By Oscar Franklin Tan
Would you jail a 16-year-old girl for libel? Would you jail a 16-year-old girl for calling another girl “B-I-T-C-H,” “backstabber,” and “stupid f*ckin’ playin’ innocent” on Multiply.com? Our Court of Appeals and Department of Justice say yes.
The oral arguments on the constitutionality of the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act at the Supreme Court on Tuesday gave free speech and Internet freedom advocates a boost. But whether some justices were merely playing devil’s advocate or testing the limits of the petitioners’ positions, lines of reasoning were also used at the 4-hour hearing that should give the public pause. Those who share the view that Republic Act No. 10175 should be declared unconstitutional—and antidemocratic at its core—cannot afford to be complacent.
By Angel Redoble
As an IT/cybersecurity practitioner for 16 years, I had foreseen the possible catastrophic impact should malicious hackers launch an attack against our critical cyberinfrastructure. So if you ask me whether we need a cybercrime law or not, my answer is “yes,” definitely. In fact we needed it 10 years ago. However, I agree with the view that libel by ICT shouldn’t be considered a crime.
By Conrado de Quiros
FIRST OFF, an irresistible aside. Why on earth would you watch J-Lo and complain later that you were shocked by the concert’s loudness? In fact, why would you claim to have finer sensibilities—“I have high taste in music”—and watch J-Lo in the first place? When in fact at about the same time J-Lo did MOA’s The Arena to a full house, Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour were doing PICC to a fairly empty one? The latter was magical by the way.
I want to share my opinion regarding the Cybercrime Prevention Act that is presently drawing different comments and reactions in the public arena.
By Conrado de Quiros
I’m glad several senators have bestirred themselves to try to undo the harm they did for voting for the Cybercrime Prevention bill. That piece of legislation earned the ire of netizens and media practitioners alike, as seen in editorials and widespread sentiment in social media condemning it. Teofisto Guingona III has asked the Supreme Court to nullify the libel penalty provisions of the law. And Chiz Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano pledged to sponsor bills to amend the same thing.
The Inquirer’s Sept. 20 editorial is exaggerated: The cyberlibel issues raised have been heavily debated for over 10 years. The critics dismissing Sen. Tito Sotto (who introduced the libel amendment) as ignorant and careless would surely not say the same of Sen. Edgardo Angara (the law’s sponsor), a meticulous lawyer.
When the current set of legislators was elected in 2010, we felt that at last we had a House of Representatives and a Senate with our interests at heart. In other words, a Congress that would get important work done. But more than two years later, what do we see?
By Juan L. Mercado
“Brainless children boast of their ancestors,” an Asian proverb says. Sen. Vicente Sotto III basked in his grandfather’s achievements, notably the “Sotto Press Freedom Law.”