the answer, then shut up and stop wasting my time.

        1. Yoir mind is clearly full of ignorance.
          Care to dispute what i say, or just make childish remarks, which tends to underline the fact that i tell the truth. You spout rubbish.
          Fail

        2. Because there’s no point to argue with closed minded people like you. Do your research first before writing down comments.

        3. @poatopo

          You are the one with the closed mind. Libertas have sited information which are, if real, is mud on the face of people like you.

          You should be the one researching and disputing what he is saying, instead of throwing a tantrum.

          Ok, carry on.

        4. @joeld

          You can check the links i posted on my comments. All i was questioning is how and where did Libertas learned that Bong Revilla is an INC member.

        5. Wow. INC threatening libel.
          All threats gratefully received.
          How supportive you are of bong revilla.why is that!!!???
          You are hoisted by your own petard.
          P.s. you also need to understand libel first.
          And secondly i do not make things up.
          No need to.
          What disgusting little people INC members are.
          I hope CNN does follow through on their review. Guess you don’t know about that either.
          No point in wasting time with someone at the bottom who knows nothing.

        6. Member – someone or something that belongs to or is a part of a group or an organization. Someone with congruent view to the group or organization.

          Playing a part on the movie makes him a member. That is the “member”, Libertas was saying. Unless you are again insinuating that to be a member of something you have to undergo some kind of ritual and sign some paper. In which case, let me clarify for you as early as now, that those rituals and signatures on pieces of paper are just mere representation of one’s membership.

  3. I’m not a fan of the Aquinos, but I think freedom of expression, as other freedoms, cannot be seen as absolute. Opinions are always welcome, even criticisms, but I find it hard to understand how misrepresenting the truth or spreading blatant lies about anyone can be considered acceptable. Once freedom of expression is regarded as absolute, it’s easy to see that chaos will reign.

  4. “No law shall be passed , abridging the Freedom of the Press…” This is the testing ground for the Tyrant Dictator Aquino, for him to get away with it. “Freedom of Expression” is a sacred right to an individual.

    Remember, when they burned on stake, people who told people, that the world is round…
    there was no Freedom of Expression, then…the Catholic Church was the only source of Truth.

    It seems, we are now regressing into the Dark Age, again…with the Tyrant Dictator Aquino, replacing the Catholic Church.

    When will they start burning “bloggers” on stake? Too many of them to jail. So, they will burn them, on stake…

    1. @Toro, No they won’t. They will get a few idiots that use their real names and web ID’s and make examples out of them, OR try to at least.
      The law is idiotic and just about unenforceable.

      1. That’s expected since there’s no way that they can really catch someone with this toothless law.
        They’ll resort to getting paid actors to pose as people they’ve “caught” just to scare critics of the administration.

        1. Vpns don’t protect paedophiles against a professional cyber team, but I doubt the prez has anyone on hand in the phils that can trace people like this, unless he hired outside help. Good luck benigno, it will be a shame if you got arrested. Btw: if this domain is registered in your name or close kin, it’s time to change it: fast.

          Good luck.

        2. @Vidz:

          Before that, maybe YOU will be caught first because of your malicious comment.

          Good luck. 😀

        3. @Vidz, Very difficult thing to do. very, a guy in Thailand has been hiding for 5 yrs. since the authorities in the west un-scrambled his picture and they know who he is! and still have not found him. Thailand isn’t that big either.

  5. How can they catch a blogger, that is blogging in the North Pole…or in the Canadian Yukon Province? Summon the Canadian mounties?

    How can they catch a blogger, whose Blog name is not his/her real name? Example: Vidz or Bjorn…or whatever…

    How can they catch a blogger, whose computer is invisible in the Hyperspace? No technology has yet been invented to catch, that kind of blogger…

    The Philippines is a third world country…whose technology is a century, behind any indistiralize country…

    It is a law signed by a moron, to be enacterd by idiots…

    1. Trying to catch bloggers critical of this administration is like Wile E. Coyote trying to catch the Road Runner, an epic failure every single time.

    2. or Toro Hyden, Johnny Derp or Thomas Jefferson.

      BUTT they could call Dudley ‘RCMP always gets their Man’ Doo-wright after he is done booFing his beloved ‘Nelle'(she’s a hottie and a half!) and says Nell: “OH, DUDLEY”.”OOOH,NELLE!!!”.

  6. That is why only now the real truth of cory aquinos incompetence, self-interest, and corruption is being understood by so many historians and political analysts, as she tried so hard to silence the media. Those with secrets cannot bear the light of scrutiny, and the light now shines ad the truth emerges.

