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By Artemio V. Panganiban
The Supreme Court’s decision (Jesus Disini vs SOJ, Feb. 18, 2014) on the Cybercrime Prevention Law (CPL) is a delight for constitutional law scholars. The 50-page, single-space majority ruling penned by Justice Roberto A. Abad as well as the concurring and dissenting opinions of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno (43 pages) and Justices Antonio T. Carpio (32 pages), Arturo D. Brion (26 pages plus a 9-page annex) and Mario Victor F. Leonen (100 pages) are veritable treatises on the freedom of expression.
By Ibarra “Barry” M. Gutierrez III
Much of the online outrage that came in the wake of the Supreme Court decision in the landmark case of Disini v. Secretary of Justice was directed at the portion of the ruling upholding the constitutionality of Section 4(c)4 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act (Republic Act No. 10175)—the “cyberlibel” provision.
By Ricardo J. Romulo
Few laws, if any, have received the minute scrutiny the Supreme Court justices gave Republic Act No. 10175. Thus, if I were a law dean, I would encourage my faculty, particularly those handling constitutional law and criminal law, to team-teach an elective to study the ramifications of the recent en banc decision of the high court on the consolidated cases questioning RA 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The consolidated decision (the “Cyber Law decision,” for short), which disposed of several cases that was headed by Jose Jesus M. Disini Jr. et al. vs The Secretary of Justice et al., G.R. No. 203335, was issued last Feb. 18.
But why is the proposal to form a special court to try cases arising from the pork barrel scam being dismissed so peremptorily? Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano’s proposition deserves at least some serious thought, but two of his colleagues—Senators Francis Escudero and Teofisto Guingona III—have immediately thumbed down the idea.
By Neal H. Cruz
The reply of the Supreme Court to my Feb. 24 column on a 26-year-old homicide case was published here last Monday, with no comment as requested by Theodore Te, court administrator and public information chief. Still, I cannot help but be curious about why eight Court of Appeals justices inhibited themselves from the case one after another. The eight brave and honorable justices did not say why.
By Neal H. Cruz
I received a letter from the Supreme Court commenting on my Feb. 24 column titled “What’s happening to the Supreme Court?” The column was about a 26-year-old double homicide case that has been thrown from one judge to another. Eight Court of Appeals justices, one after another, inhibited themselves from the case without explaining why. The defendant, Licerio Antiporda III, former mayor of Buguey, Cagayan, was eventually convicted of two counts of homicide and one count of frustrated murder. The conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, then by the Supreme Court and a warrant of arrest was issued for Antiporda and his bail bond cancelled. Antiporda filed a motion for reconsideration; it was denied by the Supreme Court. He filed a second motion for reconsideration and, suddenly, the conviction was suspended, his bail bond restored, and the warrant of arrest lifted. Isn’t that strange?
We are featuring three views on the recent decision of the Supreme Court on Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which some critics say would lead to “cyber martial law.”
By Harry Roque
The recent Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of libel under the Revised Penal Code and under Section 4 C (4) of the cybercrime prevention law but declaring the crimes of aiding and abetting cyberlibel unconstitutional are contradictory rulings, which can only be because of the court’s misappreciation of the doctrine of “overbreadth.”
By Emerson S. Bañez
Homespun analogies appear to underpin the Supreme Court’s reasoning on critical components of the cybercrime law. The analogies bridge the conceptual disconnect between online and offline behavior, but they also reveal blind spots in the Court’s understanding of how these technologies (and its users, good or bad) behave.
“Oyez! Oyez! Rise! All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Court is now sitting!”
By Neal H. Cruz
What’s happening to our justice system and to the Supreme Court? Strange things are happening in the highest court of the land. Here is one very strange case.
By Conrado de Quiros
I join those who feel let down by the Supreme Court ruling to uphold the constitutionality of the cybercrime law. Despite its striking out a few provisions and restricting the penalties only to the original sender of the libelous material.