Child welfare group slams Palace defense for Cybercrime Law

IN time of the oral arguments on the controversial Republic Act 10175, child welfare group, Akap Bata Party-List today aired disappointment over the strong support and defense of the Palace for the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

On Monday, January 15, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made a statement saying that ‘Cybercrime Law is defensible’ despite massive oppositions from netizens, journalists and various sectors.

The group also reiterated their call for the immediate junking of Cybercrime Law for this will surely curtail the freedom of every Filipino child to have free and safe access to the internet. They stresses that children will not be exempted from online censorship and monitoring by authorities because kids are also netizens.

Akap Bata Party-List cited Cartoon Network’s New Generation 2012 study stating that 58% of Filipino kids are fond of online games, and 52% of our children are fond of social networking. Also on the said research, 82% of Filipino children access the internet at least once a week and 37% on a daily basis.

‘The government’s validations over the legalities of RA10175 pose imminent danger against children and adult netizens as well. President Aquino’s firmness in defending the Cybercrime Law serves as an indirect endorsement to our Supreme Court magistrates to vote in favour of RA10175,’ says Love Carlos, National Spokesperson of Akap Bata Party-List.

She added, ‘If PNoy really advocates freedom of speech and expression, then he must concede fully and junk Cybercrime Law in the soonest possible time.’

Akap Bata Party-List also called the using of child pornography as one of the government’s legal justification in pushing RA10175 as a ‘lame excuse’. Carlos stresses that we already have Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography of 2009 Law that is only needed to be implemented fully and strictly.

It can be recalled that RA10175 points-out child pornography as one of its four offenses. Akap Bata Party-List sees the Cybercrime Law unnecessary to resolve child pornography in the country because we already have enacted law against child pornography three years ago. They believed that the real intention of the law is to criminalize online libel offense.

‘The Cybercrime Prevention Law is clearly aimed to gag netizens and not really to ensure children’s safety against cybersex offenders. It is very obvious that the law is hiding in the guise of children protection but truth is that it is aimed to pacify dissent aired by Filipino netizens,’ Carlos said.

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