Cybercrime Law in Philippines Destroys Democracy

Senator Teofisto Guingona III has expressed dismay over the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to defer hearings on petition to stop the implementation of Republic Act No. 10175, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

”I am disappointed that our justices have deferred the hearing of the petitions to next week,” Guingona, the lone opposition of the law in the Senate, said in a press statement.

Guingona urged the high court to resolve the issues immediately to prevent further harm to the internet users.

”The implementation of the law tomorrow, October 3, will take back our citizens to the Dark Ages where freedom of speech and expression were not recognized,” he said.

”Further, I will continue to join our citizens and internet users to continue this fight to ask the Supreme Court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and to finally repeal some vague and oppressive provisions of the newly-enacted law,” Guingona added.

Guingona reiterated that the government has no right “to gag its citizens and convict them for expressing their thoughts.”

”The Philippines is a democratic country. The Filipinos should never be left to cower in the sidelines –- their thoughts and voices should not be shackled by fear and intimidation. The people should not be afraid of its own government,” he said.

Earlier, Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero admitted that some of the provisions in the law have been scrutinized properly, specifically Section 4 which provides imprisonment as penalty to libel.

With this, Escudero filed an amendatory measure to correct the law.

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