    “Those who do not remember the past are
    condemned to repeat it”
    George Santanaya

    We now have pnoy aquino as a mini-cory repeating the mistakes, and adding some of his own. ( pnoy aquino’s fake sale of his CAT shares alone should put him out of malacanan, and anyone who has been in tarlac recently cannot fail to see what is happening there)

    It was not just vice-president doy laurel who quickly became disillusioned by cory aquino and regretted supporting her. ( shades of mar roxas, although doy laurel was the real deal)

    New York Times article

    “In Post-Marcos Philippines, Corruption Still
    a Way of Life”

    “As Filipinos put it, the looting has been democratized, with petty officials often demanding larger sums in the current,
    less centralized atmosphere. One recent estimate said about a third of the nation’s budget is lost to corruption and inefficiency each year.

    In August, a month before he died, Joaquin Roces, a newspaper publisher and an early Aquino supporter, startled her at a public gathering by charging that her administration had come to be characterized by ”self-aggrandizement and service to vested interests, relatives and friends.

    Among the President’s relatives, the most recent furor involved a brother-in-law, Ricardo Lopa, known by his nickname as Baby.
    Mr. Lopa spent just $250,000 to buy a controlling interest in 36 companies belonging to Mr. Marcos’s
    brother-in-law, Benjamin Romualdez just 6 days after the former President fled the country”
    NYT 1988

    Full article
    http://www.nytimes.com/1988/10/17/world/in-post-marcos-philippines-corruption-still-a-way-of-life.html

    Other ex cory supporters, and there are many who saw the light, and her dark side.

    “As alas, I wrote in my 1993 book, “One Day in the Life of a Filipino Sonovabitch,” many Cory Crusaders became the “Sorry Crusaders.”
    We became so sorry for helping elect a leader who performed worse than her predecessor”
    Bobby Reyes – Cory Aquino for
    President Movement (CAPM)

    Extracts from another letter.

    “1.0 Why did she approve in January 1992 the sale of 67% of the stocks of the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) to an investment group headed by one of her Tanjuatco, and three Cojuangco, nephews?

    2.0 Why did she permit, during her first month in office, the transfer of the 38 companies that Marcos’s brother-in-law, Kokoy Romualdez, owned? The 38 firms were transferred to her brother-in-
    law, Ricardo “Baby” Lopa.

    2.1 The same case happened in the matter of the Philippine Long Distance Company. Instead of sequestering the company for
    the Philippine government as it was then controlled by the Marcos cronies, she returned the billion-dollar company to her Cojuangco nephews.

    3.0 Why did she approve the re-negotiation of the loans that her predecessor obtained from Japan? The administration of Mrs.
    Aquino agreed that the loans would be paid in Japanese yen, rather than in U.S. currency

    4.0 Why did she tolerate, during her tenure, destitute Filipino women leaving the country to become maids, bar hostesses, mail-order brides and prostitutes in different foreign countries? Statistics show that more impoverished women left the Philippines for foreign destinations
    during the six-year term of Mrs. Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino than during the 20-year reign of President Marcos.

    4.1 During her administration, Mrs. Aquino did not bother to protest to the Japanese government the abuse of Filipino women in
    Japan.

    5.0 There are many other instances of abuse that Mrs. Aquino and her Cojuangco kin had perpetrated. An example is the
    continued defiance of Mrs. Aquino’s clan of the Land Reform Code.
    They refuse to divide their Luisita Hacienda among the tenants. The irony was that the Congress enacted the Land Reform law during the administration of Mrs. Aquino”

    Full letter
    http://www.mabuhayradio.com/philippine-presidency/not-getting-mad-at-but-getting-even-with-tita-cory

    ” Skeptics are neither closed-minded nor cynical. We are curious for the truth and cautious of the myths. Facts outweigh fiction. Objectivity over-rides fanaticism.
    Politics, like religious faith, depends on a host of social, psychological and emotional factors that have little, or nothing, to do with evidence and logic.”
    Michael Shermer

  7. That is why only now the real truth of cory aquinos incompetence, self-interest, and corruption is being understood by so many historians and political analysts, as she tried so hard to silence the media. Those with secrets cannot bear the light of scrutiny, and the light now shines as the truth emerges.

    “Those who do not remember the past are
    condemned to repeat it”
    George Santanaya

    We now have pnoy aquino as a mini-cory repeating the mistakes, and adding some of his own. ( pnoy aquino’s fake sale of his CAT shares alone should put him out of malacanan, and anyone who has been in tarlac recently cannot fail to see what is happening there)

    It was not just vice-president doy laurel who quickly became disillusioned by cory aquino and regretted supporting her. ( shades of mar roxas, although doy laurel was the real deal)

    New York Times article – extracts

    “In Post-Marcos Philippines, Corruption Still
    a Way of Life”

    “As Filipinos put it, the looting has been democratized, with petty officials often demanding larger sums in the current,
    less centralized atmosphere. One recent estimate said about a third of the nation’s budget is lost to corruption and inefficiency each year.

