Youth solon files bill to repeal Cybercrime Law

WHILE the Supreme Court decides to defer the deliberations on the petitions for temporary restraining order (TRO) against Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino has filed a bill seeking to repeal several contentious provisions in the new law.

Palatino filed House Bill No.6613 in the Lower House in the afternoon of October 1, Monday, with Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño as co-author.

“The passage of Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, poses serious threats to Internet freedom, the right to privacy and other essential civil liberties including the freedom of speech, expression, and the press,” Palatino said in the explanatory note of HB 6613.

“The insertion of provisions regarding online libel and vague sections on data collection and sanctions is essentially an online censorship law,” the youth solon added.

HB 6613 seeks to repeal Sections 4(c)4, 5, 6, 7 and the whole Chapter 4 of RA 10175.

Section 4(c)4, 5, and 6 of RA 10175 relate to online libel, and are unconstitutional due its vagueness, the youth solon explained.

Meanwhile, Chapter IV of RA 10175 is also unconstitutional for violating constitutional due process, Palatino added.

“The new law is thus a threat to the constitutional freedoms of the press and expression. The relative freedom of publication utilized by online critics of government policies shall now be curtailed,” Palatino said.

“Once the session resumes on October 8, our primary agenda will be to pass this repeal bill. We cannot let e-Martial Law be enacted,” Palatino said.

Palatino is also set to file the Internet Bill of Rights later this week. “It is high time that legislation on the Internet turns from being prohibitive to becoming protective,” Palatino said , explaining that the said bill will enumerate the rights of Filipino netizens.

“We’re still consulting with several stakeholders to ensure that the bill will not turn out like the Cybercrime Law,” Palatino said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to file it before this week ends,” the youth solon added.

Kabataan slams SC’s inaction

Meanwhile, Palatino also slammed the Supreme Court’s inaction on the petitions for prohibition against the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Law, following the reported absence of several justices in the high court’s en banc session this morning.

“To that we say, absence makes the Internet grow darker,” Palatino said, referring to the ongoing online campaign to blackout websites and change profile pictures in networking sites to black images in protest of the dreaded law.

“We are now experiencing the first repercussions of the Aquino court. The Cybercrime Law is set to be implemented tomorrow, and the high court is doing nothing to stop it,” Palatino said.

The youth solon has joined several other groups in filing petitions for TRO against RA 10175.

In the petition filed by Kabataan Partylist yesterday, petitioners including Palatino, ACT Teachers Partylist Antonio Tinio, Anakbayan National Chair Vencer Crisostomo, Philippine Collegian Editor-in-Chief Katherine Elona, and Dean Roland Tolentino of the UP College of Mass Communication, sought for the issuance of the writs of prohibition and mandamus against the Executive Secretary and the Secretary of the Department of Justice, and for the exercise of judicial review to assail the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Law.

“The essence of a TRO is to provide immediate relief. With the law lapsing into effectivity tomorrow, the high court’s inaction seemingly defeats the immediacy of our petition,” Palatino said.

“We will continue to raise high water and hell against this draconian law, and the youth will do whatever it takes to have it repealed,” the youth solon said.


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