Lawmakers: Prioritize anti-cyber bullying bill

TO protect victims of cyber bullies, lawmakers urged Congress to fast track the approval of  House Bill 6116.

Buhay Party-list Reps. Irwin C. Tieng and Mariano Michael Velarde stressed the need for the immediate passage of  the bill to address the emerging problem of  social disease known as cyber bullying.

“With the use of cell phones and social networking sites, cruelty has been amplified and shifted from the hallways to the internet, where a nasty, profanity-laced comment, complete with an embarrassing photo can be viewed by the public,” Tieng said.

According to Tieng, “cyber bullying attacks are especially painful because they are not easily erased from the internet and can trouble the victim for months and years.”

“In addition to causing substantial psychological harm and emotional distress, cyber bullying can sometimes even lead to physical harm,” Tieng said.

The measure, to be known as the “Anti Cyber Bullying Act of 2012,” shall penalize a person who will be found guilty of cyber bullying with not less than P50,000 but not more than P100,000 and imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than six years.

Velarde, vice chairman of House Committee on Welfare of Children said the bill also criminalizes the distribution of information that is derogatory and untrue about the victim by posting it on the web page or sending it to others through email or instantmessaging, and sharing victim’s secrets or embarrassing information.

“Breaking into an email or social networking account, using the victim’s online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to or about others and posting online or sending digitally altered photos of the victim to others whether the images were taken with or without consent intended to humiliate and embarrass the victim are also considered criminal offenses of cyber-bullying,” Velarde said.


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