Quantcast

Cybercrime Prevention Act an ‘incorrectly cooked law’


The Cybercrime Prevention Act is a law that should not be. It came like a horse-kick that dealt a black eye on our freedom of expression. Drawing widespread criticisms, it is now facing several petitions that are seeking its annulment by the Supreme Court. Shoddily crafted, it lacks finish and the intricate details for refinement that could make it look like a flawless gem—no cracks, no holes. Its context and substance clearly show that the law was flimsily enacted—like a food that is either inadequately or incorrectly cooked, say, a hamburger grilled on the engine hood of a car. Thanks to its authors, some of whom have great understanding of law.

One of its flaws is the requisite that the complainant must file the case at his place of residence. So a Filipino national in Japan must file it in Japan? Conversely, if a local sues a Filipino national in another country, our courts cannot acquire physical jurisdiction over the accused, unless the latter voluntarily appears in our court. This looks dopey. A law that imposes undue burden upon a party-litigant, making it impractical or impossible to prosecute a case, is a bad one and must be struck down as unconstitutional.

The jail term the law imposes must be deleted. It is repugnant to the rule on double jeopardy. A victim of electronic libel can seek redress both under this law and the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and may win two judgments against the same defendant for the same offense. Worse yet, the jail term under the cybercrime law is longer than that prescribed under the RPC, which would make the accused vulnerable not only to double but even to triple jeopardy.

Another flaw of the law is that it vests the justice secretary the power to block, freeze or stymie any cybermessage from floating, if at first glance, the message seems libelous. An unlimited discretion or power lodged in an office—with no mechanism for review, revocation, correction, censor or reversal as to the exercise thereof by a separate entity—is a fertile ground for abuse or misuse of such discretion and power, thus making the law very defective. This will not work in a system where “check and balance” is a necessary tool of discipline.

A TRO stopped the cybercrime law from implementation until January, the month lawyers from both sides will meet at the Supreme Court.

In the meantime, post those messages no mother can swallow, enjoy them like a picnic of hamburger cooked in a real oven—not on the engine hood of a jeepney.

—MANUEL BIASON,

mannybiason@verizon.net


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=40908

Tags: Cybercrime Prevention Act , laws , letters to the editor , opinion



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Sayyaf man linked to Sipadan kidnapping falls
  • Drilon calls for sobriety as mudslinging, witch hunts loom due to pork scam
  • S. Korea ferry toll hits 150 as search gets tougher
  • If Napoles names Aquino allies, they’ll be brought to bar of justice – Palace
  • Lacson says diamond-studded earring snatched from wife fake
  • Sports

  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series
  • David Moyes out as Manchester United manager
  • Nadal to face fellow Spaniard at Barcelona Open
  • Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico in scoreless draw
  • Lifestyle

  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Sweet party for Andi Manzano
  • Entertainment

  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Summer movie preview: Bay reboots ‘Transformers’
  • Business

  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • $103M Vista Land bonds tendered for redemption
  • Oil slips to $102 as US crude supplies seen rising
  • SC stops Meralco power rate hike anew
  • Technology

  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law
  • New York police Twitter campaign backfires badly
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • No word yet on inking of US-PH defense pact during Obama visit
  • Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  • China, rivals sign pact to ease maritime tensions
  • Visa-free US trip? Do not believe it, says consulate
  • Obama visit to Asia seen as counterweight to China
  • Marketplace