    In August, a month before he died, Joaquin Roces, a newspaper publisher and an early Aquino supporter, startled her at a public gathering by charging that her administration had come to be characterized by ”self-aggrandizement and service to vested interests, relatives and friends.

    Among the President’s relatives, the most recent furor involved a brother-in-law, Ricardo Lopa, known by his nickname as Baby.
    Mr. Lopa spent just $250,000 to buy a controlling interest in 36 companies belonging to Mr. Marcos’s
    brother-in-law, Benjamin Romualdez just 6 days after the former President fled the country”
    NYT 17 oct 1988

    Other ex cory supporters, and there are many who saw the light, and her dark side.

    “As alas, I wrote in my 1993 book, “One Day in the Life of a Filipino Sonovabitch,” many Cory Crusaders became the “Sorry Crusaders.”
    We became so sorry for helping elect a leader who performed worse than her predecessor”
    Bobby Reyes – Cory Aquino for
    President Movement (CAPM)

    Extracts from another letter.

    “1.0 Why did she approve in January 1992 the sale of 67% of the stocks of the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) to an investment group headed by one of her Tanjuatco, and three Cojuangco, nephews?

    2.0 Why did she permit, during her first month in office, the transfer of the 38 companies that Marcos’s brother-in-law, Kokoy Romualdez, owned? The 38 firms were transferred to her brother-in-
    law, Ricardo “Baby” Lopa.

    2.1 The same case happened in the matter of the Philippine Long Distance Company. Instead of sequestering the company for
    the Philippine government as it was then controlled by the Marcos cronies, she returned the billion-dollar company to her Cojuangco nephews.

    3.0 Why did she approve the re-negotiation of the loans that her predecessor obtained from Japan? The administration of Mrs.
    Aquino agreed that the loans would be paid in Japanese yen, rather than in U.S. currency

    4.0 Why did she tolerate, during her tenure, destitute Filipino women leaving the country to become maids, bar hostesses, mail-order brides and prostitutes in different foreign countries? Statistics show that more impoverished women left the Philippines for foreign destinations
    during the six-year term of Mrs. Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino than during the 20-year reign of President Marcos.

    4.1 During her administration, Mrs. Aquino did not bother to protest to the Japanese government the abuse of Filipino women in
    Japan.

    5.0 There are many other instances of abuse that Mrs. Aquino and her Cojuangco kin had perpetrated. An example is the
    continued defiance of Mrs. Aquino’s clan of the Land Reform Code.
    They refuse to divide their Luisita Hacienda among the tenants. The irony was that the Congress enacted the Land Reform law during the administration of Mrs. Aquino”

    Full letter
    http://www.mabuhayradio.com/philippine-presidency/not-getting-mad-at-but-getting-even-with-tita-cory

    ” Skeptics are neither closed-minded nor cynical. We are curious for the truth and cautious of the myths. Facts outweigh fiction. Objectivity over-rides fanaticism.
    Politics, like religious faith, depends on a host of social, psychological and emotional factors that have little, or nothing, to do with evidence and logic.”
    Michael Shermer

  8. @1.0…as payment for funeral expenses for her murdered husband?
    2.0 PDLT is still owned by Marcos money.
    3.0 The Japanese gov’t. did not want dollars, they were un-desirable at the time.
    4.1….it is not the job of ANY President to protest to any gov’t. about what happens to a private citizen of that presidents country in a foreign country.

    ask any Kano who gets abused in the filippines, exactly what does their embassy, never mind president, do for them when they have a problem in the filippines. the answer you will get is ……NOTHING, not a fuckin thing.
    Live in the past if you must, but……
    Why dontcha give your house away,EH? Cough up some of the parking spots you bought in London, why dontcha? Fly to Japan and rescue some ho’s ala Captain Save-a-HO, if your so concerned with others wealth.

    OHHHHH, silence!

      1. ofw, i think you have to review the definition of libel. I don’t remember having encountered any libelous remark or article here. criticism is not libelous if grounded on facts.

    1. If there’s anyone who’s actually scared right now,it’s you “ofw”.
      Why you ask? It’s simple, you are afraid that this blog is exposing your boss in malacanang for the fraud that he is, that’s why you attempted to intimidate but failed miserably.
      The only one going to jail for libelous posts is YOU.

  9. I agree the libel should be decriminalized, though I think it should be categorized as a civil case. I think that the penalities imposed by the current criminal law for libel is too much. On the other hand, one should be responsibile with what he says againts someone is true.

    Changes in libel, in my opinion, should be like this: he who’s accused of defaming some one should provide evidence that his accusations are true. He who’s defamed should show that the statements againts him aren’t true and that the defamer does it with malice.

    I believe that someone’s rights should be respected and protected, yet one should be held accountable if proven to infringe another’s rights. It’s just that the Phillipine’s current libel law imposes too much penalty.

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