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Incompatible with freedom of expression

/ 12:21 AM April 26, 2014

“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” (Article III, Section 4, 1987 Philippine Constitution)

All members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) across the nation condemn in the strongest terms the Supreme Court’s junking of all four motions for reconsideration of the Cybercrime Prevention Law (Republic Act No. 10175).

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Last April 22, the Supreme Court denied all the petitions—including the joint petition of NUJP, Philippine Press Institute and Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility—against the Cybercrime Law.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Arturo Brion, Jose Mendoza and Marvic Leonen stuck to their dissent, while Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Estela Perlas-Bernabe abstained.

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At least, Justice Leonen was honest when he stated in his dissenting opinion that “…the court’s competence to deal with these issues needs to evolve as we understand the context and detail of each technology implicated in the acts that are alleged to violate law or the Constitution.”

We are appalled at this decision of the high tribunal. It now appears that the present administration cannot digest legitimate dissent. And to think that this administration has professed again and again that it is founded on democratic tenets.

We choose to remain steadfast in asserting our right to free press, speech and expression. We are one with the rest of the libertarians in condemning this latest travesty of the freedom of expression. We call on everyone to continue asserting our constitutionally guaranteed rights and to fight against this railroaded, antipeople and undemocratic law.

—ROWENA PARAAN,

chair, National Union of Journalists

of the Philippines,

Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City,  [email protected]

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TAGS: Cybercrime law, freedom of expression, Letters to the Editor, Media, NUJP, opinion, Supreme Court
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