Media groups, Ateneo lawyers file petitions against Cybercrime Law

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The latest and ninth petition came from various media groups, which included the National Union of Journalist of the Philippines, Philippine Press Institute, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. In its petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction, the petitioners told the high court it should strike down Sections 4[c][4], 5, 6, 7, 12, 19, 21, 24 and 26 [a] which are provisions that infringes on the rights of the public. The petitioners also asked the high court to stop the release of P50-million budget which will be used for the implementation of the Cybercrime Law. ?Far from complying with the State Policy in Article II Section 24 of the 1987 Constitution that ?recognizes the vital role of communication and information? and advancing the use of technology to expand the space for creative, imaginative and progressive use of information and communications technology, the law [RA 10175] demonizes technology, views cynically the space for democratic expression using social media and establishes an authoritarian regime within the space that was, until the passage of RA 10175, the freest and most democratic. The law, if allowed to stand, will usher in yet another darkness,? the petition said. Petitioners questionable provisions of the law violates freedom of expression, makes this law a Bill of Attainder, violates the right to due process and equal protection of the law and the guarantee of protection against double jeopardy, right to privacy. Earlier, the lawyers from the Ateneo Human Rights Center filed the eighth petition against the Cybercrime Law. Lawyer Melencio Sta. Maria. Sedfrey Candelaria, Amparita Sta. Maria, Ray Paolo Santiago, Gilbert Sembrano, Ryan Quan and the rest of the Ateneo Human Rights Center also asked the SC, in their 37-page petition to stop its implementation through a temporary restraining order. They said, implementation of the law would make them and all Filipinos suffer ?under a law that endangers freedom of speech, right to privacy and the freedom of the press and all other rights argued in this petition.? In their petition, they asked the high court to strike down as unconstitutional the following provisions: Sec. 4(4), which criminalizes libel, not only on the internet, but also on “any other similar means which may be devised in the future;” Sec. 6, which raises by one degree higher the penalties provided for by the Revised Penal Code for all crimes committed through and with the use of information and communications; Sec. 7, which provides that, apart from prosecution under the law, any person charged for the alleged offense covered will not be spared from violations of the Revised Penal Code and other special laws; Sec. 19, which authorizes the DOJ to block access to computer data when such data “is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act;” and ?It is the right of citizens and taxpayers of a country to have all laws passed without constitutional infirmity. It is their right to live under a system of valid laws which passed the legislative mill at the cost of the taxpayers? money,? petitioners said. ?It is also their right to compel our public officials only to enforce laws which are within the mandates of the Constitution and not to enforce those that are void for being violative thereof.? Petitioners said, the implementation of Sections 4(4), 5, 6, 7 and 19 of the law ?will clearly result to a material invasion of the [constitutional rights] and constitutional mandate.? ?No citizen must be allowed even for a second to live under an infirm law that affects his or her freedom of expression and right to privacy,? the petition stated. Petition Cyberlaw FINAL ]]>

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