As RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act took effect on Wednesday, Oct. 3, Malacanang sought to reassure the public amidst widespread opposition to the new law even as it deplored the hacking attacks on government websites.
“We believe there is an opportunity for reasonable discourse between concerned stakeholders and the Department of Justice,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
“This dialogue can address stakeholder concerns as the Implementing Rules and Regulations are drafted. We urge the fullest and widest participation of stakeholders in this process,” he added.
Lacierda said Congress enacted the law to address legitimate concerns about criminal behavior on the Internet and the effects of abusive behavior.
“[But w]e recognize and respect efforts not only to raise these issues in court, but to propose amendments to the law in accordance with constitutional processes,” he said.
Lacieda added: “Let us bear in mind the law that binds us all: the Constitution. Our Constitution is clear and uncompromising in the civil liberties it guarantees all our people. As the basic law, its guarantees cannot, and will not, be diminished or reduced by any law passed by Congress.
“We would therefore like to point out that no government entity has moved to deprive anyone of access to the Internet or to suppress civil liberties as exercised online,” he said.
The Palace executive said it is the “hackers who claim to be aligned with critics of the Cybercrime Act are the ones who have engaged in online vandalism, depriving the broader public of access to much needed government information and services online.”
“We call on critics of the Cybercrime Act to speak out against online vandalism and bullying with as much vigor and passion as they have expressed in their objections to certain provisions of this law,” he said.
Malacanang has also posted in its official website the transcripts of the Senate deliberations on the Cybercrime Law.