Group urges Congress to question Anti-Cybercrime Law before SC

THE fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte to question the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act before the Supreme Court.

Asserting that the two top leaders of Philippine Congress are duty bound to correct the grave legislative mistake, Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap pressed the two top leaders of Congress to lead lawmakers in challenging the constitutionality of the anti-cybercrime law.

“The Senate President and the Speaker of the House must do their duty, and that is to lead their colleagues in both chambers of Congress to challenge the legality, moral and political correctness of the cybercrime prevention before the Supreme Court and in the court of public opionion,” the Pamalakaya leader said.

Hicap said he was puzzled with the “deafening silence” displayed by Enrile and Belmonte while their colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives have started questioning the totalitarian provisions carried out in RA 10175.

“Both leaders of Congress should open their big mouths; apologize to the people for crafting a law that would violate fundamental freedoms like free speech and freedom of the press. The Senate President and the House Speaker should argue with the court that the anti-cybercrime law violations of basic freedoms are crime against humanity,” the Pamalakaya official added.

Petitioners against the anti-cybercrime law maintained that the Cybercrime Prevention Act negates freedom of expression by enabling authorities to block access to any material on the Internet. They said RA 10175 opposes Constitutional provisions on the “freedom of expression, due process, equal protection, privacy of communications, double jeopardy, and right against unreasonable searches and seizure.”

Pamalakaya also lamented the silence of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Section 19 of the Act which authorizes the Justice Secretary to block any content that is found to be in violation of the law merely at “face value”.

“Secretary de Lima should also speak in behalf of the DoJ and question Section 19 and other draconian provisions of the anti-cybercrime law. But she is not doing her job at present, unless, she likes the idea of violating the fundamental rights of the people as legalized by RA 10175,” the group lamented.

Pamalakaya said the anti-cybercrime act of 2012 promoted state terrorism under Section 12 of the law which allows the operatives of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to collect traffic data real time with due cause even without a court order.

“This is witch hunting courtesy of the anti-cybercrime law. Everybody is included in the gameplan of the totatalirarian state,” the group said.

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