Youth group vows to continue to oppose PNoy’s Cybercrime Prevention Act

YOUTH group Kabataan Partylist commended all those who registered their voices for civil liberties online and especially offline during the first day of the Oral Arguments regarding the Cybercrime Prevention Law.

Many of the protesters were youth and students who had kept watch the night before at the vigil while gathering support for the massive demonstration today.

This only shows the tenacity of the youth to challenge repressive policies, particularly those which inhibit greater access to information and expression. At a time when democratic space and processes are supposed to be upheld by the government they instead take a 180 degree turn for the worse.

PNoy Big Brother still cannot admit to attacking free speech and yet is continuously shown by the youth and people what genuine freedom of expression is.

Youth groups set up photobooths and held their placards that looked like status updates and tweets bearing the hashtag #noocybercrimelaw.

The environment was made to be a link for both online and offline dissenters to display their participation in the issue and generate more awareness.

Simultaneous actions also took place in different parts of the country such as Cebu, Bicol, Negros, Pangasinan and Cavite among others led by Kabataan Partylist.

Police swarmed Padre Faura even preventing the sound system of the demonstration to enter the street. It only validates the lack of sincerity the Aquino administration has for human rights as a whole.

No respect for these freedoms offline has already been evident throughout Aquino’s term and today only showed how he seeks to use this to prevent greater opposition to his online agenda of repression.

Inside the Supreme Court proceedings Chief Justice Sereno misses the point when she focuses the discussion to actual cybercrimes which need to be addressed.

It has already been made clear that none of the 15 petitioners, or the Filipino people object to the apprehension of genuine cybercriminals engaged in sex trafficking for child online child pornography among others.

Yet what RA 10175 does is to create mechanisms for e-libel against criticism and as such do not directly address actual cybercrimes but create more “criminals” and discourage speaking out against such issues.

New Associate Justice Leonen goes a step further by asserting that the government is simply trying to protect the little man who cannot defend himself against such crimes.

While in truth, what the Cybercrime Law is designed to protect the interests of those in power.

Section 19 gives the Department of Justice Big Brother powers over the internet, only needing prima facie evidence in deciding whether something is a cybercrime or not.

This may result in closure of websites and personal accounts; as well as further punishment. Sec. 19 also eliminates due process from the equation.

Much of the Cybercrime Law’s design is directed at what constitutes criticism or libellous pronouncements online. Kabataan and other progressive groups vow to continue to fight against the tyranny that the Cybercrime Law poses.

From the start youth leaders and organizations have been actively campaigning against the law and today’s actions only saw the numbers and determination rise as well.

The groups vowed that they will launch another action on the next session for the oral arguments and call for a swift decision that accommodates the clear demands of the people to repeal this law.

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