Republic Act No. 10175 Unconstitutional

Party-list groups Monday filed separate petitions before the Supreme Court seeking to declare unconstitutional some provisions of Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The petitioners asked the SC to issue the writs of prohibition and mandamus against the implementation of R.A. No. 10175.

Among others, the petitioners are Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond V. Palatino, Act Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, Vencer Mari Crisostomo of Anakbayan, Isabelle Therese M. Baguisi of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, Michael Philip G. Beltran of Karatula, Ma. Katherine Elona of the Philippine Collegian, Dean Rolando Tolentino of the UP College of Mass Communications, Prof. Carl Marc Ramota of the UP Manila Department of Social Sciences, Victor Villanueva, Katrina Stuart Santiago, Cleve Kevin Arguelles, UP Student Regent, Ofelia Beltran Balleta of the Crispin Beltran Research Center, and Allen Enriquez, artist.

Named respondents are Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. and Justice Sec. Leila De Lima.

The petitioners argued that all the requisites for the exercise of judicial review are present.

They said that Sections 4(C), 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 10175 relative to libel are unconstitutional due to vagueness.

They further argued that particular sections of Chapter IV of R.A. No. 10175 are unconstitutional for violating constitutional due process, among others.

They said that as Sections. 4(c)4, 5, 6 and 7 relative to Cyberlibel and Libel are void and overly broad, the constitutional rights to due process, speech, expression, free press and academic freedom, among others, shall be curtailed and produce a chilling effect against constitutionally protected speech.

They also asked the SC to issue a TRO ordering the respondents and any person acting on their behalf, to cease and desist from implementing R.A. No. 10175 and its provisions.

Kabataan is also opposing Section 19 of R.A. No. 10175 which authorizes the DOJ to impose a total access ban on social networking sites in the future.

Section 19 of R.A. No. 10175 states that “When a computer data is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act, the DOJ shall issue an order to restrict or block access to such computer data.”

The other petitioners are Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes Jr., national artist Bienvenido L. Lumbera, chairperson of Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Elmer C. Labog, chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno, Cristina E. Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan;

Ferdinand R. Gaite, chairperson of COURAGE, Joel B. Maglunsod, vice president of Anakpawis party-list, Lana R. Linaban, secretary general of Gabriela Women’s Party, Adolfo Ares P. Gutierrez, and Julius Garcia Matibag.

Named respondents in the petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for a TRO or a preliminary injunction are: President Benigno S. Aquino III, Executive Secretary Ochoa, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.;

DOJ Secretary De Lima, Louis Napoleon C. Casambre, executive director of the Information and Communications Technology Office, NBI Director Nonnatus Caesar R. Rojas, PNP chief Nicanor A. Bartolome, and DILG Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II.

The petitioners argued that RA 10175, through its assailed provisions, infringes unconstitutionally and constitutes a sweeping intrusion into the people’s freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press, right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and right to privacy, and other fundamental freedoms.

Leave a Reply