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State weapon to muzzle dissent

/ 10:46 PM March 07, 2013

While admitting that certain provisions of Republic Act No. 10175 are unconstitutional, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza maintained that the government needs to fight crimes committed on the Internet.

The Cybercrime Prevention Act is not for the protection of the ordinary citizens. It is another weapon (along with the state security forces) of the government to preserve itself and to terrorize its constituents.

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We call on President Aquino to instead account for the more severe human rights violations, and even common crimes, happening almost every day under his watch, where his Armed Forces and law enforcers, who are supposed to protect the people, are involved.

Jardeleza’s insistence that clicking “like” or a “retweet” on so-called libelous posts on Facebook and Twitter constitutes a “cybercrime” presages days reminiscent of martial rule.

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We reiterate our position that RA 10175 violates freedom of expression, due process and equal protection of law enshrined in the Constitution.

The Cybercrime Law is another manifestation of the repressive tendencies of the Aquino administration. It complements the government’s “counterinsurgency” program, the Oplan Bayanihan. The increasing number of  cases of f extrajudicial killing and illegal arrest and detention based on trumped-up charges clearly show the signs of the times. In the past month alone, 28 cases of illegal arrests based on trumped-up charges were reported to Karapatan; and 137 people have been killed in the course of the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan. This time, the government wants to muzzle dissent in all possible venues even if it violates its own Constitution.

—CRISTINA PALABAY,

secretary general, Karapatan,

[email protected]

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TAGS: crimes, Cybercrime Prevention Act, internet
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