Velasco says he proposed TRO against Cybercrime Law

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[/caption] ?[H]e in fact proposed the issuance of the temporary restraining order (TRO) to bar the enforcement and effectivity of the assailed law,? Velasco?s office said in a statement. ?[H]e will nevertheless recuse from the consolidated petitions to erase any doubt or suspicion that preconception may influence or even taint the adjudication of said cases,? the statement added. Earlier, two media groups — the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) — filed a motion asking Velasco to inhibit from participating in the deliberations on the Cybercrime Law. Velasco had filed two libel suits against Maritess Vitug: one, for an online article posted in ABS-CBNnews.com/Newsbreak (13 counts, one for each day that it remained on the website), and another for ?Shadow of Doubt?, her book about corruption in the judiciary. Vitug told NUJP Velasco already withdrew the cases in June and July 2012 respectively. Nevertheless, the NUJP and PPI sad they believe Velasco?s impartiality will remain in question. The consolidated petition, containing 15 petitions questioning parts or the whole of the Cybercrime Law, were raffled to Velasco on the same day, October 9, the TRO was issued. The petition filed by the media groups led by NUJP, PPI and the Center for Media Freedom of Responsibility, questions several provisions in the law which violate free speech and free press, due process, equal protection from the laws, and privacy of communication, and asks that the whole statute be declared unconstitutional. The TRO, which suspends the implementation of the cybercrime law, will remain in effect until Jan. 15, 2013, when the high court has scheduled oral arguments. ]]>

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