Decriminalizing libel passage still in limbo

STILL, media persons cannot see the light in the end of the tunnel against libel as Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II cancelled the first ever public hearing on a bill decriminalizing libel after more than two years in its inception in the legislative mill.

It was noted in the Senate committee advisory for October 22-26, 2012, the Legislative Committee Secretary in public order and dangerous including public information the scheduled hearing on Monday was also cancelled the same day.

Supposedly, the Honasan committee will hear on Monday the proposed measure that includes Granting the Right to Reply, Abolishing the Penalty of Imprisonment in Libel Cases, and amending Art. 355 of the Revised Penal Code

But, in his statement during the weekly Kapihan sa Senado last Thursday, Honasan assured that he will now hear the said pending measure in order to start the engine in the legislative mill for libel.

“Sa Lunes, maghi-hearing tayo. Decriminalization of libel not only for journalist but for the entire citizenry. Baka mahagip dyan yung right to reply. Hindi naman pwedeng batikusin ka. Kailangan may paraan ka rin para sumagot nang punto por punto,” Honasan said during the Kapihan.

As of this day, there 9 proposed measures on libel was filed in the Senate, the first was by Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero submitted in July 27, 2012.

The list of measures on libel:

SBN-3303: Decriminalizing Libel
An Act Repealing Chapter One, Title Thirteen, Book Two of Act No. 3815, Otherwise Known as the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines Thereby Decriminalizing Libel and Defamation Filed on October 9, 2012 by Cayetano, Alan Peter Companero S.

SBN-3298: Decriminalizing Libel
An Act Decriminalizing Libel Thereby Repealing Articles 353 to 357 and Articles 360-362 of the Revised Penal Code Filed on October 9, 2012 by Cayetano, Pia S.

SBN-3295: Cybercrime Prevention Act
An Act Amending Republic Act No. 10175 Otherwise Known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, Repealing Sub-Paragraph 4 of Section 4 (C) and Section 19 Thereof, and for Other Purposes Filed on October 8, 2012 by Legarda, Loren B.

SBN-3294: Decriminalizing Libel
An Act Decriminalizing Libel, Repealing for the Purpose Articles 355, 357 and 360 of Republic Act No. 3815, as Amended, Otherwise Known as the Revised Penal Code and for Other Purposes Filed on October 8, 2012 by Legarda, Loren B.

SBN-3292: Repealing Libel
An Act Absolutely Repealing Libel as Provided for Articles 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361 and 362 of Act No. 3815 Also Known as the Revised Penal Code Filed on October 8, 2012 by Sotto III, Vicente C.

SBN-3244: Decriminalize Libel
An Act to Decriminalize Libel and for Other Purposes Filed on July 26, 2012 by Honasan II, Gregorio B.

SBN-2668: Electronic Libel (E-Libel)
An Act Amending Article 355 of Act No. 3815, Otherwise Known as the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, as Amended Filed on January 31, 2011 by Villar, Manny B.

SBN-2162: Revised Penal Code (Art. 355), Decriminalizing Libel
An Act Decriminalizing Libel by Means of Writings or Similar Repealing Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code Filed on July 27, 2010 by Escudero, Francis “Chiz” G.

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