Cayetano on cybercrime issue: If you can?t beat netizens, join them

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[/caption] ?We should be like the Internet — our citizens like it because it’s so fast. So, bakit hindi natin ipakita sa Kongreso na kahit ilang araw na lang ang natitira ay pwede nating amyendahan kaagad yung batas.? Cayetano said that rather than fighting it, the government should treat the public uproar against the law as a good thing. ?Government should see the activism of our netizens as a good thing and we should even promote it,? he said. For those defending the law, the solon had to say: ?If you can’t beat them, meaning the netizens, join them.? He added: ?Kasi tingnan niyo rin yung point of view ng netizens na empowered ngayon at lahat ng benefits na ginagawa nito lalo sa mga rural areas na dati parang wala silang say sa nangyayari sa ating bansa, pero ngayon ay makakakitaan ng oportunidad dahil sila ay nakikisali na sa isyu na ito.? Earlier, Cayetano filed three bills seeking to amend several provisions in the Cybercrime Act and to decriminalize libel and defamation. He filed SB 3301 seeking to repeal sections 4(c) (4), 5, 6 and 7 of RA 10175 stating that the mentioned sections are unconstitutionally overbroad, vague and violate the Constitutional provisions against double jeopardy. He also filed Senate Bill (SB) 3302 amending Section 19 of Republic Act (RA) 10175 stating that “No order of restriction or blocking of access to computer data for violation of provisions of this act shall be issued, except upon probable cause to be determined by a judge as required by law.” Lastly, he filed SB 3303 seeking to repeal chapter one, title thirteen, book two of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines to decriminalize libel and defamation. “There is a need to repeal the criminal defamation laws in the country since the present laws create a chilling effect on the community. We need to balance the need to promote the right of freedom of expression and the government’s duty to hold accountable those who abuse it,” he said. The senator said that prior to the passage of the controversial law, very little attention has been given to the proposal to decriminalize libel – notwithstanding the fact that most, if not all, civil democratic societies today do not prosecute libel both as a criminal and civil case. He stressed that decriminalizing libel will greatly minimize the use of it as tool for harassment against members of the media particularly those in the community media. He said those who are defending the measure don’t really understand the Internet as a medium being a non-traditional media. “This new media is about individual expressions, freedom, empowerment and our democracy. This means that the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution has taken a new life in this medium,” he said. ]]>

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