Guingona: Cybercrime Law unconstitutional

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[/caption] ?First, some parts of the bill clearly attempts to legislate morality and penalize people if they breach our standards. I feel that as legislators, we have no right to dictate what people should or should not see. Unjustifiable prior restraint is an archaic policy that should not be in our statute books,? said Guingona. Guingona provided the lone vote during the third hearing of the bill in the Senate, while 13 of his colleagues — Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Antonio Trillanes IV, Edgardo Angara, Lito Lapid, Manuel Villar, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. — voted for its enactment. Guingona said the law transplanted the Revised Penal Code definition of libel without specifying who is liable, exposing the owner of online newspapers, blogs, and websites to liability. ?This is problematic because in the case of online communities, people are encouraged to actually participate (make comments, re-tweet, repost on Facebook),? he stated. ?With this law, editors and owners of these sites will be forced to lock down their websites and prevent people from commenting. I believe that editors can regulate the works of their writers but if you gag the general public, surely the Constitutional right to freedom of expression is threatened,? he added. Guingona concluded: ?This law sets us back. We cannot legislate morality. The Spanish inquisition has long been disbanded. I do not know why we are reviving it today.? Meanwhile, Malacanang has also announced that an inter-agency body will start working on the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Cybercrime Law. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a recent press briefing that the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Information and Communications Technology Office under the Department of Science and Technology (ICTO-DOST) will craft the IRR. ]]>

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