UP community up in arms vs Cybercrime Law

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WITH barely a week before the start of the Supreme Court oral arguments for the 15 petitions filed against Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Law of 2013, members of the UP community, including students, officials, and members of the academe, expressed “utmost vehemence” against the law in question.

“Students and members of the academe are one of the heaviest Internet users. Cyberspace is where we communicate, we study, conduct researches, and voice out our opinion. A law that effectively controls what we can post and what we can do in the Internet is basically an anti-student and anti-research law,” said UP Student Regent Cleve Arguelles, who is one of the petitioners against RA 10175 in the Supreme Court.

In the College of Mass Communication, for example, classes are conducted with live Internet connections, and students pass their assignments in an online web portal called UVLE. “Harsh provisions in RA 10175 regarding online libel and lots of other contentious provisions can potentially curtail the freedom we enjoy today, especially with regard to research and vocal opinion-making,” said UP College of Mass Communication Student Council Chair Mario Urrutia.

“Next week, the oral arguments in the SC will commence, and we will do our best to make the government understand what monster they have created in RA 10175,” said Atty. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist President and general counsel. Ridon will defend the petition filed by Kabataan Partylist before the Supreme Court on January 15.

“On the part of the students, faculty and members of the UP community, we vow to intensify the fight against any form of abridgment of our freedom of speech, both online and offline,” Arguelles said.

Last December, UP’s General Assembly of Student Councils, presided by Student Regent Arguelles, passed a resolution expressing the “strongest opposition” to the Cybercrime Law.

“UP has always been a bastion of free and unbridled speech. And we will fight with all our strength to maintain it,” Arguelles ended.

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